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QI am a long-time nanny of a fam­ily that has gone through a rough breakup. I thought we were through the worst of it but the youngest child is re­ally not cop­ing well and had a break­down re­cently. Will the child get past this? Do you see it af­fect­ing them in the fu­ture?

Melissa, via email. Melissa, di­vorce is never easy and yes, the chil­dren are af­fected. How a child copes usu­ally hinges on how the par­ents treat one an­other. If they use the kids as pawns, it only hurts the chil­dren. If the par­ents are am­i­ca­ble and treat each other with re­spect, it gives the chil­dren a sense of se­cu­rity and is much more har­mo­nious for ev­ery­one. Be­ing a child of di­vorce my­self, I can say that al­though you can’t help be­ing af­fected, you move through it more eas­ily when you have plenty of dis­tract­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. I took out my angst on the skat­ing rink seven days a week – sport gave me a healthy out­let.

Fam­ily coun­selling could re­ally ben­e­fit all of them, so they have a me­di­a­tor for diplo­macy, and the chil­dren have a ther­a­pist echo­ing the voices of the chil­dren. This is a free-will is­sue: if the par­ents choose to do what’s in the best in­ter­est of the chil­dren, they’ll be fine. If the par­ents de­cide to be self­ish and serve them­selves, then the kids will pay the price.

QI am con­sid­er­ing gas­tric sleeve surgery in the new year. I feel this is my last op­tion for a happy, ful­fill­ing life but, of course, I am ap­pre­hen­sive about the con­se­quences. Can you please guide me in the right di­rec­tion to take?

Joane, via email. Joane, that’s a big step to­wards feel­ing healthy again. If you’re con­fi­dent in your doc­tor and their suc­cess rate, I would go for it!

Any­thing in life comes with a risk. Driv­ing is a risk, not wear­ing sun­screen is a risk, these days even eat­ing out­side on a restau­rant pa­tio is a risk.

Some­times, we have to make dif­fi­cult choices to bet­ter our lives. Close your eyes and ask your­self, does this feel right to me? The de­ci­sion is yours alone, but my sense is that the surgery will help to give you your con­fi­dence back, while re­turn­ing you to an ac­tive life­style.

QAre some peo­ple meant to be alone? I meet men and be­lieve we get along well, but then they stop all con­tact. What am I do­ing wrong?

Ker­ryn, via email. Ker­ryn, I don’t think peo­ple who want a part­ner are meant to be alone. I don’t sense that you’re do­ing any­thing wrong; the men that you date may not be look­ing for the same long-last­ing re­la­tion­ship that you are. Do you talk about mar­riage on the first date? Or kids? Some­times those top­ics can scare a man away.

There are dat­ing web­sites that match like-minded peo­ple – maybe that will help you to nar­row the dat­ing pool. Guys want what most of us do: a funny, in­tel­li­gent per­son with a nice smile and a big heart. Chem­istry is a dif­fer­ent story, it’s ei­ther there or it’s not. Keep kiss­ing the frogs, you’ll find your prince.

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