Tag Archives: lifestyle

“Jaw With John” – 9-Year-Old Cannot Be Reasoned With When It Comes To Good Habits

My 9-year-old daughter has several friends whom we love and who are good buddies for her. However, the rules in their homes are different from those at ours. One friend in particular, “Sarah,” eats a lot of junk food and watches more TV than we allow. When my daughter asks why she can’t have chips and ice cream after school, or why we watch movies only on weekends, I remind her that good food and exercise make her healthy, and with less TV she does better in school.

I’m not interested in critiquing Sarah or her family, who are lovely people we really like. However, I do want to make the connection between unhealthy lifestyle choices and possible consequences because this is a subject we’ll keep revisiting as my daughter grows up.

I have been trying to say things like, “Everyone makes their own decisions. This is why we do it this way,” but at 9, my daughter sees things as pretty black or white. If our way is right, then their way must be wrong. I’m totally failing at subtlety. Is there a better approach that I could take to talking about this without invoking comparisons? — LIFESTYLE CHOICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA

Dear Lifestyle Choices,

There is no reasoning with a 9-year-old! Doi!

Because some [children] aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some [children] just want to watch the world burn.” OK, not really, but I just like that quote from¬†The Dark Knight¬†and felt like playing around with it for this response.

I remember growing up I had to go across the street to my friend Thomas’ house to play PlayStation or Virtual Boy (I’m dating myself here, whatever). I had asked for a gaming system for years and years but was repeatedly denied because my parents wanted me to focus on school and playing with friends and being outside and blah blah blah. (I did have a Game Boy, by the way, so that kept me occupied)

The lesson here is that every parent parents their child’s behavior and actions differently. You need to be firm with your daughter and tell her why you are making the choices you are. Because, let’s face it, you are looking out for her best interests so that, in the long run, she can be healthy and develop good habits. You are her parent, not her friend, tell her what’s what and stick to your guns!

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“Jaw With John” – Engaged Friends Are Eager To Get You Married

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. I am 24 and he is 27. We have enjoyable, well-paying careers, own our home and are busy redecorating. We have had a number of friends get engaged within the last year and are planning weddings.

Almost all of these couples feel that because they are engaged, we should be engaged too. Every time I am with any of them, they ask when we are getting married, when he is buying me a ring, etc. Even my single friends and his family have started asking.

Neither of us is in a rush to be married. Our lifestyle is very different than that of our engaged friends. We are not as eager to be married as they are. We can still do all the things we want to do without signing a marriage certificate. What do I say to these people to get them to stop asking? I’ve already tried “We aren’t in a rush,” and it doesn’t work. I don’t feel I owe them a huge explanation. I just want something that may stop the repetition. — Wondering

Dear Wondering:

Tell them, “we will get engaged when we are ready to get engaged.” Then stare blankly at them for five full seconds to physically indicate how done you are with this line of questioning.

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“Jaw With John” – Boyfriend Needs A Budget

When my boyfriend and I started dating seven months ago, I loved that we went out on fun dates. However, I started wondering where his money was coming from. I now know that he still receives income from his mother, even though he’s 23 and out of school.

Although he’s working a part-time job, I know it’s not enough to cover his bills. When I confronted him about searching for more work, he said he’s waiting to find his “true passion.”

He spends money on meals out, expensive clothes, and acting and writing classes. I value a strong work ethic, and it’s difficult for me to see him using his parents’ money rather than trying to make enough on his own.

How do I discuss this with him? Is it wrong to impose my values on him? — Anxious

Dear Anxious:

Some dudes will never learn. That’s a fact.

Me? I’m a dude who still lives at home but I don’t get money from my parents. I work various jobs to make money as I try to find a more permanent employment situation. But, I also don’t spend the money (which I don’t have) on things I don’t need like clothes and meals out, like your guy does. I have something called self-control. He seems to need a certain lifestyle and cannot deviate. He’ll find out the hard way that his lifestyle cannot be maintained by his current income.

You can discuss this with him, but you can’t impose your values on him. He won’t listen. Trust me. It’ll suck but, he needs to learn budgeting on his own.

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“Jaw With John” – When It’s Time To Party, Party Hard … In Moderation

My friend and I were always the party girls in our group, always up for a good time, drinking and dancing until the sun came up. I treasured the close bond we shared and our fun, carefree lifestyle.

I recently became pregnant and my husband and I are thrilled. My party-girl lifestyle has dramatically altered. Although my aforementioned friend is very excited for us, I’m having trouble with her and the lifestyle I used to enjoy.

Every time we go out my friend has numerous cocktails and beers, and the increasing intoxication makes it difficult to have a conversation. If she has gone out the night before, she is hung over and unreliable. I am beginning not to want to spend time with her because I do not like her behavior and attitude.

In a few months we have a planned beach vacation and I am torn. Part of me wants to cancel, simply because I do not want to spend several days watching her get drunk and putting up with her antics. Another part of me understands that I, just a few months ago, was this person as well, whether I like to see the behavior or not. I understand that pregnancy and child-rearing change relationships and perhaps my friend is struggling. I am worried that talking to her about it will start a fight, but keeping it in doesn’t work. What should I do? — Pregnant and Confused

Dear Pregnant:

Are you sure you’re not just reliving some key scenes from Knocked Up?

Your friend clearly hasn’t fully adjusted to your new lifestyle and neither have you. Having a kid is a little bit like graduating from college. You partied for four years and then all of a sudden you can’t anymore and you need to join the real world. It’ll take some time to adjust and learn what you can and cannot continue to do but it will happen. 

You want to spend time with your friend but you can’t do what you’ve been doing. Find new activities to partake in that aren’t booze-related. That should have a trickle down effect and lead to a new dynamic. Don’t get me wrong, you can still party hard every now and then (after the child is born), it just needs to be in moderation. A good lesson for your friend to learn for the future.

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