Dear Barb—Weeding Them Off

Dear Barb:

I am the parent of a university student and I’m wondering what happened to manners! It seems for the most part today’s younger generation live by their own rules and are very inconsiderate of other people’s feelings.  A lot of my son’s friends come over and barely look at me, even when they are talking to me.  They are always on their phone, even during dinner.  We have never allowed our son to be on his cell during dinner, but obviously his friends have not learned this.  We invited one of Josh’s friends over for dinner last week and he spent the entire dinner looking at this cell phone and texting between bites of food.  He might as well have not come over.  My son’s other friends have done the same thing, it’s very annoying for the rest of our guests.  I considered telling him to put his phone away, but I don’t want to embarrass him or my son.  What should I have done in this situation? Thanks, Angela.

Hey Angela:

Thanks for your letter.  This is a very common problem and there are a few things you can do.  First you could get your son to give his friend a heads up that dinner at his house means no cell phones.  If your son does not want to mention it to his friend, then you will have to do it.  Have a basket where people can leave their phones while having dinner.  As everyone is gathering for dinner, casually mention where the basket is and to please leave cell phones in the basket.  Hopefully when your son deposits his cell in the basket his friend will do the same.  If his friend chooses not to, I guess there really isn’t a lot you can do about it.  If you find this terribly annoying, you may want to rethink whether you want to include this friend in future dinner plans, as he’s really not visiting, is he? Good luck Angela.

Dear Barb:

I have been away attending school in another province and recently returned home for the summer.  I hadn’t seen my parents since September and they have changed a lot! As soon as I walked in the house I could smell weed! I was shocked, I had no idea my parents had ever smoked weed.  When I asked about it, they said “It’s legal now and we tried it and we like it.”  I found this kind of strange, I don’t feel comfortable with my parents smoking weed, but I’m not sure if I have a right to say anything to them.  I need another opinion, what do you think? Thanks, April.

Hi April:

Interesting letter.  It is up to your parents whether they choose to smoke weed or not.  Do you have an objection to them drinking wine? If the smoke or smell is bothering you, then you have a right to mention it.  Parents who smoke cigarettes go outside to smoke, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to expect your parents to do the same when smoking pot.  Basically April, it is up to your parents what they do in their own home.  Thanks for sharing.

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