Mom feels she hasn’t given as much to son

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - ••• Har­ri­ette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAM LEAPERS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­[email protected]­ri­et­tecole.com or c/o An­drews Mcmeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO

“Congress shall make no law ... abridg­ing the free­dom of speech, or of the press ... . ” — From the First Amend­ment to Con­sti­tu­tion

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I am a sin­gle mom with two teenage chil­dren. I spent a lot of time and en­ergy work­ing with my daugh­ter to en­sure that she did well in school, and I got her into a great col­lege.

My son is more dif­fi­cult. I feel like I have run out of steam. He is not a great stu­dent, and I just can’t seem to rally for him the way I did for my daugh­ter. I know this isn’t right. How can I get mo­ti­vated to get him over the hump? He is a good kid and he de­serves my at­ten­tion, but I have not been able to give it like I know I should. -- Slack­ing Off

DEAR SLACK­ING OFF: Now is the time for you to dig deep in your mama re­serves and think about your son. Yes, you are tired -- de­servedly. Be­ing a sin­gle mom can drain you of en­ergy be­cause you have to do ev­ery­thing. But you can­not give up now. In­stead, rally the troops. Find your vil­lage, and ask for sup­port. Talk to friends who may have chil­dren with aca­demic chal­lenges. Talk to the guid­ance coun­selor at your son’s school to find out what can be done to sup­port his stud­ies. Ask adult men in your life to step in as role mod­els to help up­lift your son and point him in the right di­rec­tion.

Don’t feel that you are alone. There have to be peo­ple in your com­mu­nity who would be will­ing to talk to your son and of­fer a help­ing hand. Muster up the en­ergy to en­list their sup­port. This should give you en­ergy as well.

Talk to your son, and tell him that you want him to suc­ceed and you want to do ev­ery­thing you can to help him, but that you need him to step up, too. Part­ner with him dur­ing this time be­fore he goes to col­lege or work. He needs to know that you have his back. This should mo­ti­vate him, too.

•••

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I ran into an old flame the other day, and I have to tell you -- my heart started beat­ing fast just like it did 15 years ago when I first met him. This man is fine! And he’s a sweet­heart. We have only been friends be­cause the tim­ing was never right. That’s true now, too. I am mar­ried, though not hap­pily. But I’m not try­ing to leave my hus­band or have an af­fair. I just am ac­knowl­edg­ing that this man floats my boat. Do I dare tell him how my body re­acts to him when­ever I see him, or is this some­thing that I keep to my­self? -- Hot Flash

DEAR HOT FLASH: You al­ready know the an­swer. If you can’t do any­thing about your feel­ings, don’t share them. It is not fair to any­one for you to state how this man makes you feel. Keep it to your­self. If pos­si­ble, chan­nel that en­ergy back to your hus­band. Know that you have the ca­pac­ity to still get all “hot and both­ered” as a ma­ture per­son. That’s got to be a good feel­ing. But do not let any­one in on the se­cret!

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