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John Rosemond - Parenting Expert

John Rosemond is America's most widely-read parenting authority! He is a best-selling author, columnist, speaker, and family psychologist.

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Three Parenting Questions

Q: My 17-year-old son came home with a large red hickey on his neck, presumably given to him by his girlfriend. I’m inclined to forbid them from seeing one another for a month or so, but I know from reading your column over the years that you would probably call that micromanagement. What would you recommend I do?

A: You’re absolutely right. I think that trying to forbid the relationship for any length of time would be micromanagement of the highest order. It would also be fruitless, counterproductive, and a bit melodramatic. Listen, if all your son and his girlfriend are doing is giving one another hickeys, you should count your lucky stars. I also suspect that if this is the worst problem you can submit to me, things are probably going quite well in general. In that case, I’d leave well-enough alone. At the very most, you can casually point out to him that a person with self-respect would not display something of that sort in public, hand him some makeup, and walk away, never to mention it again.

Q: My husband and I agree that our two girls, ages 7 and 9, should make their beds and keep their rooms neat and clean, but I am for giving them Sunday off where chores are concerned, and he feels they should do them every day. What do you think?

A: I see no problem with a day off for household chores that do not have to be done on a daily basis (e.g. vacuuming), but things like picking up after oneself, keeping one’s room neat, and making one’s bed are not chores any more than brushing one’s teeth is a chore. These sorts of good personal practices are the stuff of respect for self and others. As such, they should not have a day off.

Q: My wife and I are thinking of adopting an 8-year-old female orphan we hosted this summer from overseas. However, our two girls, ages 10 and 7, are not thrilled about the idea. They interacted with the 8-year-old fairly well, but they also had their share of conflict. We are concerned that the adoption could harm our girls in some way we are not aware of. Could we unknowingly damage our girls by moving forward without their consent in this matter?

A: I don’t think “harm” or “damage” are accurate terms, but I do think you would be unwise to adopt this child without your girls’ consent. They are certainly old enough to have valid feelings concerning this matter and you’d be asking for trouble if you did not take them into consideration. Furthermore, I generally caution against adopting a child who is older than an already existing child in the family. Doing so upsets the established sibling order and can result in resentment and more sibling conflict and general family disruption than it’s worth. Your hearts are in the right place, but I think this is a time to listen to your heads.

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