[Editor's note: Rap pioneer and Geto Boys member Willie D answers reader questions for our sister paper, Houston Press. Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!]
Photo courtesy of Peter Beste
Dear Willie D:
My mother's brother has been living with my 17-year-old daughter and me ever since he became ill. About a month ago my daughter was sleeping on a lounge chair in the living room across from the sofa that my uncle was sleeping on. I was in bed when I heard my daughter screaming at him. I rushed to see what was going on and she told me that my uncle propositioned her for sex.
When I asked him about it he said he was talking in his sleep. The only problem was that my daughter said he was sitting up with his eyes wide open. I want to believe that he didn't consciously try to have sex with his own niece. But at the same time I know my daughter and she is not a liar. I want to kick him out of my house but conversely, what if he really was talking in his sleep? I don't know what to think.
For now my uncle is still living with me but being around him is very awkward. Should I give him a second chance or put him out?
Why take a chance? If I were you, he would have been booted out with a knuckle sandwich the same night that I heard my daughter screaming. The fact is he propositioned his own niece for sex. If he wanted to sleep-talk he should have found another subject to talk about. I don't care if he was coming out of a coma. Homey don't play that.
SPOILED ROTTEN KIDS TAKING ME FOR GRANTED
Dear Willie D:
I have three kids and all of them are self-absorbed brats. They have a sense of entitlement about life. Because my husband and I weren't raised with much we showered our kids with the spoils of life. Whatever they want they pretty much get, but on those rare occasions when they don't get what they want they can be impossible to deal with.
My oldest son is the worst. A few days ago he cursed at his father and me because we wouldn't buy him a new car after he wrecked his car. When our younger kids see him acting that way it provokes them to do the same. My kids have no respect for authority. They are irresponsible, ungrateful and arrogant. We give them everything they want but still they treat us like dirt.
I don't think I've ever heard any of them say thank you without being prompted to do so. They don't listen to anything I say and all of them talk back. I feel powerless to do anything about their attitudes or actions. I don't believe in spankings and punishment doesn't work. If they don't change I know it will have major implications on their futures. What can I do to change their destructive behavior?
Welcome to 21st-century parenting. The burden of responsibility and respect lies with the parent. We got too many folks today in America trying to be their children's pals, not parents. Don't be afraid to discipline your children using whatever method is most effective. Unlike you, I do believe in spanking, but constant spankings don't work. However, punishment does work, but you have to be firm, fair and consistent.
There is no one size fits all way of parenting but there is one word. It's called NO! Learn how to effectively communicate it and you will be amazed at how grounded and appreciative your kids will become. I salute you exploring new methods to put your kids on track. You are right to be concerned about their futures and their ability to cope socially because they may be able to get away with disrespecting you, but the world will be less forgiving.
More Willie D advice on the next page.
MY NEIGHBOR IS A MOOCHER
Dear Willie D:
I can't stand my next-door neighbor. He is a classic moocher who rings my doorbell no less than twice a week to freeload. He has begged for everything from money to toilet paper. Sometimes when he mows his lawn he will mow a substantial portion of mine, and whenever I'm out of town he picks up my newspaper out of the yard so that potential burglars don't notice that no one is home.
Because I appreciate the little things he does for me, I tend to not mind as much as I probably should. But his sponging has taken a toll on my patience. How do I rid myself of his mooching with offending him and at the same time capitalize off of the nice things he does for me?
Out Of Patience:
Tell him to stop mowing any part of your lawn and whenever you'll be away from home for an extended amount of time, call the newspaper company to suspend your delivery until you return. If you like his services so much, you need to either pay him and owe nothing more, or let him continue doing them for free and remain obligated to his mooching practices. You can't have it both ways.
DAD WON'T GROW UP
Dear Willie D:
My dad is a complete embarrassment. He spends most of his time hanging around his loser, much younger friends talking about girls and what they would like to do with them; like he's in middle school. He is the old guy at the party who will dance crazy to get attention and talks like a new-age hippie so that people will think he's cool. The other day he came over to my house wearing skinny jeans.
He reminds me of the movie "That's My Boy" where Adam Sandler played an immature slacker dad who refuses to grow up. I love my dad but I just wish he would act like my dad instead of a weird friend who is unaware that he doesn't have to act like a juvenile delinquent to be accepted. Is there anything I can say or do to help my dad reach mental maturity?
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Tell your dad how you feel about his immature antics and when he does act childish, don't entertain him. As with children who act out for attention, in most cases ignoring them is the best way to go. Being attentive and catering to them only reinforces their negative behavior. Having said that, your dad is a grown man with an adult child and residual bills. He is pretty much set in his ways.
Everyone has at least one friend who relishes in his role as the life of the party. The next time your dad acts like a juvenile don't think of him as your dad. Imagine that he's the goofy, fun dude in your crew and accept him for that; the goofy, fun dude in your crew. I know that sounds crazy but sometimes we have to do crazy things to maintain relationships with the people we love. Don't try to change him. Change your expectations of him.
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com, and come back soon for more of his best answers.