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DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is going away to college. It dawned on me the other day that I’ve never taught her how to cook. She plans on living in the dorms for the first year of school, but I’m afraid she’ll be ill-prepared when she lives on her own. She leaves for school in less than a month. Is she going to be OK? — Leaving Home
DEAR LEAVING HOME: It is not too late to teach your daughter a few basic recipes along with how to navigate a kitchen. Buy her a set of kitchen essentials: mixing spoons, knives, spatula, pots and pans, mixing bowls, spices. Write out or photocopy a few recipes for simple meals. Think of dishes that require very few steps, such as scrambled eggs, baked potato, steak, broccoli. Teach your daughter how to read labels so that she can be mindful of sodium and sugar content in processed foods.
Make the lessons fun so that your daughter will want to learn. Consider it a bonding exercise for the two of you. Check out cookbooks together and give her a book that piques her interest. This can be the start of a new, ongoing connection for the two of you.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I think my personal trainer is taking things way too far. I don’t appreciate the way he talks to me in our workouts when I feel too tired to continue. I think there’s a fine line between being motivational and being pushy and harsh, and he crosses it every time. Should I find a new trainer, or am I just being sensitive? — Harsh Trainer
DEAR HARSH TRAINER: There are many trainers in the world — not just this one. The goal in working with a trainer is not for you to be shamed into working harder; you should be inspired to push ahead. It really doesn’t matter if your reaction is a sign of sensitivity or not. Even if you are super-sensitive, you deserve to work with a trainer who understands that and who is willing to figure out how to work with you to get you to push harder. It would be different if you were in a class with many people so that the harshness isn’t individualized. But the whole point of working one-on- one with a trainer is so that you can have person- alized coaching JUST FOR YOU that meets your needs.
It sounds like this trainer is manipulating you or bullying you. Neither is good, nor do you have to endure it anymore. You can end that relationship immediately. Ask your friends for referrals. If you hired this trainer through your gym or another organization, give them feedback on your experience with him. You can do the same on his social media — not slamming him, but providing honest feedback on what it was like for you to work with him.
Do your research so that whomever you choose next has not only the skills but also a temperament that suits you.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyl- ist and founder of DREAM- LEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and acti- vate their dreams. You can send questions to askharri- firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.