Dad wor­ries about son’s need to cud­dle

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Amy Dick­in­son — Con­cerned in Michi­gan — Con­cerned Dad You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: [email protected]­dick­in­son. com and fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy.

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.

Au­gust 2010

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.”

July 2010

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