Can I stop my son from wearing my clothes?
I think my son is a cross-dresser. As a young boy, he loved watching me do my makeup (and I let him try my lipstick once or twice). And since the age of 11 (he is now 14), he has always dressed as a girl for Halloween. Finally, the other day I found a bag in the back of his closet with women’s undergarments. I’m appalled. Is it my fault? What can I do?
Jacqueline: No, it’s not your “fault.” Plenty of women put on makeup with zero interest from their sons. If your son is a cross-dresser, then there is nothing you can do but let him know you love him no matter what. There is no magic pill that stops cross-dressing.
Kerry: I disagree with Jackie about you jumping to conclusions, because your son IS a cross-dresser. However, I agree that you should accept and embrace him fully because he is who he is and he is not going to change.
I came home the other day and caught my 16-year-old son having sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend. I was appalled and forbid them to have sex in my house. I can’t even stand the sight of her anymore and I want him to dump her. What should I do?
Jacqueline: Mid-adolescence is often the time teens explore sex. And you’re not going to stop them. What you can do, however, is educate him on the importance of safe sex.
Kerry: I agree with Jackie in that you should educate him in contraceptives and safe sex. That said, what century are you from? This is about the age when kids lose their virginity.
Besides, where should they have sex? On the roof?
My ex-husband and I have two young children, ages 7 and 10, of whom I have the main custody — but we do share them for holidays and with their grandparents. However, the children really favor one set of grandparents over the other because the other set is so strict. I know I can force them to go, but they are so miserable there. … Is it really fair?
Kerry: One meal out of the year is not going to kill them. They may later appreciate the fact that they got to know both grandparents.
Jacqueline: When their grandparents are long gone, they will value the time they spent with them.
My husband and I believe our 6-year-old is being bullied either on the school bus or at school, but he won’t tell us. But he cries every school morning that he doesn’t want to go on the bus and he doesn’t want to go to school, and he used to love going to school. I’ve spoken to the school bus driver, his teacher and to some of his friends — and no one seems to have seen anything. But I know something is going on. What should I do?
Kerry: Have a sit-down conversation and very calmly get to the bottom of this. Have a talk with the school counselor as well to see if he or she can help. If your son is being bullied, I would take immediate action: Speak with the principal, teacher and the bully’s parents.
Jacqueline: And if this approach doesn’t work, try a child psychologist. There is a problem, so you need to get to the bottom of it before it gets worse.