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 .