Life Advice


Health & Spirit

How 'twin brothers' can respond to rude questions from adults

Carolyn Hax on

Seriously -- deflect all you want, as you want, in as few syllables as you want. It's nobody's business, at all. Any follow-ups by the particularly clueless can be shut down more explicitly.

Readers also suggest:

-- "Because that is how adoption works." You can stand up for your sons and adoption all in one breath.

-- Give them the "think about it, genius" look. If the 5-year-olds delivered the look, that would be perfect.

-- "The Doobies weren't really brothers, either."

Dear Carolyn:

Most of my kids' friends are going to summer camp. My kids feel inferior because we can't afford it. Is there something to be said for living in a neighborhood where everyone has similar incomes?

-- Money Troubled

I suppose, but I think there's a lot more to be said for living in a neighborhood with a big range of incomes. I think economic diversity is underappreciated and often ignored for the more talked about diversity in ethnicity and race.

I know exactly how your kids feel, so I'm not discounting it. However, obstacles are what spur creativity, growth, resiliency, compassion and self-knowledge. Plus, it's not even a universal obstacle but one of proximity; they only care about summer camps because they're in a community of summer-campers.

So their summertime limits are a bummer they can spin into the gold of resourcefulness as they fill their own time -- exploration, free play, developing a lot more independence than campers get, earning money, perfecting a skill or sport, reading? Or it can fuel a motivating fire to be able to afford someday what their friends have now. Again, no fun for any of you in the moment, but not the worst thing.


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