February is a month of special days. It’s Black History Month. It’s mid-winter break month to get away for some skiing or sunshine. The midpoint of this 28-day month is Valentine’s Day, followed by Presidents’ Day. And, of course, it all kicks off with Groundhog Day on Feb. 2.

Others might call it simply a coincidence, but I’d call it a Godwink.

Q. During the holidays my ex suggested we celebrate together (we have three children) for the sake of “family unity.” We broke up three years ago and have worked through a lot of drama, but for some reason she has decided she wants to try again. This seems so strange to me. I do not want to …

This month our nation pauses to look up to a man who was looked down on for the majority of his brief life. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was only 5 feet, 6 inches tall. But his stature as a civil rights activist still renders him a giant 55 years after his death at the age of 39.

Q: I’m a single mom who works from home. At noon, I pick up my 5-year-old from half-day kindergarten. Because I’m unable to pay attention to her while I’m working, she wants to watch television for the rest of the afternoon. We have a no-TV rule on school days, but I find myself unable to en…

Q. I recently attended my daughter’s Christmas ballet recital. She had a great part, the dancing Christmas fairy. I got there late, and the lights had already dimmed, so it was difficult to see. I did notice my ex and tried to sit nearby, even though our breakup was messy, and we are barely …

Last summer, my 5-year-old and 3-year-old granddaughters were watching the Disney movie “Encanto” repeatedly. As a result, long after the show was over, they were still singing the lyrics to the music. One of their favorite songs was “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

When Philip Van Doren Stern’s 4,000-word short story “The Greatest Gift” failed to impress a prospective publisher, the writer and Civil War historian decided to print it himself. He sent it out as his Christmas card to family and friends in December 1943. The story had to do with a desponde…

Earlier this fall, I was attending a leadership summit in a suburb of Chicago. Following our sessions one afternoon, I went for a power walk before dinner. Adjacent to the conference center was a cemetery. Because reading old headstones in a graveyard is one of my favorite pastimes, my aspir…

Q. My sister-in-law is best friends with my husband’s ex-wife. Before we got married, they had a tradition that their families spent Thanksgiving together. They have done it for years and want to continue it even though we are now married. The kids are supposed to be with their mother this y…

Q. My adult kids think everyone I spend time with is a potential partner. No matter if I am just meeting a new male friend from my hiking group for coffee, they think it’s my next big romance, and the introductions become very awkward. I reassure them that it’s nothing, but they don’t seem t…

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month. But for the past 25 years or so, October has also been observed as Pastor Appreciation Month. Churches throughout the country look for tangible ways to recognize pastors and priests for the contribution they make in our lives.

Searching out your ancestors by “doing” genealogy has become a popular pastime. For many, there is an emotional and intellectual reward that can come with discovering the identity of their ancestors.

Q. My husband’s ex hates me. This is predictable, I suppose, but it’s getting in the way of my husband spending time with his children. I really haven’t done anything other than marry the guy — 11 years ago! And it’s been hell ever since. For some reason, his ex wants the kids to think their…

My better half has a mind for dates, numbers and details, and he enjoys family history and genealogy. There are many people who enjoy genealogy, and they have many wonderful conversations. Usually with one another.

Q: I am a principal at a private church-affiliated school. Contrary to my graduate school training and most of my peers’ practice, I believe disciplinary actions should fit the crime. As such, I do not generally issue the namby-pamby sort of consequences other principals deliver. Fear of bei…

The other day I came across my student pictorial directory from Fuller Seminary. Of course, I looked for the page where my face was pictured. I was amazed at how much I’ve aged in 45 years. The fact is this: Inside I feel I’m still that 25-year-old pastor-in-training. I’m guessing you know w…

Q. My ex and I share custody (a week with each parent) of our 12- and 14-year-old boys. As they get older, they love to watch football with their dad. I think this is great—on his time--but my ex expects me to let them go to give up my time so they can go to his house for Thursday Night Foot…

There’s a line in the movie “A League of Their Own” where Tom Hanks’ character says, “There’s no crying in baseball!” And while I love that film almost as much as I do “Field of Dreams,” I take exception with the quote about crying.

Q. My 13-year-old son has been telling me he does not want to go back to his mother’s for about three months now. He wouldn’t tell me why, but when he finally opened up, I have to admit, I was really surprised. He said that she badmouths me so much, he just doesn’t want to be there anymore. …

Where were you when you were told that Pearl Harbor had been bombed? What were you doing when you heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated? How about when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon or when the Challenger exploded after lift-off? If you are 30 or older, you can’t he…

Formulas for toddlers are a burgeoning business in the United States: Sales of the drinks more than doubled in recent years as companies convinced parents that their little ones needed the liquid boost. But many experts warn that these products, designed for children ages 1 to 3, fill no nut…

Q: Ever since toddlerhood, we have had significant behavior problems with our 6-year-old son — defiance and general disrespect, mostly. We have tried various disciplinary approaches with little to no positive results.

Q. My wife and I have been married for seven months and she is having a real problem with the transition. This was complicated by the fact that yesterday, two hours after the kid exchange, my wife and I are in bed and my ex is pounding on the front door because my kid left something behind. …

“The goal of parenting is not to control, coerce or punish children into being ‘good.’ The goal of parenting is to grow children who can feel all of their feelings and become empathic problem-solvers, and to help children reach their fullest potential.”

I have a former (male) client who has what I’ll call “a ghosting pattern.” He will text someone after a date he thinks went well to ask her out again. She doesn’t answer. He writes to her again. She doesn’t answer again. He writes again (maybe this time on Facebook and LinkedIn also) … you get it.

A good friend gives us her old newspapers from a small town in Maine. They are entertainment — a sedentary version of date night.

The mother of a 5-year-old girl tells her to dress for school. The child replies, insolence abounding, “No! I don’t want to, and I’m not going to!” Mom tells her if she doesn’t dress, she will go to school in her pajamas. The child dresses. And that’s the end of it. Or is it?