Straight Talk Advice

Holiday Issues - In General

Christmas shopping frenzy “on steroids” far adrift from “O Silent Night”

Dear Straight Talk: The winter holidays seem to be a stressed-out “what am I getting” and ”what am I buying” nightmare and I wonder if these once-sacred holidays hold any meaning at all for young people. (Maybe the…

7 Comments

The Pesky Holiday Problem of Drunken Parents

Dear Straight Talk: My sister and I dread, rather than enjoy, family gatherings. Political and religious arguments ruin them, especially when the adults have too much to drink, as they usually do. My parents are as bad as the others. If…

7 Comments

Yikes! Christmas with my boyfriend and his teenagers!

Dear Straight Talk: I’m going to my boyfriend’s house for the special day of Christmas. His boy, 15, and girl, 13, will be there. We’ve been together nine months now and I’ve only met the daughter once for five minutes,…

6 Comments

Family gatherings an opportunity for inter-gen bonding and support

Dear Straight Talk: I'm hosting several sets of parents, grandparents, teenagers and college students for Thanksgiving. The young people tend to divide off, many staring into their devices, while some elders stare into the TV. What…

9 Comments

Father Gets the ‘Straight Talk’ on School Shootings

Dear Straight Talk: To combat school shootings, our school district is considering arming teachers who undergo extensive training. All this is making my daughter (age 17) even more nervous about school shootings — while my son, 15,…

4 Comments

The importance of Father

Dear Readers: How much do fathers matter? Same as I said for mothers on Mother's Day: Worlds. Yet, a lot of people aren't "getting the memo". The U.S. leads the world in fatherless families. In 1960, only 12 percent of…

1 Comment

In praise of Mother

Dear Readers: How much do mothers matter? Worlds. To all mothers, stepmothers, and female caregivers, Happy Mother's Day! —Love, Lauren

5 Comments

Teen suffers post holiday blues

Dear Straight Talk: It's the day after Christmas and I'm so depressed. We do this whole thing at my grandparents where my relatives buy all this stuff and we spend the day pretending we are so thrilled with what we opened. I just…

3 Comments

Wishes for the World 2013

Dear Readers: Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it. Indeed, wishes are like seeds and each holiday season I ask the panel to dig deeply into their hopes and dreams for improving the world. As usual, this generation…

2 Comments

Thank-you letters good for Auntie, good for kids

Dear Straight Talk: Each year I give my niece and nephew an expensive gift of something they want or need, often including money. If I'm there, they say thank you but I've never once received a thank-you letter. I know young people…

2 Comments
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