Father wishes for ‘like father, like son’
My son, who is now 11, is not into sports at all. In fact, my daughters are all in soccer and basketball leagues. I’m so disappointed, as I always imagined we would be going to games together, talk shop about teams, etc. Any advice on how to encourage him to join a sport?
–Signed, Disappointed Dad
Jacqueline says: The message you’re sending to your son is most likely destroying his self-esteem. Stop shoving sports down his throat and enjoy bonding with his interests. Talk sports shop with your daughters, instead.
Kerry says: I agree. Allow him to explore what interests him and find ways to encourage him to do that. Embrace the things you might have in common and you will maintain a healthy father-son relationship.
One of the kids in our school car pool is constantly late — consequently making all the kids late for school. What is the best approach to this problem: speaking to the kid or his mom? –Signed, Late
Kerry says: I would speak to his mother. Let her know that if he continues to be late, he will have to be out of the car pool. It is not fair that the other kids have to be late for school. If he continues to be late, then follow through.
Jacqueline says: You seem timid about this situation. You have the right to get your kid to school on time. Talk to both the boy and his mother and straighten this nonsense out once and for all.
I caught my 11-year-old daughter in her bedroom laughing and giggling with a boy — and both of them almost naked! They said it was because it was so hot, but I think they were “exploring.” I made the boy go home, and called his parents. They didn’t think anything of it!
Kerry says: They probably were doing a little harmless exploring. Let it go. They know you were not happy about it. Chances are they feel ashamed and won’t do it again.
Jacqueline says: I disagree with Kerry; they are too young to be fooling around. If this continues, what’s next? Sex at 12? A baby at 13? My question to you is: Why are you allowing an 11-year-old boy in your daughter’s room?
I’m a 17-year-old guy. I get good grades in school, run on the track team and work full-time on the weekends. The problem is, my parents take my entire paycheck to put toward college, and I have NO money to ever ask a girl out to a movie or anything. They won’t budge on my paycheck. It’s really embarrassing — I really like this one girl, and I can’t even ask her out.
Kerry says: Your parents are not allowing you to learn how to manage your own money, nor or they allowing you the satisfaction of spending on things that you want. Suggest that they allow you to spend half of your money on the things that you need and the other half will go directly into savings.
Jacqueline says: Your parents are being totally unreasonable. Make a plan and put it on paper. Show them what you expect to earn, what you expect to save, including a small allotment saved for your other interests.
I have to watch my nephew again this spring break. My concerns are, I’m much stricter than my sister. And when my nephew comes, he expects to be allowed to do the same things as he does at home. Then my children want to do whatever it is! –Signed, Anxious But Strict
Jacqueline says: If he is staying with you, he must abides by your rules. Tell him this. Be gentle but firm.
Kerry says: I agree. Explain clearly that everyone is to abide to the same rules. If he breaks them, there’s a consequence to pay. It is far better to be communicative and firm then to feel anxious and hope everything turns for the best.
Sadly, our 15-year-old daughter was not invited to the Junior-Senior Prom this year, but she wants to go anyway. She says a lot of the girls go by themselves. Why would a girl want to go to a prom by herself? And why would I want to invest in a prom dress, shoes, having her hair done, etc. for such a lonely occasion? It doesn’t make sense! –Signed, Confused
Kerry says: Do you want to be the one accountable for not allowing your daughter the once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to her prom? There are more important things to stress over; don’t let whether or not your daughter has a date to the prom get the best of you.
Jacqueline says: I agree with Kerry. It doesn’t need to make sense to you. I’m certain it hurts her that she wasn’t invited. Don’t make it more painful; buy her the dress and shoes and wish her the best time of her life.
–Kerry and Jacqueline Donelli are twin sisters and the filmmakers of the comedy, “Titillating Steven.” They are pursuing a master’s degree and then a doctorate in Mental Health Counseling in NYC.