Dear Janice, my son’s school friend has had nits four times in six months. (I know because he told my son).

As a result my son has caught them twice.

His friend is part of a large family and I reckon they must be continually reinfecting each other.

The family are lovely and have invited my son to a birthday sleepover, but I obviously can’t let him go.

How do I approach this with the child’s mother without offending her?


Dear Jane, I’m scratching just reading this!

This is a fairly common problem amongst school children and if we are honest, I think most of us had headlice at some point during our school days. But the fact that it is reoccurring is the real problem.

You obviously know the mother fairly well, and she must be aware of her household’s itchy situation, so I don’t think it would come as a surprise if you said you were keeping your son away until the little mites have disappeared completely.

However, if you feel you can’t raise the issue with her, lie and say your son has another party, and speak to the boy’s teacher. The probability is that other kids in her classroom have had a wee beastie problem too.

Dear Janice, one of my best friends is getting married in a few weeks’ time and as part of the celebrations the bridal party are heading to Newcastle for her hen do.

I’m a bridesmaid and was really looking forward to it as they are a great bunch of girls, but my boyfriend of six months has put a right dampener on the whole thing.

He made it clear from the start that he wasn’t happy I was going, and whenever it’s mentioned he goes in a bad mood and makes nasty comments.

Now he has come flat out and said that if I go, he’ll make sure he “makes up for it big time” by organising a week in Spain with his mates.

The bride will be upset if I don’t go, and he’ll be livid if I do!

This whole mess will put a dampener on the wedding too because everyone will be talking about the hen do and I’ll be the one left out.

Regardless of my decision, this happy occasion is now going to be miserable. What should I do?


Dear Shirley, the obvious solution to all your problems would be to get shot of this loser.

Think seriously about the unfair and unreasonable demands he is putting on you and you’ve only been seeing him for a short period of time. This is completely out of order and believe me, if you give in now his selfish demands will only escalate. Ask him how you are going to explain to your friends why you can’t go, and that it will be obvious it’s down to him.

The guy obviously has trust issues, perhaps because he knows how he behaves when away from his partner.

Send him packing permanently, then pack your own case and enjoy your hen do with people who will make you happy, not crush the life out of you.

Dear Janice, my daughter is 15 and has never had a hobby or much interest in any particular thing.

However, a few months back her friend took her horse riding and she absolutely loved it. So much so, that we are paying for a weekly riding lesson for her.

She is on a high when she comes home and we are over the moon to see her so engaged in something for the first time ever.

The thing is, now she wants her own horse!

The lessons are pricey and all the riding gear is expensive, and we simply don’t have money to buy a horse, never mind the upkeep of it.

We keep stalling her when she asks as we don’t want to disappoint her and curb her enthusiasm by saying no to her.

Any ideas on how to keep her happy and motivated without breaking the bank?


Dear Karen, it’s wonderful when your kids find their passion in life, and it seems your daughter has found hers. But anything worth having and truly appreciated is rarely handed to you on a plate, and she needs to learn this.

Owning any pet is a huge responsibility ... but a horse is a massive commitment. Not just because of the financial upkeep, but realistically how does she get to and from her horse on a daily basis? What if she decides to go to university and moves away?

Explain these things to her and say that in a few years when she is old enough to drive and earn a wage, she will be in a much better position to own a horse.

In the meantime, there are lots of options.

She could half-lease one which might make it affordable, or she could contact stables and offer to groom, feed and muck them out for free. That way she gets to be around her beloved animals without the full-time responsibility.

When the time comes to buy her own, she can buy a second-hand horse which would be less expensive.

I’m sure when you explain all of these things it just might motivate her to work all the harder towards her goal.