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'My boyfriend's pals haven't accepted me...'

Dear Diana,
My boyfriend has a group of friends with whom he hangs out. I’ve been going out with them for two months now, but I still don’t feel accepted by the group. They have been friends since school. I try my hardest to get along with them, but I’m always the one who has nothing to say and feel left out when they keep talking about the past. I also feel they are cautious when I am around. Otherwise, they behave like one big happy bunch.
— Neha

Illustration/ Amamit Bandre

Dear Neha,
You need to give yourself more time. It is barely a month since you have been hanging out with them. Remember they are school buddies, so their bonding is old. As you are new in the group, they will be cautious when you are around to avoid offending them. It will take a while for them to be comfortable with you and you with them. So don’t be in a hurry to be one of them. Be yourself and when they talk about the past, just listen.

Dear Diana,
I’m 36 and my husband is 39. We have a 12-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. They were raised in the same way, but behave very differently. My daughter has had her moments in the past but, overall, she’s a great little girl and very well-behaved. But her brother is the complete opposite. He regularly hits other children and throws tantrums. I thought he’d grow out of it, but he hasn’t. He’s so draining and by the end of the day I have listened to scores of complaints from neighbours about his antics.
— Kshiti

Dear Kshiti,
He’s only four, so give him time to grow up. He seems to be a brat, so be firm, but don’t be constantly after him as he will then be even more rebellious. Discipline him, but don’t overdo it. He knows you are reacting to his every move, so he too overdoes it.

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