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Freezing out the ‘cool’ mom

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: I know this is a petty thing to worry about, but my 10-year-old is really fond of her best friend’s mother. She’s constantly talking about how “cool” she is, and they share a lot of interests (making crafts and baking). It really seems sometimes that they have more of a relationship than we do. The woman is perfectly nice, but now I feel irritated by her and I try to discourage them spending time together. Please help.

A: It’s not petty. It stings, and understandably so. But part of watching your children grow up is watching them develop truly meaningful relationships with other adults.

Your daughter has someone in her life who shares her interests – that’s exactly what “it takes a village” is all about. And thank goodness that this village has people who will bake, shoot hoops or explain physics homework better than we can. Our own parenting benefits from these villagers, and our kids’ lives are enriched by them many times over. Trust in the importance of your role, which can’t be duplicated. And remember that quality time doesn’t necessitate being clones of each other.

Is her guy too ‘metrosexual’?

Q: Are men who are really into their appearance more likely to cheat than other guys? My friends say so. I am dating a guy who is definitely metrosexual and my friends say I should stay away. Reality check?

A: Sadly, Congress has yet to allocate research funds for this crucial public health issue. So I don’t have an empirical answer.

Might there be a small connection between caring a lot about how you look and wanting to be admired by others? And might there be a connection between the desire for the admiration of others and the likelihood of infidelity? Perhaps. But I’m guessing there are about a million other variables. Get to know your guy on a more meaningful level than his daily quotient of hair gel and the size of his closet. And listen to your own gut about who he really is, not some sound bite from your friends.

If you’re seeking their advice because you’re worried about this issue, explore why that is. But if they’re just chiming in because they don’t like his manscaping, remember this relationship is yours alone.

Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.”
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