Dad worries about son’s need to cuddle
DEAR READERS » Every year I step away from my daily column to work on other creative projects. I’ve gathered some topical “Best Of” columns from 10 years ago. I’ll be back in two weeks with fresh columns.
DEAR AMY » I am a widower with five children. We live in a large home.
I allowed my wife’s sister and her family to move in with us when she and her husband lost their jobs. They have three older children. I am blessed that both our families get along well, and that my children have a mother figure. I am concerned, though, for my youngest son “Stevie.” At a little over two years old, he has yet to speak.
Stevie also likes to cuddle with everyone! Despite having his own bed and stuffed bear, Stevie and bear can be found in the beds of either his brothers, sisters, cousins, aunt and uncle, or my own!
Is this something to be concerned about?
DEAR CONCERNED » “Stevie” may be expressing some of the natural stresses of being at the end of the cuddle chain in your very large household.
At only two years old, he has been through a great deal. He now has a wealth of cuddling and sleeping options, and he is trying them all.
Take your son to see his pediatrician for an evaluation. His lack of language could be a sign of a hearing problem.
I’d let him cuddle with everyone, but you, especially, should give him as much one-on-one time as you can.
DEAR AMY » My daughter is 19 and has been dating her boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. She has four siblings. All of her siblings dislike this guy.
He lives with my daughter in my ex-wife’s house most of the time. He rarely contributes to the household resources.
He is polite and kind to her and to her mother but I don’t think he is a warm person overall.
I don’t think he does anything to elevate her or make her better, and I am convinced that she would be better off without him.
I am afraid to intervene because I don’t want her to have to choose between him and me.
Do you have any advice for me?
DEAR DAD » If you lay an ultimatum at your daughter’s feet, she will “choose” him.
This person’s function in your daughter’s life is not to elevate and make her “better.” She should elevate herself and strive to be her best self.
You should mentor your daughter to further her education, do good work and aspire to great things. Without trashing her boyfriend, you could tell her, “You’re young and wonderful. I want you to live your very best life. I feel you’re too young to settle down, and hope you will consider all of your options.”