The Hamilton Spectator

My son’s being blocked from seeing his friend

- LISI TESHER ADVICE ELLIE TESHER AND LISI TESHER ARE ADVICE COLUMNISTS FOR THE STAR AND BASED IN TORONTO. SEND YOUR RELATIONSH­IP QUESTIONS VIA EMAIL: ELLIE@THESTAR.CA OR LISI@THESTAR.CA.

Q My son has a friend with whom he’d like to spend time with after school. But this boy has a friend who doesn’t seem to like my son. Those two moms have advance booked their boys into every after-school program going and, on the days they don’t have activities, they have pre-arranged play dates together.

I spoke with the mom of the boy who is friends with my son, and she replied that she was sorry she couldn’t change anything because she just does what the other mother tells her to do. I was flabbergas­ted! Really?!? This woman is an accomplish­ed musician with a big position in her field. She’s also a mom and a wife, meaning she’s quite capable of making adult decisions and plans. Why does she fall back on plans made by someone else, which don’t allow her son to break free and make his own friends? What am I missing here?

Friend follower

A As you mentioned, this woman is highly accomplish­ed and sounds very busy. Perhaps it’s just easier for her to allow the other woman, whom she clearly trusts, to make all the plans for her child. As frustratin­g as it is now, I can guarantee you it won’t last forever. The boys will start to have divergent interests, friends only they like (for whatever reason) and their tied-at-the-hip lifestyle will end.

Until then, ask the mom of your son’s friend if you can take her son away from his regularly scheduled play date and bring him over to your house. Offer to feed him and drive him home. She should acquiesce.

Q A woman I know never married or had children, neither for lack of trying. Recently, she threw herself a massive party that she dubbed “Pity I’m Fifty.” She came to the realizatio­n she was never going to get married nor have children, and she was extremely depressed. Her friends and family were concerned and managed to get her to talk to a profession­al.

It took her some time, but she was strong enough to recognize that, though those were strong desires of hers, life doesn’t always work out the way you hope and plan. You have to learn to pivot and find your own path.

So she threw herself this crazy huge party. And guess what happened? She met a fabulous man, recently widowed, with a 10-year-old daughter.

Do you believe in manifestat­ion?

Magical moments

A I do believe in manifestat­ion, but I also know that we as individual­s are not that powerful, so I try to curb my enthusiasm. Also, it’s fun and easy to believe in positive manifestat­ions, but it’s dangerous to believe in negative ones.

It’s wonderful your friend has potentiall­y found a life partner and a child to nurture and love. Sometimes things happen when we least expect them. I think you can believe what you want, but what’s most important is appreciati­ng what you have when you have it.

Feedback Regarding the teenager wanting to go to Paris (Dec. 25):

Reader “This letter from the teen daughter was a clear cry for your help and you did not provide her any guidance for mental health help. There are many words she used to describe her feelings of inadequacy she feels from her parents’ behaviour toward her and toward her ‘artsy’ sister. This young woman has low self-esteem, and you gave her a quick script on how to approach her parents about the Paris trip.

“This teen needs counsellin­g, support, guidance. You didn’t give her directions on how to access support to navigate her feelings and approach her parents in order to stop the emotional abusive parent-child relationsh­ip.”

Lisi You are correct that I focused on her question. And you may be right about her relationsh­ip with her parents. But I am not in the position to jump to conclusion­s.

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