From Agreement on Contributions to Respecting Parents

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Dependency – Is it Always a No-No?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I work two jobs and am a part-time student. My wife does the housework and cares for our kids most of the time, while I work and study. She works too. Am I relying on her too much for the domestic responsibilities, even though she doesn’t mind. Am I being too dependent?

Hard Worker

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Hard Worker:

I admire your ambition and desire to contribute to your family’s livelihood. Family is what life is all about. In my opinion, as long as spouses are in agreement with an arrangement such as the one you describe, then behavior that conforms to the arrangement is likely to be positive.

So often, feelings of guilt for not being a full-time participant in the family unit inhibit hardworking parents such as yourself from feeling good about their involvements. If I were your mate, I imagine that I would probably feel very proud of your efforts.

”Rebellion – Where Did Respect Go?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I have two teenage grandchildren who think it is cool to disrespect their elders and that defiance somehow gives them an identity. Why this rebellion?

Old Fashioned Values

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Old Fashioned:

I am sorry to say, but the disrespect you describe typically reflects poor discipline and control from your grandchildren’s parents, who most likely also experienced an undisciplined upbringing.

As the saying goes, “like father like son. Like mother like daughter.” Undisciplined attitudes and behaviors such as you describe are largely responsible for the erosion of the social structure in our country. It appears that since the baby boom of the post-war ’40s, discipline and responsibility for teaching our offspring morals and positive social conduct has eroded to the point that it is often embarrassing to take a trip to the mall, or difficult to enjoy a quiet meal in a family restaurant. Unless discipline is restored to our homes and schools I fear that the saying, “You have made your bed, so now you must sleep in it” will remain all too applicable.

Dear Readers:

Today’s answers can be supplemented with excerpts from “Yesterday’s Children” (Q1: pp. 27-28; Q2: p. 30) written by psychologists Marti Barham, R.N., Ph.D. and Tom Greene, Ph.D. For more information visit

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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