Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Parents Think Son Is Involved With Too Many Women

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son is now a young man. He is a good student in college and kind to his family. On the flip side, my husband and I see that he is too much of a lady's man. We taught him to be a gentleman and to treat women with respect. We think he is sexually involved with multiple women, and we do not condone this behavior.

Our son no longer lives at home and is already 21 years old, so we know we cannot control him, but we want to say something to encourage him to be less promiscuous. What do you recommend? -- Slow Down, Son, Madison, Wisconsin

DEAR SLOW DOWN, SON: You are right -- you cannot control your son’s behavior. What you can do is remind him of the values you taught him growing up. Caution him about the health risks of promiscuity, which include sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Add the inherent risk he runs in hurting these women’s feelings by being intimate with them without establishing true intimacy. Doing your part means reminding him of what you believe. You also will have to accept that he has to live his own life and suffer the consequences accordingly.

Be Sure to Introduce Old Friend to New Ones at Party

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend from my childhood who I see a couple of times a year at most. Even so, we are pretty close. She does not know most of my current friends who I see a lot more frequently. I’m thinking of having a party during the holidays and want to invite everyone, but I don’t want anyone to feel awkward. How do you think I should handle the friend who doesn’t know anybody but me? -- Party Planning, Silver Spring, Maryland

DEAR PARTY PLANNING: When one person is not part of a larger friend group, it is wise to think of ways to welcome that person into an existing fold. During the holidays, it is common for people to travel in groups as they go from event to event. Invite your friend, and suggest that she bring a date or a friend to come with her. Tell her who will be at the party and that you are excited for her to meet these people. In turn, be sure to tell your new friend group that an old friend is coming. Ask them to help to make her feel comfortable.

At the event, be sure to circulate among all of your guests. Introduce your childhood friend to the others. Think of stories that you can share about each of your guests that are lighthearted and revealing about them, their connection to you and their personalities. As the hostess, you have to work the party to ensure that everyone feels comfortable.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)