Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Parents Debate Sending Kids to Camp

DEAR HARRIETTE: I dislike my younger sister’s boyfriend. He is a manipulative mooch. He uses his relationship with my sister to get things from my family. For example, he has basically moved into our house, eats all of our food and is constantly asking my parents for things. My parents are so obsessed with him that they got him a fancy laptop.

I feel like I am the only one who notices his behavior, and every time I try to bring it up, my sister and my parents ignore it. How do I get my family out from under this guy’s spell? -- Out of My House, Atlanta

DEAR OUT OF MY HOUSE: Keep pointing out obvious moments when he is taking advantage of the situation, but know that they may not wake up to his machinations until he has hurt them. Be ready to support your family when he makes his move. Meanwhile, point out that until he is an official family member, he should not have full privileges. That may help.

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