I’m a single man who’s raised my daughter alone. She’s 19, lives at home.
She doesn’t do drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol. She’s on a full athletic scholarship to a local college.
My house has always been a refuge for her female young-adult friends to visit and stay over.
They come here because they can be themselves, even when I’m around.
The reason? Generally, their moms snoop. They ask incessant questions. It chases their daughters away. The moms then worry and cry.
It’s not that way at my house. Having intellectual conversations, and allowing your daughter to open up about her life, without seeming consequences, has its rewards.
My daughter likes me. During this process of "sharing," I tell her stories about my present and past life.
They’re mostly factual, but others are directed to stimulate thought and let her make educated judgements about her life’s future path.
Snooping and incessant questions will chase your son or daughter away.
Snoop-less in South Carolina
You make a proud case for parental trust and the reward of openness from appreciative children.
Would that this were a sure formula in every family!
I agree that snooping and interrogating are turn-offs to anyone even close to puberty age, let alone young adults.
Yet, in this world of internet “gotchas” and bullying, parents must watch for any signs of potentially harmful interactions in their children’s lives.
Hopefully, they do that by listening more than asking, encouraging more than frightening, showing love and respect more than fear and anxiety.
One note: Don’t be smug. Some parents who try as hard as you clearly did, to keep communication open, get defeated by circumstances beyond their control.
I relate to the nanny/caregiver who feels life’s being unfair to her (June 10):
I also emigrated here as a nanny looking for a brighter future. I had a university degree from back home but worked as a live-in caregiver for four children.
I soon realized that most of the other nannies are so focused about helping their families financially, that they lose track and don't design a plan for themselves to improve their future.
Sadly, most stay working as nannies or set out to work as Personal Support Workers (PSW's), or cooking in nursing homes, overworked and underpaid.
I didn't want that for me, so I prepared myself and started working for a bank as a teller until I could become a permanent resident and qualify for a loan toward further education.
It hasn't been easy but I'm finishing my last semester. I was able to start working for a big organization that I always wanted to work for, making way more money than I ever did.
To that nanny - Don't despair or lose hope; your friend's luxury items or extra money don't matter.
Unless you make the decision to invest in yourself and your education, upgrading your skills for the job market, the quality of life for you and your family won't improve.
Be smart, think about getting ahead with your own two feet, and upgrading your education so you can help your family in the future.
Don't fall into the trap of only filling short-term needs.
Ex-nanny Chasing Her Dreams
Many nannies and PSW’s work long hours and several jobs to finance families struggling back home.
Their contribution to employers’ child care needs and health support for the sick and elderly, is far beyond what they’re paid.
Good employers should also encourage them to make plans for improving their own futures.
I’m almost 15, and in high school. A friend’s older brother, two grades higher than me, told me that one of his friends liked me and called “dibs” on me.
But he's waiting until I’m older next year.
He blushes when I see him. And whenever one of his friends sees me, they say that I’m his girl.
But I’m unsure if they're doing it as a joke because everyone says it's not a joke.
To clarify, the slang term, to “call dibs,” refers to a male claiming the rights to pursue a female, meant in either a serious or sarcastic fashion (Urban Dictionary).
It means that the female - you – has no choice.
Don’t be flattered.
Learn right now that it’s up to you whom you like.
Tell your friends that no one has dibs on you. If he’s interested next year, he needs to show it, not expect it. Then you’ll decide.
Tip of the day:
Parent-child communication benefits from more listening than questioning.