Dear Barb—Friendly Advice & Consequences

Dear Barb:

I have a situation and I’m not sure what to do about it.  A friend told me she recently met a new guy and is already saying he might be the one.  But she has been married twice before and had a few failed relationships, obviously she doesn’t make good choices.  Unfortunately, the new guy is a friend of a friend and he is well known as quite the player with the ladies.  I am not sure whether I should tell her or not.  I really like her and would not want to lose our friendship over something like this.  What advice would you give to someone in my position? Thanks for your help – Karen.

Hi Karen:

Good question! My advice would be to stay out of it.  Just because he’s been a certain way in the past doesn’t mean he can’t change.  Your friend might be the right fit for him, and if you say something to her and the relationship works out, your friend will never trust you again.  However, there is a possibility you will be correct and he will hurt her, so at that point you need to be there for her, to be a shoulder to lean on.  I hope I was able to help.  Best of luck.

Dear Barb:

My eighteen-year-old son has had a few rough years.  He almost dropped out of high school, but fortunately I managed to convince him to finish his grade 12.  Then he got involved with a girl and fell madly in love, but she dumped him for his best buddy.  He stole my car and went joy riding and ended up smashing the car.  The damage was minimal, but he was charged with careless driving.  Part of me feels for him and part of me is angry for his reckless behaviour.  I want him to learn consequences, but I also want to support him.  I am not sure how I can accomplish that, do you have any suggestions? Thanks, desperate mom in Ontario.

Hey Desperate Mom:

So sorry about your situation with your son.  I am pretty sure this event will have been a wake-up call for him.  With a careless driving charge your son will probably not be driving for a while and have a large fine to pay.  So he can’t avoid the consequences of his actions.  Being there for your son is all the support you need to provide.  He needs to process this on his own, and be responsible for paying for the fine.  If you pay it for him, you have to make sure he pays you back.  It’s not uncommon for teenagers to do irresponsible things; most are able to move on and learn from them.  Don’t make this an issue between you and your son, allow him to pay his debt to society and to you and move forward with his life.  Thank you for sharing your situation.

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