Dear Barb – Dating Tolerance

Dear Barb:

I’m 17, just starting University, but my parents separated when I was eight. I live with mom as dad basically left. Mom dates lots, and got married briefly once. She keeps bringing these men and their kids into our lives. I used to get attached and excited about maybe having a stepdad and even some siblings, but none of them worked out. I’ve got a boyfriend now, and he spends a lot of time at our house but my mom keeps bringing all these guys into the house and having them stay overnight. It’s embarrassing. I don’t want to say anything, as mom really doesn’t like anyone judging her lifestyle and if she gets angry she could make my life pretty miserable. Do have any suggestions, or should I just bite my tongue and try to ignore her behaviour. Looking forward to your reply, Megan.

Hi Megan:

You sound like a very mature 17 year old. Obviously you have had some difficulties to endure, but seemed to have your head on straight. Your embarrassment is understandable and your mother should respect your feelings. Since you cannot discuss this issue with your mother, is there anyone else you could talk to, like an aunt or grandparent, who may be able to talk to her? If not, perhaps you could visit with your family physician and see if he can refer you to a counselor who can help you to deal with this issue and any other issues you may be experiencing, as it seems like you would benefit from someone able to help. I agree it would have been better if your mother had taken more time before introducing all these people into your lives, but things aren’t always ideal.

Thanks for your question.

Dear Barb:

I’ve had some traumatic events in my life and they’ve made me a more accepting and tolerant person. I’m working on accepting all people, no matter their appearance or beliefs. But I’m having difficulty grasping why many seem to have strong feelings about Muslims?fearing that they are trying to change Canada into an Islamic State. I hate it when I hear Canadians saying “If you don’t like our ways go back to your own country!” I’m sure they just want to maintain some of their own customs and practices. And Canadians wonder why some Muslims aren’t friendly. Who wants to be friendly with people who think You’re a terrorist because you wear a headscarf, Niqab, or have a different religion? Am I alone in my thinking?
Thanks, Miranda.

Hi Miranda:

It’s great that you’ve chosen this path in life. I agree that many Canadians react as they do because they fear Muslims are trying to change Canada into an Islamic country, and worry they’ll lose their way of life. I don’t believe this thinking is warranted. Most Muslims I’ve spoken to come to Canada because they want to live the Canadian way of life, even while keeping some of their traditions. Also, most Muslims share the view that ISIS is a brutal, extremist group. It’s my understanding that Islam is a peaceful religion, it doesn’t condone violence or killing. Perhaps we should spend some time understanding the Islamic religion before jumping to conclusions. Also, Miranda, in your quest to become a more tolerant, accepting person, you must have understanding and patience for all people, even those whose fears have caused them to become narrow-minded and judgemental. Excellent topic, thank you.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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