Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My boyfriend "Darrin" and I  have been  seeing  each other  for  five  years . I love him and  feel loved  by him . He is  affectionate and  a great listener . I have  grown children who are free  to pop in and  out of my house  whenever they please . We also have  many extended  family  get-togethers   throughout  the year .
Darrin will ask  me about  my kids  and siblings  and seem interested  when I talk about them . But  he doesn't  seem eager  to make  them part of  his  life . He says  he  doesn't  like  big  groups, so he rarely goes  with me to family  get-togethers . He also doesn't  like to come over when my kids are here and makes  no effort  to  know them . When I invite  him, he  makes  up excuses  for why he can't  come . My  kids think Darrin is  distant  and doesn't  care  about them . Will he  be  like this  if we marry  and live in the same  house ? Is this something  that can be worked  through ?
Need  More Involvement
Dear Need More Involvement ,
You  need  to discuss this with Darrin . Tell him  you find his  lack of  interest in your  family  upsetting  and  you want to now why he doesn't  care to get to know  them better . Your  children (not  to mention  your  siblings) are  important to you  and should  the relationship  progress, you want  to be certain  he will not  alienate  your  family . Keep in mind , however , that not all  people are  close  to the children  and  relatives  of their  significant  others . This  doesn't  have to be  a deal breaker . What counts  is that he  not interfere  with the level  of attachment   that you want .

Dear Maxy ,
My son wants  to go to  sleep-away camp next summer . Lots  of  his  friends   at school will be  going away  and he wants  to have that experience  as well . Out  family  is  not rolling in dough  like some  of  his  peers, though . My husband  and I looked  at the prices  for  the camps   that our  son (who is  12)  has  been talking  about  and the  price  is through the roof .
How  can  I manage  my son's expectations ? I don't  know  how  we  could possibly  afford  to send  him to any  of these  places .
To  Go or  Not  to Go
Dear To Go or  Not to Go ,
Don't  give  up until  you do some  research . Contact each of  the camps  that your  son has shared  with you . Find  out if   they offer financial  aid  to any of their students . Many camps  gladly  offer  aid  when parents  make the request . Sometimes they have  to show  proof  of  need, but  not  always . You  can also research more  affordable  camps . Some are rugged, some  more  refined  . Some  are affiliated  with the local Y or other  community organizations  and can be affordable . Plus  your  child  can go  for  a shorter time  period   if that helps  reduce  the  cost . The point is  that  you should   thoroughly look  into  your  options   before saying  no .

Dear Maxy ,
I have  been  working  for  myself  for  years   For  a long time, it was  going well . But  I am a consultant  and with the economy  being  soft , I am not making  very  much  money . It  gets  harder  and harder  to pay  my  bills  because  it is difficult  to keep clients  consistently . I'm thinking  I should  go back to school  to learn a trade  or  something, but  I can't really afford  to do that . How  can I get out  of this  hole ?
Need  a Change
Dear  Need a Change,
You are smart  to  be  considering  options  for  income  since  your  current  method of  earning  a living  isn't  satisfying  your  basic  needs .The  good  news is  that  there are  many  scholarships  available  for  students  of  all ages  . I  recently  interviewed   the  CEO  of the United  Negro  College  Fund  , Dr. Michael  Lomax , who explained that  more of todays college  students   are  returning  students  than 18 year-olds . And there is  money out there   for  nearly everyone  . So do  your  research  .
Figure  out  what  you want   to do  and what schools  offer  scholarships  or financial aid . Fill out the  Free Application  for  Federal  Student  aid  (  fafsa.ed,gov )  and shop until  you get the  support  you need .
Education  is  often  the  key to  economic  empowerment . Do not  give up  until you gain the skills  you need .

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