Some short answers

My cleaning lady broke an expensive lamp and offered to pay for it. This isn’t the first time she’s broken something, and I always say no to her money, but this time I’m annoyed. Should I accept her money?

No. You should not. And you’re a terrible person for even thinking about it.

My ten-year-old doesn’t turn off the iPad right away when I ask, and sometimes promises to turn it off when his show is over but will sneak and start another one. This is unacceptable. What can I do?

Here’s what you can do: realize that the only time anyone in your household will ever respond and obey the first time they hear your voice is when you ask if they want ice cream. Maybe trick him and ask if he wants ice cream, and when he gets up to get it, snatch the iPad away and turn it off.

My teenage daughter’s friend sleeps over sometimes and I think she’s stealing from us. What would you do about this?

Not invite her to sleep over anymore. Or maybe invite her over and set a trap, like some gold and emeralds on the kitchen table, and when she takes them, jump out of the broom closet and yell A-HA. And then don’t invite her over again.

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