“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Why Won’t Some Parents Be Serious?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

Our 10-year-old is the class clown at school. He’s funny and does great imitations of people. At home, this humor is a problem because my wife can’t keep from laughing when he misbehaves and she lets him get away with not doing chores or homework. I think he’s figured out if he does his clown routine he dodges discipline. To me, that’s not funny. How can we fix this sad situation?

Not a Laughing Matter

Dr. Gelb Says . . .

Dear Not Laughing:

Your son needs to be taught that there’s a time to clown, and there’s a time to be serious.

Consider having a talk with your wife about how important it is for both parents to take a firm approach with your son to gain his cooperation. This would include letting him know what the consequences will be if he chooses not to cooperate. Be firm, fair and consistent with your approach to discipline as needed.

That said, when appropriate do not discourage his extroversion or his ability to be funny. Who knows, perhaps he could become another Jay Leno.

”What Happened to the Affection?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year+/-. In the beginning he was affectionate and the intimacy was excellent — I felt so in love. Now I get a whole lot less attention and don

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