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Q: A guy I am dating has two sons. One son is five and the other eleven years of age. The five-year-old and he were tossing around the football and the son got hit in the face lightly, but it still hurt him and he was holding back from crying. My friend told me that he told his five-year-old to be tough. I don't think that was the proper thing to say. What is your advice?
A: If the father thinks these displays of emotion are unmanly or wimpish, this young boy will be hesitant to show his feelings next time. Kids should be able to show all their emotions to their parents without fear of being shamed or embarrassed. How people treat their kids should be a priority you keep in mind when you are dating seriously.
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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.