Dear Harriet: My children go to a private school. We saved everything and got a little financial support to get them there.
Now that summer has arrived, they are noticing the difference between us and some of their friends. Many of his companions have left for Europe or some other fancy vacation destination. Some are in sleep camp. We can’t afford it.
We want to design a special summer for them, but we usually go south to meet family in summers. Children play with their cousins and visit their grandmothers. That’s what they’ve been enjoying so far.
I want to keep that tradition and somehow they want to see the value in it.
How can I do this when they keep comparing themselves with their school friends?
Dear Summers: In order for your children to move forward in their new school, you must teach them to respect and value the way they live their lives.
No matter what their peers have or do, your children should be able to look back on their lives and smile as they recognize the people, traditions, and experiences that make them happy. Visiting family is an age-old pastime that you should celebrate.
As your kids spend time with family, help them notice what’s special about their time together. It is a privilege to have a living grandmother. What can they learn from him? What do they do there that is different from home? Invite them to tell stories of their experiences so they’ll have interesting things to share when they see their friends.
You can even take them on a local adventure in your city. What are some sites and views that are specific to your place of residence that you might not have discovered? Be creative and make memories with your kids. The joy they find when they share how they have spent their time can help them feel more comfortable around children who have done more expensive things.
Dear Harriet: After months of hard work, I am finally happy and comfortable with my current weight.
I am documenting my fitness journey on Instagram. I’m getting lots of positive comments from strangers and acquaintances, but also some backhanded compliments from the people I’m closest to.
My aunt commented, “Keep it up!” Under my latest post, where I showed the before and after changes of my body. A friend of mine commented something similar.
Do I have a right to be hurt by such comments? I never expressed that I want to lose weight in my post, so why should they encourage it?
Dear Backhanded: I believe you are being too sensitive right now.
It’s true that exposing your vulnerabilities on social media – as well as virtually anywhere else – can be tough. You want to share with people in order to be supported and create awareness, but you are left in a precarious position.
Your loved ones are saying, “Keep it up!” Not rude, at least not at face value. I’m sure they thought they were kind. It takes a lot to lose and maintain weight once you reach your goal. Plus, getting fit requires that you “keep it up” so that you don’t fall behind – even when you don’t feel like working out.
Give them the benefit of the doubt. I guess they were 100% supportive. Let’s say that’s the case, and use his observations as rocket fuel to keep working on your vessel so you can stay healthy.
Harriet Cole is a Lifestylist and the Founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people reach their dreams and make them active. You can send questions to email@example.com or Andrews McMichael Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.