Friday, April 20 , 2018, 5:45 am | Fair 47º


Randi Rabin: Friend Worked Up About Airport Drop-off; Dad in Power Struggle with Teen Son

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a question that has been really bugging me for months! I saw my close girlfriend's husband dropping another woman off at the airport here in Santa Barbara — and you know what a small town this is! Nothing goes unnoticed with women. We all have too much time on our hands and love a good story. What should I do with my juicy information?

— Ready to Tell! in Santa Barbara

Dear Ready: What should you do with your juicy information? Not sure about that. Perhaps what you saw was a work-related drop-off or a brother/sister interaction. You don’t mention anything about hugging, groping or the stuff that might make it “juicy.”

Maybe this information is bothering you more than it does the couple involved. Find a good therapist (with so much time on your hands, I’m certain you can locate one) and discuss this troublesome issue you are carrying around.

With all this time on your hands, as you say, sit down and watch an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians for your daily dose of nonsense! Or volunteer with SEE International; they need people like you who notice everything! You may have just stumbled on a new career. Go get ’em.

Dear Feelings Doctor: My son and I have this ongoing negative dynamic for the past few months, maybe six months to be exact, and I would sure like to change it somehow.

I feel bugged about so many of his habits lately: his chores, his attitude with his mother and me, and his irresponsible attitude. He’s 14, and I can’t seem to get through to him at all. I feel like I am always harping at him about what he doesn’t do and not seeing the things that he completes every day.

My wife and I are constantly discussing this issue, and she noticed how the heaviness is getting heavier between my son and me. Help, please.

— Lost in S.B.

Dear Lost: Catch your son being good! And then pinch yourself and repeat, “He’s only 14, he’s only 14, he’s only 14!”

That’s where you can begin. You surely don’t want just negative glue holding you together as father and son, so lighten up a bit.

I totally understand your frustration with the chores around the house and things that you would like for him to do. Here’s what I was thinking might work with you two: Build an alliance with him.

Something like: “I know you have homework and a lot of after-school activities that keep you really busy all week, and I notice that your chores still don't get done sometimes. How can I help you achieve the same goals at home that you do at school and with your other commitments?” “I know that your allowance is important to you because it gives you freedom to get and do the things you like and want, so let’s talk about how we can both get what we need around this issue, OK?” “It’s not fun for me to have to remind you all the time, so let’s put our heads together and find a solution that works for both of us. Sound good?” “I would rather spend my time with you doing fun things and laughing with you more, not worrying about the house stuff so much. Deal? Deal.”

Something like that seems so easy and open for people to hear. Joining with your son, finding solutions rather than pointing fingers, will help both of you ease into the next phase of your relationship. See what you think and pull from what feels right for you.

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

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Imagine This ...

Attention please: All those people that you think you just randomly bump into ... We are all on this path together. Lend a hand.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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