Having the Talk–No, Not That One, the One about Money

Dear Mr. Dad: My parents never talked with me and my siblings about money, but I’m feeling the need to give my kids—ages 4 and 7—a better financial education than I got. When’s the right time to start?

A: What is it about money that no one wants to talk about it? Drugs, sex, and violence are perfectly acceptable dinnertime fare, but we’re almost embarrassed to discuss something that we use every single day of our life. How much we make and where that money goes after the government gets its share is nobody’s business but our own (and, perhaps, our accountant’s).

But that’s a mistake. Today’s kids feel more entitled than those of probably any previous generation. And too many of them don’t learn simple lessons about finances, such as how much work it takes to earn a dollar, how much goes for taxes, how much goes for rent and food, how much their violin lessons and daycare cost, and how much they should be putting aside for retirement.

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Masculinity, Relationships

tom cruiseWhy Women Are Attracted to Clean-Cut Men

A recent study carried out by Gillette in collaboration with Tinder, found that the majority of Tinder’s likes or right swipe, went to beardless or no facial hair men.

The revelation that women feel markedly greater attraction toward clean-cut males than their unshaven counterparts made us ask ourselves: why are women attracted to clean cut men?

clean-cut man

This article highlights seven resounding reasons why so many ladies consider clean-shaved guys to be quite irresistible.
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Lifestyle, Sex

The Art of Choosing Wisely

Certain stories really raise my eyebrows. A patient recently told me about how he had seen three orthopedic surgeons who told him that he needed hip surgery for pain that began when he was chaperoning on a Boy Scout outing. He then saw a chiropractor who thought that his hip was slightly out of rotation and should respond to physical therapy. He chose the latter and, after the better part of a year, he is pain-free and “as active as a teenager” without surgery. Touché!

It’s Complicated

Coupla points here. The first is that not all doctors are the same. A corollary is that not all health care is the same. The second is that doctors often have a “tool chest” that they rely on to get the job done. It’s the “if you have a hammer then everything is a nail phenomenon. Surgeons like to operate. Chiropractors don’t do surgery, and so they offer alternatives that work for them. Although this may appear problematic, it can be a real plus for inquiring patients, like our man with hip pain.

Believe in You

So I encourage you to ask questions about your medical care. Get the answers you need to move forward and get better. My patient had good common sense and applied it to his problem until it was solved. It confirms the often quipped attribute that “patient’s know their bodies best.”
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Family Issues, Health, Mental Health

what women need to know about men's healthWhat Every Woman Needs to Know About Men

My wife, Carlin, invited me and my men’s group to share some of things about being a man with her women’s group. We’ve done this before and one of the things that helped women “get” men was the fishbowl process, where the men sit in the center and the women sit quietly around and just listen. It doesn’t take long for the men to engage each other and the female’s presence fades into the background as we talk “man-to-man.”

This reminded me of my first fishbowl experience nearly 50 years ago. I was at a conference for men and women and the leaders first had the women come into a circle with the men listening on the outside. I was entranced as I listened to the women talking about themselves and thought “they’re just like me and they’re oh, so different.”

When it was time to reverse roles, the women began moving out of the circle and the men moved in. The woman sitting in front of me smiled and patted the spot where she was sitting on the floor, a warm gesture of “your turn, have a seat.” I sat where she indicated, but it was like sitting on a hot stove. I literally jumped up and finally moved to another spot. All this took place in a matter of seconds as the women moved out of the circle and the men moved in.

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Family Issues, Fatherhood

Helping the New Stepmother

Dear Mr. Dad: I have three children and have been divorced for several years. My girlfriend of six months and I are thinking about getting married. But I’m concerned about her relationship with my kids. It’s not that she doesn’t like them—I’m sure she does. It’s just that she always seems shy and reserved around them. I really want us to be a family but I don’t want to put pressure on her. What can I do?

A: Stepping into the middle of someones else’s family can be incredibly intimidating, and it’s no wonder that your girlfriend is feeling reserved around your kids. At the same time, it’s great that you’re concerned about her, because you’re the one who’s going to determine whether or not she’ll thrive as part of your new, larger family. Here are some ideas that will help her feel more confident:

  • Establish the rules. Since you and your girlfriend are heading towards marriage, it’s essential that talk about—and reach some agreement—on the following issues:
    • Discipline. Who will discipline your kids and how? For now, it’s best to leave as much of that to you as possible. Over time, give her more authority and back her up when she uses it.
    • Everything else. How involved do you expect her to be in the mundane parts of parenting, such as helping the kids with their homework, driving carpools, grocer shopping, attending parent-teacher conferences, and so on?
    • Money. A judge may include your new wife’s income when calculating child support. Hopefully, that won’t happen, but if it does, how will she feel about it?

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