DR. WALLACE: I’m having trouble with an important relationship in my life — the one with my mom. My dear, sweet mother treats me like a child, which is crazy because I’m now 15 years old and I’m becoming more and more of a young woman every day.
For example, my mom reminds me when to go to sleep, when to take a shower, when and what to eat for breakfast and when to leave for school. I feel smothered even though I am a responsible young lady. I already know all about all these things, and I want to start making my own decisions about my daily activities. Can you advise me on how I can convince my mother that I’m not a child, but rather a responsible young lady? — Feeling Smothered by My Mother, via email
FEELING SMOTHERED BY MY MOTHER: It appears that you and your mother are ready for a nice open discussion on this topic. Tell her you’d like to talk to her about something important for about 20 minutes.
Tell her that you love her and appreciate how hard she works to be sure to keep you on schedule in your life. Then also tell her very calmly that you’d like opportunities to demonstrate to her that you are capable of managing more of your own personal time and tasks.
It’s important for you to continue to act maturely and be quite responsible on your own to prove to your mother you’re not a child. The key is to impress your mother so much that her smothering will evolve into pride in how well you are growing up into a responsible, reliable young lady.
DR. WALLACE: I’m so excited! I said yes to my boyfriend when he proposed to me recently. We are now already planning the wedding and it should happen early next year in the spring of 2022. We are getting the guest list together, but this has caused me a huge problem.
I want to have both of my parents present for my wedding but this creates a very delicate situation. The specific problem is that my father abused my mother during their marriage, and they have not seen nor spoken to each other in over 10 years.
I love both of my parents, but I certainly don’t want any drama at my wedding. Should I invite them both, or should I just invite my mother, who was the person who truly raised me to become the woman I am today? — Wedding Concerns, via email
WEDDING CONCERNS: This is your special day and if you want to, you have the right to invite both of your parents to the wedding. But if you do choose to do this, make sure well in advance that you let each of your parents know you have invited the other one as well so that there are no surprises.
Wedding etiquette dictates that your parents will not sit at the bridal table or stand together in the receiving line. Each parent will have their own table to keep their contact to a minimum, and in your case, I would keep these tables quite “socially distanced” if they both choose to witness your special day.