Say Gerv? What’s a good age to give my kids a cell phone?
-Chris, Melrose, MA
Chris, that all depends on the situation. With my kids, Kayla was 11 years old when she got her cell phone. She was playing sports after school and I felt that she needed a way to keep in contact with me in case something happened. I kept it simple, monitored her usage and she had no social media. Now Gunner was 9 years old and since he was playing sports too he ended up getting his cell phone earlier then he should have. The younger siblings always get it good thanks to older ones.
Go with your gut Chris. If you think it’s time to get the kids phones then it’s the right time. And knowing that they can reach you in case of an emergency will give you a peace of mind that you can’t put a price on.
Say Gerv? I found weed in my son’s room. How do I talk to him about it without killing him?
-David, Brookline, MA
David, the first thing to do is keep your cool. I know that can be hard, but you don’t want your son to shut down and shut you out. Next is to open the lines of communication. Find out if it’s his weed, why he smokes, where he gets it from. You want to get as much information as possible to make the best decision possible.
Hear him out. Let him do the talking and you do the listening. As parents we tend to think we know a lot and what’s best for our kids and we do our best to protect them. We also forget how fast they grow up and that they have their own opinions which may not be the same as ours. Listening can help you understand that.
And lastly let your son know that no matter what he does you will always love him. Even though you may be upset, even mad at him that doesn’t mean you don’t love him and you will get past this. I always tell my kids, I understand what your friends and their parents let them do, but in this house, we act this way and that’s just the way it is.
Then I’ll tell them stories of how bad I had it as a kid to let them see how good they have it now.
Say Gerv? My wife pays the bills and she’s been late on payments lately. How can I tell her to let me take them over without offending her?
-Patrick, Belmont, MA
Patrick, let your wife know that there are some things she’s good at and paying the bills isn’t one of them. In a nice way of course. Make a list of the things that need to be taken care of and instead of just picking things to do divide it up by what you are each good at.
Be honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you’re always running late, then getting the kids to their practices should not be your job. If she burns the steaks and over cooks the pasta, then cooking should not be her job.
You can’t let ego get in the way and you need to be honest if you’re not up to accomplishing a task. When you are taking care of things your good at it not only gives you a feeling of accomplishment it makes your lives easier and run smoother.
Remember this is a partnership and even though you both take care of things individually it all benefits the same team.