April 19, 2024
Plus: My Netflix addiction is out of control.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son wants to go into the military.

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On one hand, I can see how it might be good for him. He lacks structure in his life, and I believe he will have no choice but to learn discipline in order to survive while in the service.

Still, I can’t help but worry that this is a dangerous job.

I know people who have served over the years. Some were killed in the line of duty. Others came back with severe mental or emotional trauma. Some are OK, I guess. You don’t hear as much about the ones who didn’t have problems.

This is my boy. I don’t want to see him get hurt, but I do want him to grow into a responsible man. I think the military might help.

What do you think?

— Military Man

DEAR MILITARY MAN: All parents worry about their children. No matter what, you want to protect your child from harm.

You are right — there is a lot of structure in the military. If your son needs rules, regulations, guidelines and schedules to sharpen his focus, the military may be perfect for him.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. It’s hard work. If he wants to do it, encourage him.

He should also think about what type of work he would like to do afterward. The military offers lots of training opportunities that can set people up for professional success upon discharge.

DEAR HARRIETTE: During the pandemic, I got wrapped up in watching movies and series on Netflix.

I can’t even tell you how many shows I have binge-watched. Plus, there are the old movies, new films and documentaries I consumed.

I really got into it, so much so that I am still hooked. My friends invite me out to do things with them, but I usually decline because I want to watch something on a streaming platform.

I have even gone to work late more than a few times because I stayed up all night watching endless episodes of something that caught my eye.

I think this is a problem. I know it’s nothing like drinking or doing drugs, but it still is out of control.

I need to be able to have a social life as well. Right now, it’s mainly just me and my TV. How can I break away?

— No More Binge-Watching

DEAR NO MORE BINGE-WATCHING: Turn off the TV and sit still for a moment. Ask yourself what you want for your life. Who do you want to spend time with? What makes you happy outside of the rabbit hole of streaming?

It may take a bit for you to concentrate on things other than the entertainment you have been consuming, but you can do it. You can also set time limits around when you allow yourself to have the TV on.

Create boundaries. Write out a schedule for your day that includes all activities, including work, exercise, eating and fun. Schedule in time with friends and, whenever possible, time outside of your house.

You can wean yourself off of these shows. It starts with getting up and walking away from the screen.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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