The Thursday Special: This Week’s Scenarios

Last week, you were presented with four scenarios

Scenario #1 was about your son not taking care of his dog.

The important thing here is not to get angry with your son.  Just tell him that since he has chosen to avoid taking responsibility for the dog, he must also choose to give up the dog. The lesson for him is actions have consequences. However, you want to put the responsibility squarely on his shoulders.  He made this decision, you didn’t.  Wait three days to see if things improve.  If they do not, put both the dog and your son into the car and take the dog to the pound or back to the people from whom you purchased the dog.

Scenario #2 was about finding drug paraphernalia in your daughter’s room

It is important to put your daughter in control of this situation.  First get your anger under control.  Then tell her, “Yesterday, while cleaning up your room, I came across this (hold out the stash).  I was both distressed and surprised to learn that you have decided to put your honor student designation and your sports success in jeopardy.  Please tell me how you made the decision to start doing drugs.”   She may tell you that the drugs are not hers but a friend’s.  After all, they were not hidden.  They were right there in plain sight.  If she tells you they belong to a friend, you need another discussion – about selecting the right kind of friends.

Scenario #3 was about preventing your husband’s unemployed son from bringing home his pregnant girlfriend for you and your husband to support.

Obviously your spouse lost their ability to influence the son a long time ago so speaking with the spouse will only get them aggravated. Your best chance of making a change in the situation is to speak quite firmly to the son.  You might say something like this.  “Son, Now that you are about to become a family man, it is time for you to find a well-paying job and a place for your little family to live.  I

think it would be best if you leave this house within the next 90 days so that you have sufficient time to get settled in your own place with Danielle before the baby comes.”  This makes it clear to him that he must move out.

Scenario #4 was about your brothers kids destroying your home when they visited last summer. Calmly return your sister-in-law‘s call.  Explain that you are unable to have them visit this summer because of the condition in which the boys left their room last summer.  She and her family will have to make other arrangements for their vacation.  However, perhaps when the boys are older and more responsible you will consider having them visit again.

They may be relatives but that is surely no reason why you should permit them to terrorize you in return for your gracious hospitality.  Certainly your sister-in-law is fully aware of what has gone on and she has not offered to pay you for the damage nor has she even acknowledged it in any way.  Don’t be a patsy .but don’t be nasty either.


Here are this week’s scenarios

Scenario #1

You and your family are about to go visiting one of your relatives.  Your mother gives you an appraising look and says, “You can’t go visit Aunt Susan and Uncle Phil looking like that.  Go change into something more presentable.”   You think your outfit is just fine.  How should you respond?

Scenario #2

You have just put a dinner of roast chicken and vegetables on the table when your daughter says, “Oh my God!  You are so not serving chicken again, are you? “.  How should you respond?

Scenario #3

You have just asked your boss about approving a promotional opportunity for you.  Your boss says, “I just don’t think you are quite ready yet for any more responsibility”.  How should you respond?

Scenario #4

Last week you purchased an expensive piece of electronics.  It isn’t working as advertised.  You are attempting to return it and get your money back.  The clerk says, “I’m sure this was in mint condition when it left the store. You must have damaged it when you tried to use it without reading the directions first.”

How should you respond?

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  • Evelyn Amateur  On April 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    What can’t be cured, must be endured.

    • deannerosenberg  On May 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      The word “endure” bothers me in that it suggests you are condoning victimization. I am a big believer in standing up for yourself and what you want and not suffering abuse from others because they are having a hissy fit.

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