It’s my dad’s birthday at the end of December. We have a good relationship, and he means a lot to me. What should I do for him?
Dear Good Kid,
Do something special to celebrate another year that he has been in your life. By special, I don't mean get him a watch or a T-shirt of his favorite baseball team.
By special, I mean do something that he will remember forever. Something that is special and can be kept forever is a card. If you feel close enough to your father, write him a nice card. Include whatever is on your mind, and thank him for all he has done. Include memories and good times that you have shared together. A card is something that you’ll be able to look back on later and appreciate.
To add on to the card, do something special with him on his birthday. Since the weather is getting colder, it’s harder to be outside, so take him to do something that he likes or enjoys. Even if it’s watching a movie with hot chocolate. Another suggestion that you could do is, make a nice sit-down family dinner to share with him. Along with dinner, make a cake or brownie and make sure that he has candles to blow out and make a wish!
Take time out of your day to make sure that his day is special and memorable.
My mom is getting married to a man I do not like or approve of. He doesn’t treat me like a “stepdad” should, and I’m scared that once he and my mom are married he won't treat her right either. What do I do?
It would be nice if you could be the one to pick and choose for your mom, but that unfortunately is not likely to be the case. As for the new man in your mom's life and future, I would stay open-minded but at the same time make sure you have your guard up.
Something that would be helpful to you and your mom’s relationship, as she moves forward with this marriage, would be to sit her down and have a nice talk about everything that is going on in your mind about your future stepdad.
Let her know how your feeling and what things you are worried about in the future that could happen. Let her know how he treats you, and how you think that could impact things later on. Do not hold something like this inside of you, it will only get worse if you do. Letting her know in a casual and cool way will get you far with the relationship you have with her and your stepdad. It is important that you express your concerns privately with your mom so she knows honestly how you feel.
Emily Chertow is a high school student in central Pennsylvania who writes a monthly column offering non-professional advice from the point of view of a teenager. You can send questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Ask Emily c/o Centre Daily Times, 3400 E. College Ave., State College, PA 16801.