My 17-year-old daughter got a texting-while-driving ticket. I swear she always has that cell phone in her hand, and I’m afraid someday she’s going to get into more trouble than just a ticket. I want to make sure the message gets through and that she learns a real lesson from this. What are your suggestions on driving the point home? ~Susanna in Pleasanton
He Said: By now everyone knows that texting while driving is waaay wrong so your teenage daughter can’t use ignorance in her defense. She endangered her life and the lives of others on the road, so in this situation there’s only one sure-fire way to drive the point home with your teenager…. temporarily take away either her car or her cell phone. I recommend taking away her driving privileges because if you take away her phone, she can easily get a new one without your knowledge. About 3-4 weeks should do it, and let her know if this happens again, the car disappears for a year.
She Said: Man, that’s harsh, Shawn, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and we don’t want to wait for something worse to happen before taking it seriously. However, if zero tolerance isn’t your parenting style, Susanna, then start with making your daughter pay the ticket, of course, and then imposing the phone check rule every time she uses the car. You’re looking for the time stamp, which may indicate if she was texting while driving. Do it regularly at first, then without notice now and again. It’s a hassle for everyone, but the inconvenience should break this dangerous habit.
I’ve realized that one of my best friends has turned into a “fair weather friend.” He only calls me when he needs something but doesn’t pick up the phone or return messages when I call him, even if it’s just to say hello. We’ve been great friends for 15 years, but now I feel the friendship is going down a one-way street. What’s the best way to let him know this friendship is no longer working for me?
~Darren in Dublin
She Said: I hear your pain, but let’s not be hasty. You’ve been friends a long time, and those relationships can be hard to find. Your buddy may have no idea how insensitive he’s being. A good friend will tell him, and the best way to begin is by making the problem yours rather than accusing him of wrongdoing. Explain that you feel bad when he only calls for a favor and that it hurts when he doesn’t return your calls. Then ask if he was aware this was happening? If not, and he apologizes and aims to fix it, that would be better than abandoning the friendship. If he really doesn’t seem to care about the one-way street, then maybe it is time to let it go.
He Said: Welcome to the club, Darren. We’ve all had a friend like this in our lives, one who doesn’t value the friendship the same as the other. These people can feel like a cancer, really weighing you down. Robin has a point that communicating your concerns is the first step to solving problems in any relationship, but I would keep this friend on a very short leash. If you’re still unsatisfied with the friendship once you’ve gotten to the bottom of the issue, it’s time to cut him loose. Friendships can run their course, and life’s way too short to waste driving down that one-way street.
Robin Fahr and Shawn Shizzo host Conversations and He Said/She Said seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30. Send your questions to www.AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.