I’m a white Canadian male married to a Caribbean-born woman. We have a great relationship, and live in a community with lots of diversity and “mixed” families like ours.
I’ve recently been offered a transfer by my company to a better position with higher pay.
The problem is, it’s in a big American city, which is often in the news regarding racial tensions.
We have a son, age eight, and I’m worried for his future there, since he’s a visibly interracial child. Should I refuse this job promotion?
It’s an important decision that only you and your wife can make together. It should be based on information, not fear.
Tell your boss that you appreciate the opportunity but must assure it’s the right move for your family.
Do the research – the stories behind the news. Talk to people living there in similar circumstance that you’ll have.
Visit for at least a few days and look at neighbourhoods in which you’d consider living, the school your son would attend, the community activities, and services available to each of you.
Try to find an area where other “mixed” families reside, and get a sense of the level of social acceptance they face.
Remember, bigotry and ignorance can exist in every city.
You need to feel confident that all three of you can make friends there, and live with peace of mind.
Otherwise, the perks of the job aren’t worth it.
My husband and I are having difficulty with our daughter, 16, during clothes-shopping trips.
She has difficulty picking out items that flatter her figure.
We respectfully and gently offer our advice, which she ignores. What she does buy, she only wears a few times. And she only wants to shop at high-end stores.
We have no problem spending money for quality clothing. But no matter what we, or her 18-year-old sister says, she won’t budge on her own taste.
Example: Shopping for her school’s semi-formal event. Her sister, best friend, and I saw several dresses that would look good on her. She fought us but finally tried one that looked amazing.
Instead, she bought a romper (not even a dress). She has yet to wear it again.
The same drama occurs over casual clothing. She finds items she loves, but they make her look bigger than she really is.
She bought black fake leather leggings and a bulky sweater with her Christmas money. They make her look shorter (she’s 5’2’’) and wider. Why would she want to look bigger?
We don’t understand her thinking process. She cannot articulate it. She said she understands we’re advising her for her best interest, but when we get to the mall, she becomes another person… acting like a spoiled brat.
What can we do?
Back off. Set a budget and stick with it. Also, limit the stores she can shop in with your money.
Medium–price clothing can look fine and doesn’t have to last forever, since her tastes are in flux while she develops some confidence.
That’s what she’s really lacking. She buys trendy clothes that don’t suit her figure because she doesn’t accept her own figure. She acts “bratty” because she’s more frustrated than you are… with herself.
Only let her choose a limited amount of needed items. Focus instead on her qualities – encouraging her talents, skills, interests, in and out of school.
Encourage fitness as well, whether through sports or gym, to help her become more comfortable with the body she has.
My husband of 20 years found his first girlfriend on Facebook and now he’s got a business trip in her city.
He’s been very open about their plan to meet and “catch up.”
Should I be nervous about it?
His openness signifies a good relationship between you. So it’s unlikely he’s seeking anything beyond some nostalgic memories and laughs from his youthful past.
Unless you’re aware of any change in his behaviour with you, or any sense that something’s missing between you two, accept it as he presents it… catching up.
One very satisfying result which many people get from reunions with long-ago friends, is renewed awareness of how far they’ve come from the “old days,” and how full and fortunate are their present lives.
Instead of uncertainty and worry about his visit, show him your trust and confidence. And when he returns, show your happiness at having him home again.
Tip of the day:
Moving your family to a city with significant racial issues requires thoughtful research.