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home : columns January 22, 2020

Kids annoyed at parent requiring lotion
My children get mad at me because I'm old-school: I don't care how old they are -- I don't want them leaving home without putting on lotion. I can't stand looking at ashy skin. It looks bad, but what's worse is that your skin can crack if you don't keep it moisturized.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Self-employed reader gets called for jury duty
I got called for jury duty. I had been able to dodge it for the past 10 years or so, but this time they said I have to come. I'm self-employed, and I can't afford to take off this time. How can I make clear my circumstances?
Monday, January 20, 2020

Procrastinating reader needs to prioritize time
I am a serious procrastinator. I have been like this for as long as I can remember, but it is starting to catch up with me in bad ways. I was recently late on a project at work because I took too long to get started.
Friday, January 17, 2020

Husband's TV choices bother reader
My husband and I have very different tastes in television programs. I like romance and drama. He watches shows about UFOs. It makes my skin crawl when he turns on shows about extraterrestrials and then lectures me about his beliefs -- backed up by these programs -- that aliens are living among us. I don't believe it, but I also know that I can't do anything about it, even if it is true.
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Reader wants to pay off credit card debt
I spent too much money on Christmas gifts, even though I promised myself that I would stick to a budget. Now I'm saddled with several thousand dollars' worth of credit card bills exactly at the time when I wanted to be starting fresh financially. How can I change my habits given that I already messed up and the year is just starting?
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Reader wants to invite absentee dad to wedding
My parents broke up when I was a little kid. At first my dad would come around once or twice a month to see us, but after a few years, he hardly ever showed up.

I am now an adult. I live and work on my own, and my life is pretty good. I am about to get married, and I want to reconcile with my dad. I want him to be at my wedding and to be a part of my new life. I have contacted him, and he says he will come.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Teenage sons obsessed with video games
I have two sons who love to play video games more than just about anything. They are middle schoolers, but they rarely want to go out and socialize. They do connect online with other kids who plays these games. I suppose I should be happy that they aren't out roaming the streets, but it is weird to me that they are so absorbed in their games. It doesn't seem healthy. How can I get them to come up for air?
Monday, January 13, 2020

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to visit my sister, who is single and retired. We talk on the phone a lot, but we haven't spent time together for a couple of years. I was surprised to see how sedentary her life has become. Basically she sits around and watches TV all day. She looks at romantic movies back-to-back from the time she wakes up until late at night. The only time she looks at anything else is when she is watching political news.
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Puppy owner considering letting mom adopt him
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a puppy. I'm happy about it, but at the same time, I feel bad. I am in school, and I work almost every day. My puppy ends up staying in a kennel for 10 to 12 hours a day while I'm away. When I get home, he is so happy to see me. I spend some time with him, but I'm so tired I don't really have the energy to play. Plus, I often go out at night. I'm 20 years old, and I have an active social life. I feel like I got my puppy before I was ready to accept responsibility for it.
Friday, January 10, 2020

Check, please! Splitting the bill can be awkward
My family went out to dinner with friends of ours who were in town visiting. There were five of them and three of us, and the restaurant was kind of expensive. When it came time to pay the bill, it was a little awkward. Normally we would just split the bill, but the number of people in each party was so different. When I thought about it, though, I was OK with splitting it because we had drinks and the others drank water. (Alcoholic beverages always hike up the bill.)
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Client debates leaving older accountant
I have worked with the same accountant for more than 20 years. He is a good man who has always helped me with the finances. In recent years, I have noticed that he is slowing down a lot. He is an older guy. I wonder if I should be looking for someone to fill his shoes. I worry that without this support, I will be in trouble. I don't want to upset him, though. Should I talk to him about it? I'm not quite sure what to do.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Family road trip music choices cause stress
My family takes a lot of driving trips to visit family and friends, even when we are going on vacation. It is the most affordable way for a family of five to get around. Where we run into trouble is that each of us likes different music. Our musical tastes could not be more different. So what happens is that there is an ongoing battle as to whose music gets played. When we are driving for five or more hours, this can be stressful. Do you have a recommendation on how to handle this?
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Social media "friend" is overly friendly
Somehow I am connected to a young man on social media, and he is constantly sending me messages and tagging me on his various posts. At first, it didn't bother me, but now I find it annoying. Also, because he tags me and a host of other people on these posts, I now get communications from some of them -- more people I don't know. How can I get him to stop? I don't want to unfriend him, but I'm thinking that's what I need to do. I may also need to block him. Is that rude of me? I need to do something.
Monday, January 6, 2020

Reader wants to keep clothes in case of weight loss
I have at least three sizes of clothes in my closet that represent the range of weights that I have carried over the years. My weight has gone up and down, which is why I have kept some of the clothes. But now it's getting ridiculous. I don't have room for the clothes that fit and that I want to wear because of the closets full of clothes that fit a smaller me. I'm worried that if I do eventually lose, I won't have clothing to fit my smaller body. Should I hold on to some of the smaller ones?
Saturday, January 4, 2020

Freelancer wants to send client's calls to voicemail
I have a client who has no boundaries. She regularly calls me late in the evening and on weekends. I have made the mistake of answering; I work freelance and do want to be available to my clients, but she takes it too far. It's almost never urgent when she calls. I think she's catching up on work and checking off boxes when she gets to something she thinks she needs to address with me.
Friday, January 3, 2020

Woman questions how to deal with wrinkles
I have pale skin that has begun to wrinkle, even though I'm barely 40. I already know from looking at my mother that I am destined to look like an old woman well before my time. Some of my friends have been getting collagen injections and Botox to smooth out their wrinkles. One of my colleagues went a step further and had plastic surgery. I don't know what I should do, but I'm not ready to accept that I'm beginning to look like my grandmother. What do you recommend?
Thursday, January 2, 2020

Reader upset with client's delayed payment
I have a client who owes me a substantial amount of money, and I have been waiting for nearly five months for the check to come through. It's crazy. Ninety days is standard for this company, but it's almost double that now. When I asked about the payment about two months ago, I was assured that it would be paid in a matter of days. I don't want to be annoying, but I do want my money. How should I proceed? I want to keep them as clients, so I need to tread lightly.
Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Partygoer hates seeing photos later
I've been going to a lot of holiday parties and end-of-year events in the past few weeks. It has been a lot of fun -- until I see myself in photos. I don't usually take pictures, but I have seen photos of me that have been posted on different people's social media pages, and I hate how I look. I have no misconceptions about myself as a middle-aged person, but I feel like people pick shots where they look good and they don't care about how the other people look. I hate that.
Monday, December 30, 2019

Friend doesn't put forth any effort
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend my mother calls "sometime-y." When he is interested, he is very attentive; when he is distracted, he could not care less. I have sent him texts with friendly messages and photos to lift him up during a tough period. Not once has he responded that he received even one communication. I get that I shouldn't be upset because he is going through a rough patch, but this isn't new behavior. Even during so-called good times, he disappears and doesn't engage in what I consider to be a thoughtful way. It's like he takes and takes, but only gives when he feels like it. I'm not sure how to react. I am tired of putting forth effort without even the tiniest acknowledgment. Do you have any ideas? -- Rude Friend
Saturday, December 28, 2019

Parent wants son to feel pride in his family life
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son goes to a private school with some very wealthy people. They don't generally flaunt their wealth, but around the holidays, it becomes apparent. Most of my son's friends are traveling to different parts of the world for the end of the year. We, on the other hand, live modestly. My son received a generous scholarship to the school, which is why he can even go there.
Friday, December 27, 2019

World Almanac
Today is the 360th day of 2019 and the sixth day of winter.
Thursday, December 26, 2019

Employee forced to pay for business travel
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently started a job that involves a lot of travel. I was given a company credit card but was told that I have to pay for my own food and charge the company back for a small percentage of it. Basically, they provide us with a tiny per diem. Worse than that, though, is that on my third trip out, I discovered that my company credit card didn't work because the company hadn't paid the bill. I ended up having to use my personal credit card. I am still waiting to be reimbursed. How can I address this with my boss? I need this job, but I can't afford to fund my travel. I'm on the road several times a month. What can I say or do to correct this? -- Can't Float the Job
Thursday, December 26, 2019

Reader wants to respect Jehovah's Witness mother-in-law
DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother-in-law is Jehovah's Witness. She explained to me that this means she doesn't celebrate any holidays. Her husband is a more mainstream Christian, so he does celebrate.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Daughter traumatized by rappers' deaths
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter loves rap music, and she is very upset right now. She says that her favorite artists keep dying. She went to a music festival a couple of months ago, and one of the artists, Juice Wrld, just died, possibly from an accidental overdose. About a year ago, another of her favorite artists, XXXTentacion, was murdered, just like another one who was trying to do good in his neighborhood, Nipsey Hussle.
Monday, December 23, 2019

Reader wants to disappear for the holidays
I am going on vacation at Christmastime this year. I usually go to visit my family, but my mother passed away a few months ago, and there is no family home to visit. I feel a bit lost right now, given that both of my parents are gone, which is why I scheduled this trip. It's a cruise, and I'm going by myself. I am an only child, and I don't have close friends. My co-workers told me that I am running away.
Saturday, December 21, 2019

Parent wants to protect son while on trip
My 8-year-old son was invited to go skiing with some of his friends from school during winter break. This sounds like a lot of fun -- and scary. My son has never skied before. I'm nervous that his friends, who have been skiing since they were 5, will abandon him.
Friday, December 20, 2019

Tenant questions donating to building handyman
A note was posted on my apartment door informing the tenants that one of the long-time handymen in the building is ill and won't be coming back. The person who posted this notice asked if we, the tenants, would make a donation to help him during his time of need.
Thursday, December 19, 2019

It's not too late to make a fresh start
We are approaching the end of this year, and I hate to admit it, but I have not reached the goals I set for myself back in January. It seems like the year has zipped by. I worked a lot, but not on the things that I had prioritized. I have mainly done the status quo: working to pay the bills, seeing my friends a little bit, communicating more on social media than anything and mostly being isolated
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Customer should expect money back in timely manner
I bought some jewelry from a vendor, but I needed to return it. We organized the return, but she gave me the wrong ZIP code. It took me a month to track the package so that she could pick it up. Now it has been another month, and she hasn't gone to pick it up. At this point, I'm tired of waiting for my money back. It's on her that she has had family and work issues and hasn't been able to go to the distribution center to pick up the package. I feel that I should not have to wait any longer.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Neighbor shocked to learn man is getting evicted
I recently learned that one of my neighbors lost his job and is about to be evicted. It turns out, he hasn't had electricity in his apartment for more than a year. Who knew? I feel horrible. I could have cooked him a hot meal or been more attentive.
Monday, December 16, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter has been dating the same boy for two years. They seem to be in love. We like him and his family.
Saturday, December 14, 2019

Parent wants to support son's sexuality
DEAR HARRIETTE: I suspect that my teenage son is gay, but he won't talk to me about his life at all. I want to be supportive, and I have a male friend who is gay. Do you think it is appropriate for me to talk to my friend about this? I want to ask him if he would try to talk to my son to get a sense of where his head is and whether he needs someone to talk to who understands what's happening in his life. -- Sounding Board
Friday, December 13, 2019

Friend displaced due to gentrification
DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine got displaced recently. Her neighborhood is being gentrified, and her apartment building was sold. She had no choice but to move -- even though she had lived there for more than 20 years. It was awful. She told me that she was moving out west, but I realize I have no idea where she is. I have tried to reach her, but I've only gotten to her through social media. We used to talk periodically. I am worried that she is not doing well. What do I do? -- Displaced Friend
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Teenage son falling into the wrong crowd
My son has started hanging out with a group of boys who are constantly getting into trouble. He is in the ninth grade at a new school, and I know he has had to figure out how to fit in, but what he is doing is not good for him. They have gotten in trouble for smoking marijuana on school property and drinking at a party with a bunch of other kids.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Lonely cousin calls too often
I have a love-hate relationship with my cousin. We have become close in recent years, but he also gets on my nerves.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Daughter too self-involved to make time for nanny
When my daughter was a baby, we had a nanny who took care of her for many years. Time has passed so quickly; my daughter is about to go to college.
Monday, December 9, 2019

Reader wonders when to go to the hospital
In the past few weeks, I have learned about several friends or people that I know who have died in their sleep. It is scaring me so much. These people were pretty young -- in their 40s and 50s. Each seemed relatively healthy, though one woman had the flu or some other similar respiratory problem. They have got me so worried, I can hardly sleep.
Saturday, December 7, 2019

Boyfriend acts cagey after business trip
My boyfriend told me that he was going on a business trip last week. When he got home, he dodged any questions about his trip. I did something I know I shouldn't have: I looked at his phone and went through his text messages. While I can't be 100% sure, it looks to me like he is seeing someone else. Maybe it's a colleague or another person, but some of the messages while he was away seem personal and intimate -- and they are not written to me or by me. I'm not sure what to do about this. I fear that if I ask him, he will just lie. But the words on his phone definitely point to something fishy going on. How should I proceed?
Friday, December 6, 2019

Mom wants to make sure identical twins are individuals
I have 10-year-old twin sons. Over the years, my husband and I have often given them the same gifts for holidays. We have done that in part because they are so similar. They are identical, and they spend most of their time together. This year, one of my twins took me aside and asked me to get him something very different from his brother. He further asked if I wouldn't tell his brother because he didn't want him to decide he wanted the same thing.
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Group's dysfunction causes volunteer to consider quitting
I belong to a public service organization that is largely dysfunctional. I know that's a bold statement, but I'm not kidding. I joined thinking that we were going to do good work for children in need in our community, but it looks like what we do more than anything is argue and bicker over little things that shouldn't matter. I have tried to speak up for the people we are supposed to represent, but I feel like the arguing is drowning out the good work that we are trying to do. I feel like it is time for me to resign my position. Some friends in the organization are encouraging me to run for president instead. I just don't think that I can make a big enough difference, even if I could win. I'm also not a quitter. What should I do?
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Preteen daughter needs a bra
My daughter is 10 years old, and she is already developing like a teenager. I am torn as to how to deal with this. When I was growing up, my mother made me wear undershirts until I was a teenager. She said that a nice girl shouldn't wear a bra until she is a teen. My daughter clearly needs to wear a bra. Without one, she is actually drawing more attention to her body than if she had more control of her budding breasts. I feel like I should get her fitted for a bra, but I keep hearing my mother's voice in my head. How can I reconcile this and support my child?
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Friend lashes out over husband's medical issues
My girlfriend has been confiding in me about her sex life with her husband. He has erectile dysfunction, and she is upset about it. He won't go to the doctor because he is too embarrassed.
Monday, December 2, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a conservative office where most people wear dark suits every day. I have conformed as much as I feel comfortable, but I hate wearing dark clothes all the time. Before this job, I wore bright colors every day. I don't want to rock the boat too much, but I feel unhappy when I cannot express even a little of my personality through my attire. I want to add pops of color in my blouses, dresses or accessories. Is this too radical? -- Too Dark
Saturday, November 30, 2019

Reader wants to avoid political conversations
DEAR HARRIETTE: The holidays are coming, and I am worried about how the conversations will go. We will be traveling down South to visit family, and in our relatively small family, we do not share similar political views. Given how divided Americans are in general, I am concerned about how our dinner-table conversations will go. In previous years, some of my cousins got into serious arguments with other family members because they did not agree on basic principles -- and this was before today's name-calling and nasty commentary.
Friday, November 29, 2019

Friend wants to pull daughter from team after accident
My friend has a daughter who is a gymnast. She is on scholarship at her college for gymnastics, and she is very good at it.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Woman ashamed to have health issues
I am 60 years old, and I feel like I am fitting a stereotype for too many people my age. A few years ago, I started having little health issues that have grown into bigger ones. I currently take a handful of meds for diseases that were probably preventable if I had paid better attention years ago. I haven't told any of my family members about my ailments because I am embarrassed. As an African American woman, it felt almost inevitable that I would get hypertension and diabetes, but I had told myself I wouldn't let it happen to me. I have failed. I don't want to admit this to my family. What can I do to take care of myself and still keep my secrets?
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Colleague taken aback by friend's story
I was talking to a colleague, and we were bragging about our children -- something that many parents do for small talk. I was saying something upbeat about my daughter when she revealed that her daughter was having a difficult childhood in part because she and her husband were going through a nasty divorce during that time. I listened and stopped talking about my life, which sounded idyllic in comparison.
Monday, November 25, 2019

Reader concerned about cheap husband
My husband is a cheapskate. He does not like to spend money on anything extra -- especially clothes. For this reason, he has been wearing the same clothes for years. Normally that doesn't matter, but we have a couple of big events to attend, and he does not have the proper clothing to wear to them. He needs a suit. The last time we bought one was probably 10 years ago, which is way more than 10 pounds ago. He tried on his suit recently, and he couldn't button the jacket. The whole thing was way too small. When I said something about it, he just scoffed. He cannot go to my work function wearing a suit that is so ill-fitting.
Saturday, November 23, 2019

Son requests new computer for Christmas
My son is at a new school this year, and he has asked for a fancy computer for Christmas so that he can have the same one as his friends. I checked with his instructors, and I know that the computer he has is sufficient for him to complete his work. But peer pressure is real, and he says he only wants one thing for Christmas
Friday, November 22, 2019

Friend upset that man won't allow help
I have a friend who is so independent that even when it is obvious he needs help, he refuses to accept it. He is a senior citizen, and he presents himself well. He had surgery recently, and I just happened to learn about it. He made me promise not to tell anybody, and he wouldn't let me help him in any way. I feel terrible. This is what friends are for -- to help out in times of need.
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Busy office worker wants to lose weight
In recent years, I have gone up a size almost every year. It's awful. I have been working like crazy at an office job that doesn't allow me to work out much. But this is not good. I know it's not healthy for me to have put on so much weight.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Invitee wonders if it's ok to double-book
The busiest season of the year has begun, and I seem to be getting a lot of invitations for events. I realize that I have gotten more than one invitation for a particular night, and I wish I could attend both events. One is a cocktail reception, and the other is a more formal dinner. Is it OK to go to the cocktail party briefly and then head to the dinner? I would be early for one and a little late for the other. I don't want to be rude, but both are important for my work
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New friend wants to be sensitive to child on the spectrum
I have a new friend who has a child who she says is "on the spectrum." I have heard the term, of course, but I have never met anyone who has autism or is considered to be on the spectrum, at least not to my knowledge.
Monday, November 18, 2019

Pushy friend won't take no for an answer
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is extremely pushy with her requests. She is a woman of privilege, and she is accustomed to getting her way immediately. She asked me to make an introduction, and I don't think it's a great idea. She pushed so hard that I reluctantly agreed.
Saturday, November 16, 2019

Freelancer questions going above friend's head
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a freelance contractor. Recently, a friend invited me to have lunch with her to talk about a project. I gave her a few of my ideas with the intention of getting her to hire me to work with her. That's what she said to me, after all.
Friday, November 15, 2019

Reader can't move past childhood for kids
When I was growing up, my parents never had enough money to buy gifts for us kids. We were a family of seven, and money did not stretch that far. So every year at Christmas, my mother would bake a cake or make something else for us to eat that everybody could share.
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Short woman tired of high-heel pain
I like to wear high-heeled shoes, mainly because I am pretty short. If I wear heels, I feel like I am at least getting up to near where other girls are. I like that aspect, but sometimes my feet hurt like crazy. When my friends are chilling in sneakers, I almost always have on heels. It's not fair. What can I do to feel good about myself and not have my feet hurt constantly?
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Reader nervous to introduce friends to boorish father
My father says a lot of things that I don't think are politically correct. He is quick to make racist and sexist comments. He is totally clueless about the way that people communicate today.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Veterans should receive more support
Today is Veterans Day. Too often we notice these holidays on the calendar, but they take on meaning only when they affect us directly. It is worth pointing out that we live in relative safety thanks to the sacrifices that our men and women in the armed forces offer in order to keep our country and its citizens safe.
Monday, November 11, 2019

Sister thinks widowed mom should stay single
DEAR HARRIETTE: My father died a few years ago, and my mother told me that she has met someone who has been taking her to dinner. She wanted to make sure my sister and I would be OK with that.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Friend shocked by exec's plastic surgery
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been friends with a female corporate executive for some years now. She is lovely and smart, and our relationship is always warm. I saw her after not seeing her for about six months, and it was obvious to me that she had had plastic surgery. I'm sorry, but she looked crazy to me. Yes, she is getting older and a bit overweight, but what she did to her face makes her look totally fake.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Junior executive tired of loose-lipped colleagues
DEAR HARRIETTE: I realize that even when I say things to co-workers in confidence, they often tell other people. I suppose I should remember that from elementary school, but I am an adult, and in my professional life, I expect people to follow protocol.
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Business owner questions cutting landline
I have had a landline for my business for more than 20 years, but I hardly ever use it anymore. I have been looking for ways to cut costs, and I had the thought that I should just make my cellphone my primary number. Most of the calls that I get on voicemail are solicitors anyway, so I don't think I will miss too much business. I'm a little nervous, though, since I have had my number for so long. I do use social media and have a website where I can list my cell number. What do you think? Is it time to go for it?
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Member being priced out of civic organization
I belong to a civic organization that is a lot of fun but very expensive. The dues are high, and the activities cost extra money. I have scraped together the funds over the years, but I am beginning to feel stressed out about it. I'm wondering whether it makes sense for me to continue to be a member. I am getting close to retirement, and I really can't afford it. I'm already friends with a number of the women, so I know I will continue to stay close to them. It's hard to part ways, though. What do you think?
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Sick son doesn't want to miss school
It seems like everybody in my house has come down with a cold or something. My son is barking like a dog, as my mother used to say. It seems like a regular cold, but I know he should rest. He is worried that he is going to miss an important test in school. He is also afraid that if he goes to school, he may end up getting other kids sick. He went in one day already, and a teacher wouldn't let him in her classroom. How can I help him get well while still staying current in school?
Monday, November 4, 2019

Reader has a buying problem
I have a spending problem. I can't seem to stop myself from buying things online. Plus whenever I go out to the mall or something, I can't just look. I end up buying something. I don't know why I have this compulsion. My house is overrun with stuff that I have bought but don't need and have nowhere to store. I think I have a problem. I am not rich and cannot afford all this stuff. But I can't seem to stop, either. HELP!
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Family wants to be sensitive with party invitations
My family and I are planning a big birthday celebration for our dad. He is turning 85, and we want to honor him while he is alive. As we have been going over the invitation list, we came to some people who have recently lost their parents. Is it insensitive to invite the surviving adult children of my father's friends who have died this year? We don't want to be rude, but at the same time, we have been close to this family since we were little. It seems wrong to exclude these people. What do you think?
Friday, November 1, 2019

Boss takes credit for employee's work
I have been working on a project for six months, and at a companywide meeting, my boss took all the credit for the work that I have done. Yes, it was for our team, but he did nothing, and I did it all, yet he acted like he was the victor. I was so mad.
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Holidays are stressful on unhappy marriage
I have been fighting with my husband over everything, it seems. I am not happy, and he and I are not getting along. It is time for us to plan our annual trip to visit his family for the holidays, and I do not want to go. I don't feel like smiling and acting like everything is fine, or being interrogated by his family about what's wrong. I'm not filing for divorce, either. I just don't want to pretend anymore. I want to go to therapy with my husband, but he refuses. What can I do?
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Parents want to stop teenage daughter from vaping
My teenage daughter and her friends got into a bit of trouble at a party this weekend. My husband and I discovered that they were vaping. I know that this activity is targeted to teens. I also remember that I tried smoking cigarettes when I was a teenager. That said, I feel like the stakes are much higher for teens today than they were back in my time.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Formerly successful woman feels like a failure
I used to be well-known back in the day when I was at the top of my career. Now I can barely make ends meet. I feel like such a failure.
Monday, October 28, 2019

Reader wants to clarify relationships at events
I get invited to events all the time with my work. Occasionally my husband wants to go, but not most of the time. His work is demanding, and he likes his day to end at 6, not start up again at 7 or 8.
Saturday, October 26, 2019

Husband isn't pulling weight in busy family
I have two young children and a husband who works all the time. He wants to be supportive, but it's a hollow idea. When he gets home from work, he is so tired he may spend a few minutes with the kids, but that's about it. I work part-time while the kids are in day care, then I'm at home with them for the rest of the day. We can't afford full-time day care. I don't know what to do. I feel totally stressed out and unsupported.
Friday, October 25, 2019

Parent wants kids to read, not watch tv
I know that reading is important for building the mind. I have always been a reader, and I want my children to enjoy reading as well. The problem is that my husband loves to watch TV, and we live in a culture where binge-watching stupid programs is the norm. How can I train my children to love reading and not to become entranced by the TV?
Thursday, October 24, 2019

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