Dear Feelings Doctor: My son is obsessed with Call of Duty and all those violent games that teenagers play. I have asked him to limit the time that he plays them, but he will not listen and continues for hours. His grades aren't so good, and he doesn't care. Please help me with this.
— Exhausted Mom in Santa Barbara
Dear Exhausted Mom: Yikes, I completely understand! In our world today, most people (kids and adults alike) would rather text, play video games, Skype, Vibe and anything else they can do virtually rather than be in “real time” with others. There are recent statistics that state people would rather give up their televisions, and some even their pets, before they would give up their computers!
So, here are a few things that may assist you in your quest to communicate with your son. You haven’t said how old your son is, so I am giving you a broad scope of helpful ideas. I hope they are useful for the two of you.
First of all, explain to your son that there will be new rules in the house beginning immediately and they must be followed. If not, there will be consequences. His grades are important, and study time must come first before any games are allowed. Second, try to have dinner with the entire family at least two or three times a week. I realize this may be a challenge because families are extremely busy with work and other demands on the day, but do the best you can. This will help solidify the desire to have the family behave differently and stay more connected. When you take the time, they will see that it’s possible and they will follow suit.
Last but definitely not least, always — always — make time to talk to your son about his day, his friends, classes, girls, teachers, the food at lunch time and anything that can keep your loving bond in place as they move through their young adult life into a true bonafide grown-up.
You may have to go to extreme measures and have the PS3 or whatever game player you have at home removed or disconnected until his grades are up, or put a block on those channels you don’t want him to have access to. Sounds kind of severe, but that’s what it takes sometimes to get the attention you are seeking. I wish you good luck. Let me know how it goes.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I’m divorced and dating again. It seems everyone wants to text all the time. I don’t get it. I want a man to call me up and ask me out. I hate all this texting. What happened to romance?
— Miss Romance
Dear Miss Romance: I'm LOL — Laughing Out Loud. Re-entering the dating world can be like crawling out of a time machine.
Texting is the way of the world now. It can be a great, fun way to flirt. If it feels right to you, be playful and have fun with it and you might find you enjoy passing love notes with someone you are interested in. You can keep your old-fashioned ways, too, by letting the man you are dating know what you like. In addition to texting, let him know that you like talking on the phone and talking with a real person and you would like him to plan ahead and ask you out.
Embrace your new world and enjoy the adventures you'll soon be having.
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Imagine This ...
As you read this, try to remember the very first time you were moved. I mean really moved or touched by something like a group of clouds, or a bird passing back and forth barely touching his wings in the pool as he attempts to bathe in the afternoon sun. Or a riveting conversation you had with a dear friend about family, friends, food, growing up, growing old, growing weary.
Let all of these things touch the deepest part of you, allow them to hold your spirit, because after all, these things, these people in our lives that see us, make us aware of our human elements,. They are the riches that we will always and forever hold sacred. The tenderness of life is what allows us to smile and carry on.
Don’t pretend you cannot see the person passing you in the aisle at the grocery store. Extend a greeting of hello. Stop and let someone else go first at the cleaners this time. Just smile at life because it feels good and you know what can happen? Anything ...