DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenager is in his "musician phase," as I call it. He has been plucking away at a guitar and singing for weeks now. He is a sweet boy, but he is an untrained musician. This has been driving the whole family nuts. I want him to keep it down, but he told me he's writing a love song for a girl. I am torn between supporting him and saving my sanity. Can I banish him to the garage without seeming too harsh? -- Serenading, Detroit
DEAR SERENADING: This is why we have garages! Seriously, you have every right to manage the noise in your home, even as you work to support your son. Give him hours when he cannot play because he will disturb the people inside the house and the neighbors. If you can offer him the garage as a respite, fantastic. Just be sure that he can play in there with the doors closed and not create too much sound that filters into the neighborhood. Some families have soundproofed their garages in order to keep the peace.