Tag Archives: parents

“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” – Graduate Faces Ageism, Kinda, Sorta, Not Really … It’s For A Party

I’m a 22-year-old college student on the verge of graduating this May. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for more than five years, and I am extremely close with his family, especially his sister “Claudia” and her three children (ages 6, 3 and 6 months).

My parents are throwing me a graduation party at their home, and they don’t want any guests under the age of 10. How do I tell Claudia — a dear friend — that her children won’t be invited without upsetting her? (I have small cousins who won’t be attending either.)

It truly is nothing personal, but I know she will probably take it personally. I don’t want to cause drama, but I do want to honor my parents’ wishes that no small children be present. How do I tell her? Help! — SOON-TO-BE GRADUATE

Dear Soon-To-Be Graduate,

Unfortunately, you are merely a guest at this party. Etiquette dictates that you adhere to the hosts rules and, if she’s invited, tell Claudia that she cannot bring her young children but do mention that other young children will not be present either. It sucks, I know but dems are da rules! And if you want to throw a party (not in opposition to the one thrown by your parents) where there are no age limits, go ahead!

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“Jaw With John” – College Student To Be Needs A Wake Up Call

My son “Jake” is headed to college in the fall, and I want his last year at home to be memorable and happy. He’s a good student and has been admitted to the college of his choice. The problem is, he can’t wake himself up in the morning. He switches off the alarm and goes back to sleep. I must go up to his room several times to wake him because he won’t get up the first time.

Jake is otherwise independent. He does his own laundry and keeps his room spotless. I’m spending a large part of my savings on his tuition, and I’m worried that unless he can wake himself in the mornings, he won’t get to classes on time.

I have tried talking to him about putting the alarm on “snooze” instead of turning it off, but nothing works. My husband suggests we pour a glass of cold water on Jake’s face 10 minutes after the alarm goes off. Can you help us solve this problem? — UP ALREADY IN NEW JERSEY

Dear Up,

You need to hit the snooze yourself.

He needs to learn to get up on his own. I assume that at this point he drives himself, or is in a carpool, for school, so, if he continually wakes up late and gets to school late then that’s on him. He’ll learn VERY quickly to get up with his alarm. Which will then prepare him for college life and being accountable.

You need to tell him that there isn’t going to be a “wake up call” if he ignores his alarm once he’s away at school anymore. You also need to tell him that this is a huge financial undertaking for you and your husband and he needs to take it seriously.

Listen, in college he might not have any early morning classes. He could very well choose courses that only happen in the late morning/early afternoon. It’s entirely possible that he could still turn off his alarm but still get to class on time. But, that’s probably not going to happen. Everyone has at least one 8am class during their four years. He needs to understand the implications if he does snooze through class.

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“Jaw With John” – What Happens Between The Sheets Should Stay Between The Sheets

I have been with my boyfriend for about eight years.

The other night we went out to dinner with my parents. One of their friends came over to the table to say hello. The conversation came around to this elderly friend’s age. She is 80 years old.

My boyfriend asked her “if she still fools around.”

We were all so embarrassed. He showed no respect to me, my parents or to their friend.

He does not think he said anything wrong. He thinks it is funny. He often talks about our sex life in a social gathering, even though he can see this makes people very uncomfortable. I feel this is a private topic. How do I handle this if it happens again? — Not Amused

Dear Not:

Woof.

Ouch.

Other synonyms for falling flat on ones face.

Your boyfriend seems to lack a filter when it comes to things of a sexual nature. This is a problem.

He’s also painfully unfunny. I recommend you talk with him in private and tell him that the things that you two do between the sheets are between the two of you and no one else. If he continually brings it up in other conversations then you might want to kick him out of the bed and see how he changes … or doesn’t.

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“Jaw With John” – Living Alone But Not Lonely

I’m having some difficulties with my siblings. Recently I’ve moved into my own place. I love it.

The problem is that because I live alone, my siblings believe that I’m somehow lonely. They keep trying to get me to go on blind dates with people they know, and saying stuff like, “You should meet this guy, he’s great.” Or, “How can you spend so much time by yourself? When are you going to have kids? You’ll make a great mom.”

I’ve been turning them down so often that some of them have shifted to, “You should meet this girl I know,” which is even more annoying because I’m straight.

The thing of it is, my parents got divorced when I was a preteen and ever since then, I took care of other people — my younger siblings, my older sibling’s children, and a parent who was ill.

For the first time in my life, the only person I have to take care of is me, and I’m in no rush to change that. Does that seem selfish? — Solitary and Happy Sister

Dear Sister:

Selfish? Nah. You seem content and happy with who you are. In turn, people who are happy in relationships – your siblings perhaps – feel the need to impose their version of happiness onto you. In their eyes if you are not experiencing the same happiness as them, then you are not happy – ergo they keep trying to set you up on dates and meet people. It’s annoying but they are only looking out for you and want you to be happy.

Tell them what you just told me. You are cherishing this newfound solitude and want to enjoy it before rushing into anything.

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