DR. WALLACE: I graduated from my high school this past June and I’m now 18. I took some time off to enjoy my summer in July and now, here in mid-August, I’ve just made my first “adult decision” by enlisting in the Marines!
When I told my mom and dad, they were not happy with my decision, to put it mildly. My father’s face got pretty red, and my mom even cried. I probably should have discussed it with my parents first, but I did take a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do after I graduated, and this is it.
I’m happy with my decision and now am very unlikely to change my mind. I do want my parents on my side and hope they will eventually support me in my decision. Is it possible for me to get them to do this? — Ready for My New Challenge, via email
READY FOR MY NEW CHALLENGE: Along with millions of your fellow citizens, I support your decision to serve your country, and we all thank you in advance for your upcoming service.
Sit down with your parents and let them know how you made this important decision. They deserve to know what your reasons are. Now, I’m not saying that you have to debate them or even convince them to see it your way. I’m simply suggesting that you take the time to calmly explain your thinking, as I feel they deserve to know and understand where you are coming from.
I’m sure they will support you and miss you while you’re gone, but in time they will not only support you, but also be very proud of you.
UNDERWEAR PREFERENCE ISSUE
DR. WALLACE: My 12-year-old son (soon to be 13!) wants to wear boxers instead of regular boys’ underwear (ones I call tighty-whiteys), so my question is: Should I let him do this at his age?
We had a bit of a debate with each other and, of course, we are on opposite sides of the issue. My son follows your column, and I got him to agree that you could be the arbiter of this issue. He readily agreed that whatever you advise, we will follow, if you provide your reasons.
Are you willing to settle this debate for us? — Tighty-Whitey Mom With Boxers Son, via email
TIGHTY-WHITEY MOM WITH BOXERS SON: I’ll give it a try as your letter was so polite, but I’ll admit upfront I’m not much of a fashion adviser.
I suggest that you purchase your son a few pairs of boxers and have him wear them for a week. This will give him an opportunity to see how they feel and you the opportunity to see how he wears them. And by “wears them,” I’m referring to him not allowing them to be visible in any way due to his pants riding down lower than them.
If you feel he’s only asking for them to wear them inappropriately, then I’m good with you vetoing the entire idea. However, if you feel his request is a sincere one whereby he’s only looking for comfort, that’s a different issue entirely.
At the end of the week — if he gets that far — ask your son what he prefers, as long as the way he wears them is appropriate in your estimation.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.