Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Upset By Former Colleague's Lies of Omission

DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like peer pressure is taking away my teenage son’s brain. It was freezing this week, and my son tried to go to school wearing shorts. Shorts! I mean, it snowed a week ago. I know that kids these days don’t like to wear coats and other basic winter attire, but shorts? That's taking it too far.

This has become a battle with my son. How can I get him to understand that dressing to match the weather is a sign of intelligence? -- Poor Wardrobe Choices

DEAR POOR WARDROBE CHOICES: Stop fighting with your son and put your foot down, as my mother used to say. Tell him that he has to wear long pants until the weather gets warm. Period.

If your son continues to defy you, take away a key privilege, like the use of his cellphone. For many people, especially teens, the cellphone is their lifeline. You have to pick something that will make your son pay attention to you and realize that you are serious -- then you have to follow through.

(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.)