DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter wants to go to a rap concert with her friends. She is so excited about the possibility. She and her friends listen to the artist all the time. I allowed her to go to another big concert this summer with friends, and she did well. I told her she can go this time if she has a buddy who agrees to stay with her during the whole concert. If they buddy up and follow the basic directions that we have given them their whole lives, I anticipate they will be fine. These concerts have lots of security.
Once I got comfortable with the idea, I discovered that her friend’s mom is nervous and doesn’t want to let her daughter go. I believe that we can’t protect our children from everything, and I do think we can let them go as long as they make smart choices. What should I say to this mom? -- Let Them Go
DEAR LET THEM GO: You have entered the phase of parenting teenagers where you will constantly be evaluating freedom versus safety. Every parent wants to protect their child from potential harm. Going to a large concert has its challenges. The very nature of a large crowd is at the top of the list. Go through your checklist of precautions with the other parent and explain that you believe that if your daughters follow them, they will be as safe as possible. Share your perspective, making it clear that you do not have a crystal ball, but you trust your daughter and want to give her this opportunity.
You might also ask your daughter to think of another friend who may want to go with her. You should not pressure this mother too much. State your case and move on, if necessary. For your peace of mind, you want your teen to go with another person who shares your values and whose parent is on board.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am having a hard time keeping track of all of my responsibilities. I used to have an assistant, but I had to let him go; I don’t have the budget to support an employee anymore.
For most of my career I have had administrative help. I’m creative, and I have needed support to keep all of the details in place. Now that I am alone, I have been missing appointments and failing to stay on top of some of the most important details of my business. I know this sounds pathetic, but it’s true. What do you recommend that I do to get it together? -- Falling Apart
DEAR FALLING APART: It can be challenging to change your work style and keep an even flow, especially if you are accustomed to having administrative support. If you have any budget at all, you may consider hiring a virtual assistant for an hour or so a day. Many people work remotely and offer focused engagement for clients so that you get support without having to pay a full-time salary.
You can also look into administrative software that can support your efforts to stay on top of your work. Smartphones have many features that can help you keep track of your responsibilities. There are ways that you can get the help you need at a price you can afford!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)