DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter stays up late and has a hard time getting up in the morning. It’s obvious to me what she needs to do, but she’s not listening well at the moment.
My worry is what will happen when she goes to college next year. I won’t be there to nudge her. My sister suggested that I use a little hard love, namely not to wake her up in the morning. She said I had to let her be late for school a few times so that she could feel the repercussions of her lack of responsibility. I tried, but I haven’t managed to do it yet. She has a perfect academic record for attendance and scores. I hate to see her ruin this. What do you suggest? — I can not get up
DEAR CANNOT GET UP: Part of your responsibility as a parent is to prepare your child for independence. This surely includes being able to wake up uninvited. She’s going to have to be able to stand up on her own at some point. Better to have that happen now, while she’s still under your watch.
Take your sister’s advice. If possible, work out her schedule so you get a feel for how to help her prioritize her time. Let her know that you won’t wake her up again. At night, remind her of her schedule for the next day. So resist the temptation to come in and sound the alarm. Hopefully, your nighttime reminder helps her set internal and physical alarms to help her show up on time for her day. If not, let her take the brunt of it, even if it means a bad grade for a change.
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DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who recently started a small business. She’s excited about it, which is great, but I also think she’s unrealistic about her trajectory. She’s in the design and build space, which means she needs big bucks to fund her dream. Because she spends so much time working on this project, she neglected her job. The other day, her boss told her that she was going to have to choose what to focus on. She decided to quit her job and devote herself full time to her dream. I think it’s crazy. It’s not that I don’t want her to succeed, but I don’t think she’s ready. Now that she’s alone, I don’t know what advice to give her. — Alone
DEAR ON HER: Is your friend asking for advice? Perhaps what she needs most are cheerleaders. She got down there. In due course, she will find out if she has enough pockets to make her dream come true without additional financial support. For now, encourage her to work hard and make a plan. She must understand what it will take to manifest her dream. You can push her to pay attention to the design of her path forward.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I had my first marriage-related disappointment the other day. I asked my older sister to be a bridesmaid, and she said no because she was going to be out of town on the exact date of my wedding. She offered to help my wedding party plan my shower as a consolation. I can’t imagine what she would think was more important than the marriage of her younger sister. We’re both very close and we’ve always talked about being an integral part of each other’s weddings. She apologized hundreds of times. Should I get past that? – Sister released during marriage
DEAR ON REFERRED ON MARRIAGE: Let’s unpack this. Did you check with your sister for availability before setting the date? While you don’t have to find out from everyone about this, it would make sense to talk to your closest family members and the potential wedding party before finalizing the date. If you did, find out what happened. It’s worth investigating before you drop it – for many reasons, including to clarify your role in this hiccup.
Ask your sister what she needs to do to keep her away from your marriage and if there is any chance that she can change her plans. From there, you have to let go. Accept his conciliatory offers and forgive him. You may also need to forgive yourself if you haven’t met her before you set up your date. Planning a wedding is very emotional. Do your best to stay calm and celebrate the little victories leading up to your big day.
DEAR HARRIETTE: It’s summer now! I just got out of my summer clothes, and am checking the reality. I knew I had gained weight during the pandemic, but at home I mostly wore sweatpants and pajama bottoms, so it didn’t really matter. Now I have found that I cannot fit into any of my shorts. Pants without elastic do not zip. My crop tops reveal rolls of fat that don’t need to be highlighted. I am mortified. Yes, that means I need to lose some weight, but right now I don’t have anything to wear. Do you think I should give it my all and buy a whole new wardrobe or just buy a few things and motivate myself to lose weight so that I can fit what I have? – Unfit
DEAR INFORMED: Don’t give it all away! Buy a few basic items to make yourself comfortable in your life. But use this reality check to get you back on track. Make a movement plan and a nutritional plan. You must reduce your calorie intake to lose weight. Learn about healthy, low-calorie diets and find something that works for you. Many people follow WW (formerly Weight Watchers) with great results because it helps you track your intake throughout the day and gives you advice on the value of whatever you put in your mouth.
Choose an accountability partner who can inspire you to keep your program going even when you don’t feel like it. Set a goal for when you’ll be able to tuck into your favorite pants or top. Try them out every week. When they adjust again, you can rejoice!
DEAR HARRIETTE: The final year is approaching, which means my school is on the verge of going out of the clinic. All the fun traditions for senior citizens like Halloween and the prom are deeply rooted in social groups. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly have a definitive group of friends. During lunch, I wander from table to table, chatting with everyone I see. None of my friends seem to get along with each other, so I don’t think there’s a chance that I’m forming my own band. Also, all of last year and part of the year before we were at home, unable to meet in the groups we had. Everything seems awkward to me now that I think about going back to school. I don’t want to feel left out or sad about these events. What should I do? – The high school cliques
DEAR SECONDARY CLICKS: Many students feel uncomfortable about what the next school year will be like. Social life is important at school, and many students have missed more than a year of companionship. Chances are, some of the previous cliques have dissolved as more groups of friends have emerged.
Rather than focusing on who ends where, focus on your intentions. What do you want to happen in your final year? What events do you want to attend? Who would you like to attend? Pick a few teens who you think are friendly and not part of an established clique. Start spending time with them. Do your best to bond with them now so that you naturally feel an affinity for each other. Talk about social activities early on to get a feel for their interest in participating. Do you propose to go together.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends always want to eat out or shop at the mall. My dad recently lost his job at the bank, and I don’t have that kind of money right now. On the one hand, I think my friends would understand if I told them I can’t afford to spend that much money, but I also don’t want them to know that my family is in financial trouble. The last thing I want is pity. Should I tell my friends or keep my family’s problems to myself? – Scared and alone
DEAR FEAR AND ALONE: Is there someone in your group of friends who you can confide in? I agree that you might not want to broadcast your family’s situation to the whole group, but it would help if you had someone who could be your confidant. Do your best to choose someone who will keep your secret.
Know, however, that there is no shame in a family in the face of reality. Thousands of Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic, and many have yet to recover valuable incomes that will support their households. If your friends find out, they should be supportive, but we can never be sure how others will act.
You can go shopping with your friends and enjoy the experience without spending any money. My mom called it window shopping. Sometimes we literally enjoyed fashion through glass. Other times we would go in and try things. Sometimes we made small purchases. You can watch, try and put it back. It can be fun in itself.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like my good friend is bothering me all the time. She has no regard for my time. She has a ton of other friends that she could go to the trouble of helping, but she seems to be asking only me. If I don’t do her these favors, she’ll give me attitude for days. I don’t like to feel abused. Do I have to say something about this? – Ask someone else
DEAR, ASK SOMEONE ELSE: Stop jumping when she asks you to do something. Be prepared to put up with his attitude as you draw the line and set limits for yourself. Talk to your friend too. You absolutely have to tell her that you are starting to feel like she is taking advantage of your kindness. Give him concrete examples of what you want to say. Explain to her that you are happy to help her sometimes, but that she is constantly asking you for favors, and that is just too much. If she pushes back and says something like, “This is what friends are for. Are you saying you don’t wanna be my friend anymore? »Counter with the fact that being friends is a reciprocal experience. Right now it’s pretty one-sided, she asks you for favors and you perform them.
Ultimately, your behavior will determine what happens next. You don’t have to do everything this friend asks, so stop. If she stops acting like your friend, it means she wasn’t a real friend anyway.
Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send your questions to [email protected] or c / o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106