Parents guilty of coddling 10-year-old son
Dear Annie: My husband’s brother has a 10-year-old son. He’s an only child and still sleeps with his parents. He has a perfectly nice bedroom, but they never got around to making him sleep by himself. My brother-in-law travels a great deal for work and when he’s away, “ Timmy” sleeps in his mother’s bed. When my brother-in-law is home, one of the parents sleeps with Timmy in his bedroom.
During the holidays, things happened that caused problems with the cousins. Timmy doesn’t sit at the table for family dinners. He throws tantrums because he doesn’t want to eat what everyone else is eating. Of course, his young cousins then copy him and act up the same way. Also, the children help with the cleanup — even the youngest takes her plate to the kitchen. Timmy, however, watches TV. No one insists that he lift a finger.
Timmy has been diagnosed with ADHD, but doesn’t he still require structure? His parents have never said “no” to him. He has more toys than a department store. He really is a sweet kid, but has few friends, and because he hasn’t been taught better manners, things will only get worse as he gets older. We all feel sorry for this boy.
A few of us have tried talking to his parents. They know they should set some boundaries and work on his behaviour, but they haven’t done so. Any suggestions? — Concerned Family
Dear Concerned: Parenting is a tough job. It requires that parents do what is best for their child even if it is difficult and taxing for them. Your brother-in-law and his wife have decided it’s too much effort to reprogram their son, so they allow him to run the show, and he knows it. Suggest they discuss this with the pediatrician and get a referral for a family counsellor who will teach them how to be the parents their child needs.
Dear Annie: I will be 15 in a few days. I need to work up the courage to ask my parents to get me birth control. I don’t want my folks to think I’m a slut or anything. But I also don’t want to make any mistakes with my love life. I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Can you help me find a way to ask them about it? — The Kid With Angry Parents
Dear Kid: Are you already having sex? Birth control pills contain hormones, and unless you need them, there is no point to flooding your system with unnecessary medication. You are smart to want to be prepared, but we hope you will postpone intimacy for a little while longer. You shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured. Try talking to your mother privately when she is calm and relaxed. Explain that you are thinking about sex and want to be ready. Be sure to tell her that you value her input. If you truly listen with an open mind, you both will get through this.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Going Gray and Loving It,” who is 45 and doesn’t colour her hair.
I started colouring my hair at age 40 to please my husband. He said, “It’s not so bad being a grandfather, but it’s no fun being married to a grandmother. Please get rid of the gray.” So, for 30-some years, I was a redheaded “ hottie” in his eyes.
Recently, after I got smart and tired of colouring every six months, I quit. Guess what? Not one of my silver-haired friends noticed the difference. They accept me at face value and love me just the same as when I was an auburn-haired “ beauty.” And I am sure, from up on his cloud, that my husband does, too.
I love my silvered hair. It goes well with everything and gives me an air of respectability. Nice younger men open doors for me, offer to carry my laundry basket and smile. Silver hair is the key to kindness when it’s needed. — Been There While the Saints and the Colts meet on the turf, have your own Super Bowl showdown — perhaps pork versus crawfish — in the kitchen.
With the big game pitting the Indianapolis Colts against the New Orleans Saints, we decided to ask chefs from both regions for their tips on local fare to serve while watching Sunday’s game.
And while New Orleans may seem to have a deeper culinary well from which to draw, it turns out Indianapolis holds its own thanks to a serious understanding of all things pork (Indiana is the fifth largest producer of pork in the U.S.), especially on sandwiches.
For example, Regina Mehallick, owner and chef at R Bistro in Indianapolis, suggests a deep-fried pork tenderloin panino with tarragon mayonnaise and fennel, a riff on the region’s classic pork tenderloin sandwich.
Meanwhile, Layton Roberts, executive chef at 14 West in Indianapolis, suggests working barbecued pork into a platter of nachos for a sweet and spicy take on the classic Super Bowl party food. Roberts said he got the idea from a Las Vegas restaurant.
“ I wouldn’t normally have ordered that, but I saw it and the waiter was like, ‘Go for the pork,”’ Roberts says. “It was really good. It was nice and sweet, but they had the jalapenos and the cheese and the spice. It was a really good combination.”
Representing the other team, chef Stephen Stryjewski, coowner with Donald Link of Cochon, a New Orleans Cajun restaurant dedicated to the oldstyle food, suggests a classic crawfish boil.
“It’s still early and they are expensive, and not quite as big as they could be, but that’s great for a crowd,” he says.