DR. WALLACE: I would like to ask for your advice because I trust that you will give me an honest answer. I'm in a touchy situation; I'm 19 years old, unmarried and seven months pregnant. I love the baby's father, but he has recently changed and now tells me that he wants nothing to do with the baby on the way.
I'm not upset that he doesn't want to marry me, but I don't like the idea of my child growing up without a father in his or her life. I tried everything to get him to show interest in the baby, but he won't do it. I hear that he brags to his buddies that he is going to be a father, but when he talks to me, he has been mean and hateful these last few months. It seems that once I started to get pretty big, he just got meaner and more emotionally distant by the day.
I keep being nice to him, hoping that he will come back around and become a part of our soon-to-be family. What can I do to get him to accept this responsibility to be a good and loving father? He is 21 years old and has a decent job. — Mother to Be in Misery, via email
MOTHER TO BE IN MISERY: There is little or nothing you can do to get the baby's father to voluntarily take on the responsibility of being a loving, caring parent. It must be his decision 100%.
But you can do something about him taking responsibility. Having a baby requires that the parents have the financial ability to pay all the bills, which can be difficult. I advise you to find out what legal options are available to you to ensure that this guy takes some financial responsibility for his child.
I believe you are better off raising your baby by yourself rather than having a father around who wants nothing to do with the baby and who is mean and hateful to you. Sadly, it's quite likely that the sooner you separate yourself from this guy, the better it will be for your mental health.
If, in the future, he realizes he wants to be an honorable parent to his child, then you can consider making an adjustment to that decision. In the meantime, focus on your baby's health, and, of course, take good care of your physical and mental health as well.
I WATCH OLD SPORTS EVENTS!
DR. WALLACE: I'm 16-year-old guy who is a decent athlete at my school. But during these times of COVID-19, there are no high school sports going on, so I find myself joining my father to watch replays of old sports games on television. My dad loves to watch old Super Bowl highlights and World Series games or NBA Finals games. I find these shows to be entertaining, but somehow, I feel guilty when I watch them since the games have already been played years ago, and we know who is going to win every time.
All of my friends think I'm a dork for sitting around watching sports highlights from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s with my dad in our basement. I sense I'm wasting time, which could be spent on something more constructive — but being stuck at home all day is so boring that at least these games help me to pass the time. How do you analyze my situation? Are old sports events interesting or a waste of time? — Teen Stuck at Home, via email
TEEN STUCK AT HOME: As long as you are getting your homework done and doing well in school, I see this as a good time to bond with your father. Many fathers and sons build and maintain bonds by attending or watching sporting events together.
Enjoy this family time together without any guilt at all!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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