Life Advice



Daughter Won't Tell Parent About Black Eye

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: Somebody gave my daughter a black eye while she was away at college, and she didn't tell me. I had to find out from a friend. I am furious and have a million questions, but my daughter refuses to tell me who gave her a black eye. I don't know who she is trying to protect. She does not have a boyfriend, and she isn't normally a fighter, so there are no real suspects that I can point a finger at. I'm so angry and so sad. What can I do? Should I fly to her college town and look for answers? -- Black Eye

DEAR BLACK EYE: Sounds like your daughter didn't tell you about the black eye because she feared the very reaction that you are having right now. While it is horrible that someone assaulted her, she is a young adult now and has the right to deal with her issues in her own way. Of course, you want to protect her and avenge this violation, but it is not your responsibility to do so unless she asks you to.

Back off. Do your best to be a sounding board and a comfort to your daughter. Clearly, she is trying to process what happened to her on her own. You cannot force her to tell you anything, so stop trying. Instead, let her know that you want to support her in any way she needs. Tell her you are sorry for being so pushy about the black eye. Let her know you will stop asking. That may help her to relax. Eventually she may confide in you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: The company I work for is doing absolutely everything they can to keep me happy. I've been with them for a while, but I really don't enjoy my job. They pay me well, and that's pretty much the only reason I've stayed this long. I told my boss I am thinking about leaving to explore my options, and he offered me a significant pay increase, more time off and a bigger office. Would it be stupid to leave now? -- Ready To Leave

DEAR READY TO LEAVE: Out of respect for your boss, be honest. Thank him for the pay increase and other bonuses. Let him know that you will stay for at least a particular amount of time that you feel comfortable agreeing to, and make your plan for your future. Figure out what you really want to do. Actively look for a job in that field. Do not give up on your dreams, but be appreciative of how much your boss values you. It is rewarding to know that your company values you enough to shower you with incentives to stay. Your job is to handle this eventual departure with grace so that you remain in good standing whenever the day comes that you leave.


The mistake that some people make when in this position is to take everything that is thrown at them and never share a vision of their future with the company. Then when they leave, it comes as a shock to their boss and often appears to be an insult. Be strategic and honest. Let your boss know how much you appreciate the support and faith in you. Promise to do your best as long as you stay there. Give plenty of notice when you do get another job and, to the best of your ability, try to help them find your replacement. Your boss will appreciate that the most.


(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.)

Copyright 2022, Harriette Cole



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