Saturday, December 20, 2014

Woman Wants To Know Why Men Keep Hitting On Her

Dear Tazi:

I am a busy, divorced Mom of an active son so I will be short, sweet, and to the point: How come men are coming out of woodwork - everyone from a nurse at the hospital  to a father in my son's class - and asking me "out" in not so polite terms. I'm not flirting or wearing anything remotely sexy and yet I'm getting requests everywhere; it's starting to be a pain!  Mind you I have a claddagh ring on left hand ring finger that is very classy, and custom made for me. I should also state that I have made it clear to these men that I am in a committed relationship, but that still hasn't stopped them.

Signed,
Getting Tired Of All This Attention:

Dear Getting Tired Of All This Attention:

Your claddagh ring sounds lovely, but are you sure that you are wearing it correctly?  According to DiamondRingr.com, this traditional Irish ring is to be worn on the right hand, with the hands and heart facing outward if you are single/looking and inward if you are in a committed relationship or married. If your ring is facing outward, men in the know about this tradition could see it as a signal to make a move.  This, however, does not excuse their use of crude and ungentlemanly language.  A Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust to them!

A Tazi Paw Slap of Disgust is like a Hallmark® card, only more honest!
If your claddagh ring is properly positioned and men are still coming onto you in not so polite terms, I suggest you tell them that "my boyfriend doesn't like it when other men talk to me that way, and neither do I!"  From there, calmly walk away or, if that is not possible, turn away from them so they know you are not interested.  If they continue to pursue you, do your best to ignore them.  Once they realize you are not playing hard to get their fervor will hopefully die.

This last step is very, very important: no matter how much a man continues to vie for your attention, you must ignore him.  The moment you give in to his desire for attention you give him power over you.  Just a spoiled child knows that Mommy will break down buy him a toy if he throws a tantrum, an unscrupulous man will learn what to do to break through your emotional armor and use it against you until you concede to having a conversation with him...or a drink...or dinner...or...(mind you, I am not saying all men are unscrupulous, but from the way you describe the way these men have been hitting on you they do not sound like gentlemen!).

As for how you act and dress, sometimes, all a woman has to do is smile and be friendly for a man to think that she is interested in him.  It is not for you to change your demeanor, but for the men who take it the wrong way to hold their horses and look for actual signs of interest and not interpret common courtesy as a green light into your bed.  Until these neanderthals catch on to the fact that you are not flirting with them, be sure to pepper your conversations with references to your partner and to flash that claddagh ring like a rapper flashes his bling!

Don "Magic" Juan would fit right in with the People of WalMart!

Snuggles,
Tazi

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Student Wants To Keep Plan To Drop Out A Secret

Dear Tazi:

I have not been doing well in school this year. As of my last report card I was failing two subjects and my grades have not improved any. My parents have refused to pay for summer school again (I went last summer) which means I will have to stay back a year. I can't stand school and I want to drop out. I know that this is a bad idea and that, in my state at least, you need to be 18 before you can test for a GED. I am only 16 1/2 which would mean I would have to wait a year and a half in limbo without a diploma or a GED.

I know a lot of employers will not hire a high school drop-out, so I was thinking about not officially dropping out. This way I can remain on the school roster as a student and work full-time at the same time. This would mean I have to work nights and weekends, but I would at least be able to establish myself in a job and prove what a good worker I am so when the boss finds out I dropped out of high school he wouldn't be so mad. Also, I could keep the fact that I have dropped out from my parents by pretending to go to school in the morning and then coming home to sleep while they are at work.

I am pretty sure my plan is fool-proof, but I wanted to run it by someone before I do it. I don't want to tell anyone because my Mom always says that once you tell someone a secret it is no longer a secret. Can you see any downfalls with my plan?

Signed,
Ready For The Real World

Dear Ready For The Real World:

Starting life in the "real world" based upon a lie is not a good way to start at all. If you are not brave enough to own your decisions than you are not brave enough to face the world on its terms. Based upon the poor grammar and number of spelling errors (all of which I corrected) I am going to assume that English is one of the subjects you are failing. Having a poor grasp on this subject is going to limit the types of job for which you will qualify. Even if your job does not require you to write, most jobs require you to be able to understand written instructions. This is where a high school education will come in handy.

I commend you on your plan to test for a GED, but there is no guarantee that you will pass the test, and you will have to study for it, just as you would for any other test you take in school. The only difference is that this test is a much larger one with a lot more riding on it.

If you were to work full time and not attend school, you would eventually be dropped from the rolls. Depending on your school district you may be dropped after as little as one month of unexcused absences. In the meantime, the school would be calling your parents to report your absence as well as the truant officer to search for and locate you. If you think your parents are upset with you now, wait and see how upset they will be if you follow through with your plan.

If you have not been tested for learning handicaps (dyslexia, ADD, or other issues that can make learning difficult) I suggest you go to your guidance counselor and ask for a screening. Your hatred of school may stem from your poor grades, which may in turn stem from a learning disorder that has gone undiscovered.

I strongly urge you to complete your high school education, but if you are set on dropping out than I strongly suggest you be honest about it.

Snuggles,
Tazi

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mother Not Amused By Young Son's Obsession With Toy Guns

Dear Tazi:

My young son "Ralphie" is positively obsessed with guns. Right now, he is too young to handle a real gun - even an air rifle - but he loves the toy guns he finds at his friends houses and, since I will not allow such toys in my house (I feel that they promote violence) Ralphie will make a gun-like motion with his thumb and forefinger and pretend to shoot, saying "bang bang" as he aims at anything that moves.

I have tried everything to dissuade Ralphie's interest in guns, running the gamut from punishment to rewards, but nothing works! I am afraid I am raising a little Charlton Heston and this is not what I want! Ralphie's father is not a part of his life, so I do not know where this obsession came from, but I would like some advice on how to end it!

Signed,
Peacemaker

Dear Peacemaker:

I can understand your concern about your young son's obsession with guns; but please understand that an obsession with guns does not necessarily translate into an obsession with violence. There is a well-defined line between fantasy-play and reality. The next time Ralphie points his pretend finger-gun at you - or another living creature - take a moment to sit him down and ask why he would want to shoot someone. If he gives a response that indicates that he is just playing (and this type of response can range from "because the dog is secretly an alien" to "because the cat is a bad guy") put your concerns to rest that your son is not the next Son of Sam. You should also take this moment to briefly explain to your son that guns upset you, and to please not "shoot" while in the house. According to PBS.org, this means talking with him, not to him. Ralphie's understanding of how a real gun works - and the damage one can cause - is probably much less developed than you realize.

As for where your son's gun obsession could have come from, that is anybody's guess. Some child psychiatrists (which I am not) believe that boys have a genetic predisposition to aggressive behavior, and an interest in guns is an off-shoot of this programming. If Ralphie is interested in other toys and activities besides guns - such as sports, games, children's books, and other age-appropriate activities - I would dial down the worry several notches. If Ralphie's "obsession" with guns is to the point where he ignores all other toys, I suggest that you speak to his pediatrician about his psychological development. It could be he is just going through a phase, or it could be that there is an underlying cause for Ralphie's fixation on one particular thing (in this case, guns).

Regardless of how deep Ralphie's gun obsession is, here are some tips courtesy of PBS.org on how to talk to your son about his gun-play:

Talk with your kids
Instead of talking at your son about guns (“Guns are dangerous!” “Don’t do that!”) talk with him. His understanding of guns is probably less sophisticated than you think.

Ask open-ended questions to acknowledge the play and spur conversation: “Looks like you’re having fun. What are you doing?” And gently but consistently underscore the difference between real and toy guns by emphasizing how much fun it is to “pretend.”

Limit your child’s exposure to violence on TV or in video games
“I think exposure to violence on TV or video games should be a greater concern to parents than gun play,” says Joshua Weiner, an Arlington, Virginia-based psychiatrist who specializes in children and adolescents. “Repeated exposure has been demonstrated in studies to desensitize kids to violence. It is important to limit this exposure, especially in younger kids.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids be exposed to no more than one to two hours of “quality [television] programming” per day.

Monitor, don’t necessarily prohibit, your child’s gun play
As long as playing with toy guns doesn’t dominate a child’s time, it’s okay to let him explore it...provided a parent or trusted adult is watching.

“Many young kids (under age five) don't even understand what shooting someone really means,” says Weiner. “The shooting is more about power, fantasy and imagination—not killing and death.” That said, “If all your son wants to do is engage in gun play, you need to place limits like you would on any other activity done in excess,” Weiner notes. “In this case, parents should consider taking the guns away and talking with their child about their concerns.”

If you’re going to buy a toy gun, make sure it really looks like a toy

Encourage “target practice.”
Achieving the simple goal of hitting a target with a foam-ball gun can be extremely satisfying for an active little boy, and it helps develop hand-eye coordination to boot. Just draw a bull’s-eye on a white board or make a pyramid of empty soda cans, and you’re good to go, says Kelly Moore, a mom of three from Denver, Colorado. There’s an added benefit, she says: “The boys can be competitive and have fun without accidentally hurting each other.”

Teach proper gun safety
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth pointing out: if you choose to have real guns in your home, it’s imperative to help your children understand and respect their power.

Again, these tips are courtesy of PBS.org. To read the full article, click here.

Snuggles,
Tazi

P.S. You mention that Ralphie's father is not a part of his life. I do hope that he has other active, positive male role models in his life, or this could lead to other developmental issues down the road.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.