Dear Feelings Doctor: Our daughter walked in on my husband and me having sex last night, and she wouldn’t talk to us for the rest of the night. What do we say to her? She is 14.
— Awkward Parent in Goleta
Dear AP: Many people have had a similar experience like you described when they were growing up. At 14, your daughter most likely has had sex-education classes at school and knows the basic things.
First, meet her right where she is. Ask her what she is so upset about. She will have her own ideas and questions around this entire incident.
This is the perfect time for you and your husband — well, perhaps just you — to sit down and tell her that loving someone and wanting to be close to that special person is a natural thing in life, and that’s exactly how she was born.
Will it gross her out? Yes. Will she ask you to stop now? Yes. And when she begins experimenting with her own special someone, you will have planted those essential seeds of kindness, tenderness and caring with another person who is as special to her as her father is to you. Job well done.
Dear Feelings Doctor: How does a person live with a “Peter Pan” type? How do you get your emotional needs met?
— T.S. in S.B.
Dear T.S.: In psychological terms, these men are called puer aueturnus, meaning eternal youth. They are childlike, fun and exciting, and most of them have come from a family where the father was absent. They have strong ties to their mothers, positively or negatively.
While they are uber exciting in the beginning of a relationship, they are known for being a wanderer, always looking for that perfect mother in every woman. Some men when they reach middle age have begun to get a handle on their “Peter Pan parts” and have actually done some inner work on themselves.
You want to know how to get your needs met? If you want to G. E. T., you have to A. S. K.
This is one guy who really needs a road map, so if you have the patience, let him know what you want. Tell him what you need, show him how to please you. Most Peter Pan partners really do want to grow up by the time they are in their 40s or 50s; they just need a lot of guidance. On the other hand, there are those who love to fly around the world sprinkling their fairy dust on life and have no desire to lose their tights. Which one is at your door?
Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.
• • •
Imagine This ...
Gratitude is the music of the heart. When its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. Share your open hand with someone today.