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Premeditated happiness

Especially as we age, attitude goes a long way in determining our quality of life

Subscriber onlyBy all rights, Fletcher Hall should not be happy. Continue reading...

Love is a splendid, unrivaled, joyous gift

Subscriber onlyWhy do people get married? Most of us, I hope, would say that we married for love. Continue reading...

Pet Vet

Subscriber onlySharie takes care of Stumpy, a 7-year-old terrier mix, a neutered male, that lives inside and outside. Sharie has had Stumpy's teeth cleaned in the past and wonders how often it's necessary. She wants to take care of his teeth but is concerned about the anesthetic procedure when they are cleaned. She has heard that his teeth can be cleaned by a groomer without anesthesia and wondered if that might be a better way to go. Continue reading...

Parents who negotiate with children end up yelling

Subscriber onlyQ I get very frustrated with my children when they don't obey me, even down to the simplest of instructions, and end up yelling. How does a parent stop yelling at her kids? Continue reading...

MONEY MANNERS

Subscriber onlyDEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: A college roommate I remain close to has a daughter going to college in Boston. So when I recently was there on a business trip and had a free evening, I invited her to dinner. In extending the invitation, I told her if she had a boyfriend or roommate she'd like to bring along, that would be fine. But to my surprise, she arrived with a posse: three girlfriends, who were completely uninhibited about ordering the most expensive items on the menu. My question is what do I do now? Let it go? Say something to her mother? Or lightheartedly mention in an email to the girl that I was surprised to find myself buying dinner for five? I feel someone ought to explain to this otherwise nice kid that what she did wasn't cool. Continue reading...

Ex-Etiquette

Subscriber onlyQ I recently started dating a wonderful man who has been very honest with me about his current living situation. He told me he's still living with his ex and her teenage son. They have been living together for a little more than a year, and when they decided to break up, he felt uncomfortable asking her to leave because her son goes to the school around the corner. He tells me they sleep in different rooms and as soon as they move out, I can move in. But the fact that they are still there makes me very uncomfortable. Should I continue this relationship or wait until his ex and her son are out of the picture? Continue reading...

Sowing reader seeds

Ways parents can encourage kids to pick up a book just for fun

Subscriber onlyIn the summer, there were lots of excuses: Camp, the pool, the beach, lazy days when it didn't seem so bad if your children were still in their pajamas and maybe watching a little TV or noodling around on an iPad. It was vacation, right? They'd read when school started. Wouldn't pressuring them lead to resistance? Continue reading...

Talking dogs

Subscriber onlyOur world is full of dog lovers. For so many, dogs are much more than just pets. They are companions and partners; they are our friends. We talk to them as if they understand our language, we train them to behave properly in our human world. But when do we learn to listen? Continue reading...

Stories let everyone share the happiness

Subscriber onlyDear Readers: I'm taking this week off for vacation. The following column is from 2013, but I assure you, my brother is equally ecstatic after every Clemson football win. Continue reading...

Youth wasted on games carries into adulthood

Subscriber onlyResponding to my recent columns on video games and smartphones, a reader asks what the problem is, thus proving that these devices can and do cause serious harm to one's cognitive hardware. He, the father of two boys and a gamer himself, in effect claims that parents are imagining things and researchers are not finding what they are finding. Continue reading...

Dissecting emotions helps boost learning

Subscriber onlyPicture a middle-school student who we'll call Ethan. He entered third period today with a scowl on his face. He squirms and fidgets in his chair, unable to focus. When his teacher asks him about last night's homework, he bristles with annoyance and says he didn't do the assignment. It's not clear why Ethan appears angry, and chances are Ethan may be a little unsure himself. Continue reading...

MONEY MANNERS

Subscriber onlyDEAR JEANNE & LEONARD: I fear my son is leaving me holding the bag for his credit card debt. Here's the story: When "Noah" was a teenager, I opened an account for him at my credit union, an account on which I am a joint signatory. The account includes a credit card, which he used responsibly for a long time. But recently he has used the card to run up more than $1,000 in debt, and he gives no indication that he intends to repay it. (Noah's 25 now and no longer lives at home.) The credit union says I can't remove my name from the account unless I first pay off the debt, and that if I do so and then remove my name, it will have the effect of closing the account. This could cause problems for Noah, who may be, for example, using the account to pay regularly scheduled bills. What should I do? Continue reading...

Ex-Etiquette

Subscriber onlyQ I am quite good friends with my husband's ex. At first, it was awkward as the kids went between homes, but as time has gone on, I find we have a lot in common. Recently she has started confiding in me -- she's having an affair with a mutual friend's husband. I am so conflicted. Where should my allegiance lie? If I tell our friend, it could get back to her that I was the one who passed on the info and screw things up with my husband's parenting plan. If I stay quiet, I feel like I'm condoning her behavior. What's good ex-etiquette? Continue reading...