Q: We just discovered that our 17-year-old is using nicotine. He tells us he's been using for the past several months, smoking two to four cigarettes a day to cope with academic anxiety and relationships. He tends to be socially reserved and has been struggling with academics of late. He appears contrite and remorseful and has said "I should never have gotten started with this stuff in the first place."
In agriculture, the more you learn, the less you know. Many farmers will tell you this. No season is the same, and you learn something every day. We began this year with enough rain to slow down planting. Once we got everything planted, the rain shut off.
Q: Our 8-year-old daughter tries to manipulate us and her siblings (she is the youngest of three) with emotional outbursts and whining when things don't go her way. She is mostly a delightful, cheerful child but this bothersome cycle flares up at least every other day. For the time being at least, she only behaves this way at home. I think she would be embarrassed to behave this way in front of other people, including her friends.
I have had several calls this past week about tree health and diagnosing tree issues. Disease is usually the first culprit in the homeowner's eyes, but I have found that many problems are nutritional disorders or site specific problems.
Bagworms are caterpillars that make distinctive "spindle-shaped" bags on a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs throughout Georgia. They have been known to attack both deciduous and evergreen trees, but are most often found on cedar, cypress, arborvitae, juniper, spruce and pine. I was on a site visit this past week and saw this pest devouring a Leyland cypress.
Two months ago, I conducted a two-day small-group "parent retreat" during which I talked about, among other things, the legitimacy and power of "because I said so." One of my missions is to promote the restoration of the attitude that accompanies the calm, straightforward (the operative conditions) delivery of that traditional parenting aphorism. Why? Because it is the very essence of effective discipline, that's why.
Q: Our 14-year-old daughter has difficulty controlling her anger. She has extreme outbursts fairly frequently here at home - screaming, cursing, and even throwing things when she doesn't get her way. She appears to have no respect for us and very little consideration for her two younger siblings.
The majority of us are either afraid of snakes or spiders, sometimes both. My wife will not come near a spider in the house and refuses to believe they serve a purpose other than terrifying her. From the reports of citizens across the state, the Brown Recluse Spider seems to be very, very active.