My neighborin our apartment building has a crush on my daughter, (she is 12, he is 18), and every Valentine’s Day he givesher a huge gift; like a giant box of chocolates, and last year he gaveher an enormous cake that read “To My Valentine.” How can I discourage this! –Signed, Overwhelmed
Kerry says: Tell him if he refuses to stop serenading your daughter you will get an order of protection requiring him to stay away from her and he will be arrested if he violates that order.
Jacqueline says: I think Kerry’s being a little much. Tell him that although you appreciate his generosity, your daughter isfar too young to be receiving intimategifts from adults.
For Valentine’s Day, my 12-year-oldsixth-grade son wants to take a sixth-grade girl to the movies, whom he’s “madly” in love with, followed by soda and ice cream afterwards at a shop two doors away. Do you think they’re too young to go out on a date? –Signed, Growing Pains
Kerry says: I think that it’s fine as long as they promise not to stray away from the area, and you pick them up shortly after the movie.
Jacqueline says: I disagree with Kerry. If you allow him the privilege of dating alone at age 12, what will it be like whenhe dates at age 13? 14? A 12-year-old is fartoo emotionally immature to understand the consequences of his actions.
I hate Valentine’s Day because of my 25-year-old daughter. She is fat — real fat. She’s never had a Valentine’s date. I feel guilty because I have Valentine’s Day plans with a gorgeous date (I’m divorced) and she’ll be staying home watching my youngest daughter.
–Signed, Sexy Mom
Jacqueline Says: Suggest she go out with friends or to a singles event. Your daughter will have a higher sense of self-worth being proactive rather than sitting in envy of her mother’s love life.
Kerry says: The way you talk about your daughter by calling her “real fat” and referring to yourself as “sexy mom” makes me wonder if you’re validating any self-hate she might have. Instead, ask if she would like to work out with you, and cook healthy foods. Be a role model; don’t shove it in her face.
I am an African-American dad. I have a good job and my kids have good lives.My 12-year-old son goes to a public school in Brooklyn. The problem is he talks in that terrible ghetto slang. I fear he will end up in a low-end job because he won’t speak proper English. –Signed,At My Wits End
Jacqueline Says: You can not stop the way he speaks since you are not with him the majority of the day. Focus on his grades, which are more important. His slang will cease as he matures and enters the adult working world.
Kerry Says: I disagree. Tell him he must speak Standard English or he is grounded. Continue to ground him whenever you hear it. Eventually he’ll stop, at least around you.
I’ve been called to my son’s school now twice as he’s been accused of stealing.However, the child accusing him is the neighborhood bully and full-fledged liar. Unfortunately the principal doesn’t know this. But the principal believes the other child. I believe my son. This will go on my son’s record! – Signed, Worried
Jacqueline says: Have a meeting with both your son and the principal, together. Ask the principal his reasoningas to why he believes the other child. Together, the three of you should come up with a solution.
Kerry says: Relax, he’s only in the fifth grade. Make an appointment to see the principal with your son and explain this to him. I’m sure he’s reasonableand will take your point into consideration.
Our daughter has always been a model student; highest grades,excelling in whatever she did.Now that she’s in juniorhigh school, she’s hanging out with a “rougher” crowd, and she’s becoming like them. She talks rougher, dresses tough, hangs with bikers, skips school and her grades are going way down. The way she speaks to us is horrible.Help us please! –Signed, Desperate
Jacqueline says: Your daughter is at the age where the opinions of her peers have more influence over her actions then her parents. Lay down some ground rules: First, she better respect her parents, second, she must maintain a certain grade. If she skips school or doesn’t abide by these rules she will be yanked out of that school altogether.
Kerry says: I agree. It’s your house, your rules. You and your husband need to sit her down and explain the rules that she must follow without exception. If she breaks these rules, ground her good.Period.
My dad goes to weekly poker games on Thursdays, so he says. I’m 17 and last week I followed him. A good looking woman answered the door, and they kissed on the mouth. I am sickened about it, especially how easily he lied about the game when he got back. I hate my dad. I want to tell my mom. I’m about to explode! –Signed, Hate My Dad
Jacqueline says: You need to address this to your father immediately as your mental health depends on it. He should be the one to talk to your mom. Hopefully, they can work this out, but be prepared that it might end up for the worse.
Kerry says: I agree. Tell your dad what you saw and that you prefer he tell your mother, or you will. Try to forgive him as he had no intentions of hurting anyone. It may be the love your parents once shared is fading and it’s time for them to move on.
–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.