Q. My son likes to share his problems, but then gets annoyed with my advice and rejects it. Can I be helpful without upsetting him?
A. When kids tell you things and then don't want your input, it's confusing and frustrating. But sometimes they just want to vent. The next time he unloads, say, "I'd like to help, but are you telling me this because you want me to just listen or do you want advice too? Either way is fine, but just let me know." Then sit back and let him tell you what he needs.
Originally published in the June 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.