Q: I recently took my 5-year-old, “Ralphie,” to his pediatrician. While we were waiting to see the doctor, Ralphie played a game on my phone. Then the doctor knocked on the door, entered, said “hi” and smiled. He called my son’s name and immediately, without any prompts to get Ralphie’s attention, proceeded to take the phone from my son’s hand.
You don’t simply take things from people’s hands to get their attention. Ralphie may be a child, but he is also a person. I would feel different if, after the doctor had tried to get his attention, my son had ignored him.
I understand Ralphie had to get ready to pay attention and follow instructions. If he hadn’t, I would have removed the phone myself. This doctor is very competent and has seen Ralphie since the day he was born. He has always been dry and a bit brusque.
How do I tell the doctor that I find what he did unacceptable without risking the relationship? I’m not very assertive. The reason I don’t say anything most of the time is because I become angry very easily, and while I understand there are ways to say things, I simply do not possess those skills. My emotions are so strong that I can’t find a way of being assertive without saying something rude. What can I do? — Laura in New York
Several adults are telling me he takes advantage of me. I don’t know if I should continue to loan him money or tell him no. If I have to refuse him, it will be hard because I have a hard time saying no to others. I don’t know what to do anymore. Any advice would be great. — Paycheck to Paycheck