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Just Living

What Would Judy Say?™  

Too Soft on Kids?
Have you read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, and, if so, do you think we are pushing our children hard enough to succeed? Many countries will begin to outpace our children academically. Is it wrong to let our kids just be kids? —Concerned Parent in Fort Myers

I am familiar with the book, but have not read it. I believe the answer to your question should focus on two issues: First, parents should identify and encourage the strengths of their children. Success builds character. Raising children who have a sense of self-worth creates a happy child and a successful adult. My parents supported my strengths, and while they did not dismiss a C in math, they cheered at the A in debate.

Second, your children have enough friends. You be a parent. Life has rules, and so should children. We all must exist within a basic framework of responsibility, respect for each other and empathy for those around us.

If you can teach those lessons to your children, you are a parent to be proud of, and the rest will fall into place. 

Married to Mommy
When a son husbands his mother, how is he able to maintain a healthy partnership with his wife?
—Bewildered Bride in Naples

If your husband’s relationship to his mother is one of love, affection and respect, that is reasonable and laudable. However, if your man puts his mother’s agenda ahead of yours, that is a problem.  

In any family, there can be only one queen bee. Few women are content in a marriage where another female is the priority. Perhaps a frank discussion with your mate will work. You can emphasize that he and his feelings are your priority, and you want yours to be his.

I have always believed that marriage creates the unit. All other family members support and are supported by the unit. Parents, children, brothers and sisters can either enhance or detract from the unit. But the unit should be the backbone of the family.

Pursuing Divorce
I am 24 and still legally married (I’ve been separated for three years) because it’s so hard and so expensive to get a divorce. I got married when I was 18. I wanted it to last, but the relationship turned abusive. He currently lives in Mexico and is not allowed to return because he came here illegally. I sent him the divorce papers, but his lawyer ripped them up. Is there an easier way to do this divorce without having to pay $1,000 to a lawyer for a divorce that should be simple (no kids or property together)? I don’t understand how they make it so easy to get married but so difficult to get a divorce. —Desiring Divorce in Naples

Unfortunately, it is easier to say “I do” than “I don’t.” It takes three minutes to exchange vows and often a lifetime to untangle the mess.

The valuable life lesson was taught to me by my grandmother. She said, “10 times measure, one time cut.” It’s an old tailor’s expression, but if we approach life’s important decisions with it in mind we would make fewer mistakes. Once you cut the cloth, it’s cut forever. You may be able to sew it together, but that takes time.

You are a young woman just starting your life. You should do everything possible to stabilize your future by divorcing an abusive husband. Save your money, hire a lawyer and obtain a divorce. Call the local bar association for a referral, if you should need assistance.

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