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DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is a true teenager. Even when it is freezing outside, she doesn't want to wear a coat. All of the kids these days wear big sweatshirts instead of true outerwear. I see them and know this is their style, but I also know that when it is below freezing outside, they need to be properly dressed. I don't like forcing my daughter to do things at this age, but I don't want her to get sick. How can I get her to understand? -- Putting My Foot Down, Cambridge, Massachusetts

DEAR PUTTING MY FOOT DOWN: Remember that you are the parent here. Make it clear to your daughter that she has no other option in the bitter cold than to wear her coat. These days there are lightweight coats made with new technology that are extremely warm without being bulky. If your daughter does not have a coat like that, you might consider buying her one. They are available in virtually every price range, and a lot of young people wear them. No matter what, let your daughter know that she must wear a coat on cold winter days. If she does not, you should take away privileges like her phone -- something she will truly miss.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My next-door neighbors invited my husband and me to go on a trip with them to Europe this summer. They just asked because they wanted to give us enough time to prepare if we want to go. I love the idea. My husband and I have never taken a vacation out of the country. We love our neighbors, and it would be fun to go with them.

My husband is nervous about the trip. He reminded me of the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium. He cautioned me about other parts of Europe, too. I pointed out that these things happen in the United States as well. I suggested that we take a risk to enjoy this moment with our friends. He is not interested. We have until the end of January to get back to our friends. How can I convince him to go for it? -- Ready for Vacay, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

DEAR READY FOR VACAY: Your husband's concerns about safety are valid. It is true that there have been a number of terrorist activities in European countries -- as they have also occurred stateside. Added to this concern is the fact that your husband is not a traveler. He is probably nervous in general about going overseas.

Show him photos of the places you might visit and talk about the possibilities of what you can do while you are on the trip. Tell him that you really want to go and that you would like him to reconsider the trip. Add that the best way to not give in to terrorism is to live your life to the fullest, without fear.

You may want to invite your neighbors to talk with the two of you about the plans for the trip just to get your husband engaged in the discussion. Talking about it may get him to open up to the idea.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years now. We get along great and feel like we will be together forever. We both just finished college and are working hard to get on our feet. Though we talk about the future, we have not specifically talked about marriage.

A few of our friends are engaged now, and I'm feeling a little anxious. I know we need to get good jobs and earn enough money to get a real home and all, but I don't know why we can't do those things together as a married couple. I don't want to push my boyfriend, but I do want to get married. What should I say to him? -- Ready to Tie the Knot, Wilmington, Delaware

DEAR READY TO TIE THE KNOT: Without pressuring your boyfriend, you should talk about the future and how you envision it. If you want to have children, let him know that and give a sense of when you would want to have a child. Go through your list of questions and thoughts about building a life together, and ask him to share his thoughts. You can ask him if he wants to get married, and, if so, when he thinks would be a good time. You deserve to know if the two of you are on the same page as you plan for the future. Talk it out, and you will have a better sense of whether the two of you should remain on this journey together.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My company is taking the leadership team on a retreat soon, and I have been invited. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity. The only thing is, I have never been out of the country, and I don't have a passport. I heard that it takes a long time to get a passport. I don't want to miss out on this trip. I also don't want everybody to know that I have never been anywhere. Most of my co-workers who are on the fast track spent a semester abroad while they were in college. Quite a few of them go to the Caribbean every year. Me, I just work and go home. I work a gazillion hours, which is why I have been promoted. I worry that I'm not going to measure up. -- Going Abroad, Cincinnati

DEAR GOING ABROAD: You are likely not alone. Many people get passports when they are adults. Do not be ashamed about that. Get proactive. You can get an expedited passport -- for a premium price -- in a matter of days. You may need proof of travel, which would be a copy of your airline ticket. Then you should get your passport photos taken and choose an expediter to process your passport. Depending on how much time you have, you can also process it normally. Without extra fees, you need four to six weeks. Expedited is two to three weeks, and expedited through an agency is about eight days. For more information, visit

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


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