Tag Archives: Son

Dear John: Mom’s Fears Are Like Riding A Bike

**After a long hiatus for some reason – most likely boredom – I have decided to return to the advice game but with a little re-branding. Instead of being called Jaw With Jaw I have decide to go with the more traditional Dear John. Yes, it’s cheesy, I know. But it also gets the point across of what I am replying to at times. You will still be able to search for the keyword Jaw With John but know that I have now called my column Dear John.**

I need advice about my son. He has started doing bicycle training with a coach and some other cyclists, and he likes it a lot. But I continually hear about accidents with bicycles, and every time he goes, I am frightened for him.

My husband was a cyclist for many years, and he encourages him. I want to do the same, but fear stops me. What must I do? I pray every time he goes and surrender him to God. Is this the right way? — FEARFUL IN NICOSIA, CYPRUS

Dear Fearful:

All you can do is pray. Unless you want to follow him out there and take up cycling yourself!

But in all honesty, this isn’t the Tour de France. And most of the cyclists I come in contact with – not literal contact! I have not hit a cyclist with my car before! – are very vocal (and really, they’re a-holes: they rarely stop at stop signs, the ride much faster than the actual road speed limit, they take up full lanes when they’re not supposed to, etc etc etc) so if something should happen, I think the other cyclists with him will be there to help out. They will also prepare him for riding on his own and guide him on what to do – as can your husband. So relax, mom!

Just make sure he wears a helmet!

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“Jaw With John” – Lazy Son Needs Some Motivation

My son is 27 and lives with me because I have MS. I can do most things for myself but I have no balance and use a walker. My son primarily takes the trash out.

Our house has a bonus room in back where he and his friends can hang out so that we have our own space.

My problem is that it takes nagging him many times to get him to do something that I can’t do, and I am sick of it.

His father was the same way. When we were married I did all of the simple maintenance because it was easier, but now I can’t.

I don’t want to make him feel he has to take care of me. He needs his own life. He has a job he loves but does not make that much money. Should I kick him out? — Disabled Mom

Dear Mom:

He doesn’t make much money and you want to kick him out? This may cause him to pursue a higher-paying job or he could flourish in the job he currently has and succeed. OR he could end up right back in that extra room because he ran out of money.

Another option would be to charge him rent so that you could hire some help to do those things around the house. If he doesn’t like it then he can do those things for you in exchange for living there. If he was a good son he would do those things after maybe the second time asking…

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“Jaw With John” – Are You Barking Mad?

My wife and I will soon be first-time grandparents, because our son and his wife are expecting. The problem is their dog.

When they met, his then-girlfriend had a “rescue” dog. As far as I can tell, this dog is vicious and completely out of control.

My son has been bitten at least twice, and the only times I have ever gotten close to the dog it attacked me. When company comes over, the dog is locked in the garage.

Our concern is what happens when they bring the baby home. “Oh, she’s just territorial” is the excuse we hear. Territorial? Wait until a new pet human shows up.

They have several nieces, ranging in age from 1 to 6. We live several states away. Would it be reasonable to ask for photos of the dog playing with the nieces as proof that this dog is safe with children?

We’ve also considered calling the other grandparents, but everyone spends all their energy keeping my son’s wife as happy as she can be.

We have talked about calling child welfare if it appears they plan to let the new baby and the dog live in the same house.

If we do that it would certainly destroy any future relationship, but someone has to have some sense. — Grandparent Prepared to Call CPS

Dear Grandparent:

You sound like a cat person.

Is “it reasonable to ask for photos of the dog playing with the nieces as proof that this dog is safe with children?” No. It’s entirely unreasonable. They don’t have to show you anything. Just because the dog doesn’t interact well with you doesn’t mean it doesn’t with others. Dogs can be picky. And as a rescue dog, they need more time to adjust to their new surroundings because they may only known a certain, awful, way of life.

What right do you have to call child protective services if they let the dog and baby live in the same house? None. It’s their dog and their baby. They will deal with it on their own terms. Any action you take regarding CPS will only hurt your relationship with you son and daughter-in-law.

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“Jaw With John” – Son Is A Regular Don Jon

Both my husband and I are professionals. We live in a beautiful and affluent part of the country.

We have two sons, ages 14 and 10. Some time ago we discovered that our older son had accessed pornography by creating a false account on our computer. After confessing, he seemed contrite, promised us that he wouldn’t do it again, and we decided to give him another chance.

A few months later we gave him a smartphone for his 14th birthday, but we chose one that didn’t have many bells and whistles. We made him sign the contract, and (just for good measure) I asked my younger son to hold on to the locked phone once the boys came home from school.

I found out yesterday that on the days that my younger son was at school for after-school activities, my older son was home watching porn. My husband and I are stunned, shocked, repulsed, and have no idea where to go.

We are worried that if I enroll him in a group for porn addiction, he will learn other things that we would rather he not be exposed to. I am trying to find research about this, but am not getting the information I am seeking. Other than this, my son gets all As, plays a sport, reads voraciously, and in general appears to be a responsible kid. — Very Worried Mom

Dear Mom:

What does your location and income have to do with any of this? Are you trying to imply that what is going on with your son isn’t normally a problem associated with the affluent and those living in a “beautiful part of the country”? You’re trying to make a correlation that just isn’t there.

Why would you give him a smartphone? That seems like a way to exacerbate the situation. Why not give him a flip phone? It’s the safer alternative given your fears. I didn’t receive a phone until I was 15 and a freshman in high school. Young kids don’t need phones. I see 6 and 8-year-olds walking around staring at their phones (causing future neck and back problems) and they are disconnected with the world and it’s just … another story for another time.

Now that I’ve got the phone part out of the way, I want to address the other – more important – part. The porn.

Maybe he’s just super horny.

My initial response is “boys will be boys.” Because as a 14-year-old he’s starting to fully experience hormones and that includes finding and watching porn. But that would be too dismissive.

Listen, you said so yourself he does well in school and stays out of trouble. So what’s the problem? He’s not dabbling in drugs or getting drunk or stealing things from the Piggly Wiggly. He’s watching porn. Yes, I know porn can have negative effects on the developing brain of a young adult. It can also represent an unhealthy version of what sex actually is. Because it isn’t what porn depicts – at least not today’s version of it. If anything that is what you need to address with him and not this “addiction” because when it comes to it your son needs to know what he is seeing is not real and that is not how someone should treat a woman or women in the real world.

Then again, I’m the guy who wrote his senior capstone mockumentary about professionals in the adult film industry called Adult Content. I also worked on the Joseph Gordon-Levitt film Don Jon  – a film about this very topic! So maybe I’m not the best person to be getting advice from on this topic. And since I like to keep things 100 here at Jaw With John, I will admit that in high school and into college I watched a considerable amount of porn but still managed to do well in school and graduate. SO there’s hope.

I realize I’m not helping in the slightest so I will close with this: If after telling him to stop he continues to watch porn and you catch him then you need to sit down and talk with him.

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“Jaw With John” – Littering And Littering And Littering And His New Girlfriend

Last year my adult son and his girlfriend lived with us for several months. This girl and I became fast friends. When they broke up, it broke both our hearts. We have stayed friends but don’t really communicate much.

Since then, my son has met a wonderful girl and they have their own place. She is smart, sweet and kind, and I love her, but whenever I think of her and my son, I always think “son and ex-girlfriend’s name.” I have to focus before I speak to her, or about her, and I’m terribly afraid the other girl’s name is going to spill out of my mouth.

Do you have any suggestions how I can get this other girl’s name out of my head? — Tripping Over My Tongue

Dear Tripping:

What do you mean “Do you have any suggestions”? How can you not see what to do?

Just practice saying the new girl’s name, along with your sons, over and over again. Duh. Take a cue from the Super Troopers clip below and say the pair together.

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