DEAR HARRIETTE: My parents have been separated for eight months now, and they have both been seeing other people. I enjoy hanging out with my mom and her boyfriend, but I hate being around my dad and his new girlfriend. I feel like she has changed him. Since he started dating her, he has been acting differently. He asks my siblings and me to hang out with him and go over to his house every now and then, but we don’t like being around him that much. I tried explaining this to my mom, but she doesn’t care to listen because she and my dad don’t speak anymore.
I feel bad that my dad genuinely wants to spend time together but I don’t want to because of who he has become. Is it rude of me to tell him the ways in which he has changed when I know that he’s happy? -- Daughter of a Different Dad, Atlanta
DEAR DAUGHTER OF A DIFFERENT DAD: The person you need to talk to is your dad. Your duty is to be open and honest with him and attempt to forge a solid relationship with him. Tell him the truth, with specifics, about what he has done that bothers you. Ask him to be mindful of what he says and does as it hurts you. Commit to making the effort to spend more time with him to see if you can work it out. Ask to spend alone time with him when his girlfriend isn’t around.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)