How can I tell a friend of mine to stop disciplining my daughter?


(Ben Claassen III/For Express)

A friend of mine is always disciplining my daughter in ways I do not agree with. My daughter is only 3, and my friend expects her to always be perfect with her please and thank-yous, to share perfectly with her daughter, etc. How do I tell her to loosen up? -Annoyed Friend

If you’re going to be friends for the long haul, you’ll need to find a way to manage your different parenting styles without passive-aggressiveness or thrown Gogurts. You have options: have an in-depth heart-to-heart with her, address each incident as it comes, bite your tongue and find outside ways of coping or spend less time with her. I vote for the first one. Say, “I’ve noticed you and I have different philosophies and expectations about this 3-year-old stage. For instance, I’m not as strict when she misses a ‘please’ at home. How should we bridge this when we’re together so that our girls get a consistent message?”

A Matter of Faith

I’ve been dating a guy who could be the love of my life. He’s Jewish, and his faith is important to him. I’m Christian. I’m not as tied to my faith as he is, but I have mixed feelings about converting, which is something he’s made clear that he would expect if we got married. We have friends with mixed-faith marriages that I would like to emulate. But he’s convinced we need to be united in our faith. I feel like if I start a marriage having changed something so big about myself, that’s not a good precedent. -Roadblock

Everyone has different thresholds for what they’re willing to change before marriage. For some people, changing toothpaste brands is too much, whereas others will happily relocate to a different continent. So although I can’t answer this for you, here are some questions that can help: Is he uncompromising in other ways? Would conversion and following the faith be a one-off deal, or might he start expecting you to do more to fit his ideals? And the mixed-faith marriages that are unattractive to him — why, exactly?

Read previous columns:

My boyfriend is so into working out that I think he might have a disorder.

How do I tell my friend she shouldn’t be dating so soon after her husband’s death?

Will staying with my in-laws this summer be the worst week ever?

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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Marc Silver · May 13, 2014