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If you put child first, you’ll find compromise

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Stop comparing yourself to partner’s ex

Having a daughter was not planned. My child’s father and I were in college and not as careful as we should have been. Being so young, we discussed very little prior to having our child and when we broke up, agreed on very little. She is now 6 and we have both changed substantially. We both now go to church and want to instill what we understand and believe in our daughter.

While we are both Christian, my daughter’s father has chosen a much stricter path than I have. Although we are somewhat on the same page, he often takes our daughter to a cemetery to pray, not because relatives are buried there, but because he chooses to do so.

My daughter comes home telling me it scares her. I told him, he didn’t believe me and dismissed my concern. What’s good ex-etiquette?

Religious differences are tough to tackle.

My observation is your biggest problem is not that you worship differently, but that you can’t discuss a very important subject. I don’t know how you are approaching Dad, but if he feels attacked, he is probably taking your concerns very personally and gets defensive when anything is mentioned. A compromise is needed here. (Ex-etiquette for Parents rule No. 10, “Look for the Compromise.”) You can’t find a compromise when you feel you must defend yourself.

How can you find a compromise for something like religion? Use your child’s best interest as criteria for the decision-making. In this case, the location seems to be the biggest concern — the cemetery. So, you both must ask yourselves, without any personal prejudice, other than church, is the cemetery (since it has been reported to scare her) absolutely the only place Dad can pass on his faith? Is there another place, like a serene park or the beach, where they can pray together in the same manner?

If a child is frightened, they are more likely to reject than accept.

I understand this is a very sticky subject, but I used this reader’s question specifically to demonstrate that if you put your child first, there is usually a compromise somewhere. You just have to find it — in the name of your child. That’s good ex-etiquette.


Dr. Jann Blackstone is the author of “Ex-etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After Divorce or Separation,” and the founder of Bonus Families, bonusfamilies.com. This column was provided by Tribune News Service.

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Vikings’ Eric Kendricks ‘excited’ about new coach Kevin O’Connell, direction of team

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Vikings’ Eric Kendricks ‘excited’ about new coach Kevin O’Connell, direction of team

On Jan. 10, hours after the Vikings fired Mike Zimmer, linebacker Eric Kendricks didn’t mince words when he spoke about what type of culture was needed with a new head coach. He said, “I don’t think a fear-based organization is the way to go.”

In February, the Vikings hired Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell as Zimmer’s replacement, and the team began offseason drills last month. On Wednesday, Kendricks spoke to the media for the first time since his strong comments in January.

Kendricks, who joined the Vikings in 2015, said he didn’t want to look back on the seven years he spent playing for Zimmer, who was known for his abrasive nature. But all indications are he is pleased with what has transpired so far under O’Connell, known for being much more easy going.

“I’m real excited about the staff,” Kendricks said. “Everybody’s been on board, everybody’s been communicating very well. … We have this amazing opportunity ahead of us again. … Whatever happened last year is in the past and we have to move forward. We can learn from a lot of things, but we also have to adapt and change with the new year.”

On the same day Zimmer was fired, the Vikings also dismissed general manager Rick Spielman, who was replaced later in January by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. During the process of looking for a coach, Kendricks said Wednesday he had conversations with management and the Wilf ownership group about what the team might be seeking.

“We had a great conversation at the end of the season and throughout the offseason a little bit,” Kendricks said “I’ve talked with the Wilfs as well. … Just having that bridge of communication with them and the management as well, I feel like it’s not really common. I’ve talked to players around the league and they don’t really have that communication with their ownership.”

Kendricks didn’t give specifics but said his conversations with Zygi and Mark Wilf were more detailed than anything he had before. He said previous dealings with ownership usually came when he went to community events and the Wilfs “happened to be there.”

All indications so far have been that Kendricks, 30, is building a strong relationship with O’Connell. The head coach is counting on Kendricks, who joins safety Harrison Smith, 33, and cornerback Patrick Peterson, 31, as one of three players on the defensive who is 30 and older.

“From day one, I’ve been so impressed by Eric and just his impact on our team, his impact as a leader, part of our leadership group that we have here, which I’m very, very fortunate in my first job as a head coach to have such a good group,” O’Connell said.

Kendricks has led the Vikings in tackles in six of his seven seasons and was named first-team All-Pro in 2019, and O’Connell calls him a “core player” and a key communicator on defense. But Kendricks will have a bit of a different role in 2022.

The Vikings have shifted from a 4-3 scheme, which featured Kendricks as the middle linebacker, to a 3-4, in which he will be one of two inside linebackers. So far, Kendricks likes how the adjustment has gone.

“Obviously, with the 4-3, you’re gapped out most of the time and this and that,” Kendricks said. “With the (3-4), it’s a little more ambiguous at times. It allows you to make decisions on the run, make plays, run around really. I like it.”

Another difference for the 2022 season is Kendricks no longer will play alongside outside linebacker Anthony Barr, his former UCLA roommate and teammate who joined the Vikings in 2014 but was not re-signed as a free agent. Kendricks called that “definitely weird” but that it’s “the nature of the business.”

Kendricks is building a good rapport with fellow inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, who signed as a free agent in March. Kendricks had gotten to know Hicks a bit previously at the 2015 combine and when he was teammates with his brother Mychal Kendricks in Philadelphia from 2015-17.

Kendricks called it “pretty wild” that he is entering his eighth NFL season. And he is challenging himself to be even more of a leader under the new coaching staff.

“I got to step up in ways that I can,” he said. “I got to be a leader when they least expect. Whether that’s how I work, maybe me being more verbal, maybe taking somebody to the side. I got to step up my game as a leader, for sure.”

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MN Senate Democrats make final push to legalize marijuana

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MN Senate Democrats make final push to legalize marijuana

A late push by Minnesota Senate Democrats to legalize marijuana failed Wednesday, underscoring that recreational pot use is unlikely to be allowed in Minnesota this year.

Marijuana is legal in Minnesota for certain medical purposes.

Wednesday’s effort, which failed in a procedural vote almost entirely along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate, can be viewed through the lens of election-year politics.

Two cannabis-legalization parties are active in Minnesota, and Democrats fear that candidates from those parties can peel off some of their voters who feel strongly about marijuana. Wednesday’s maneuver by Senate Democrats, while doomed, can serve as DFLers laying down a marker that they are united in their support for total legalization.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor-controlled House passed a plan to legalize pot last year, with some Republicans voting in favor of it, and Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, has said he would sign it if it were to reach his desk.

However, support among Republicans in the Senate has never been strong, and many are stridently opposed. Some Senate Republicans have been amenable to “decriminalization” plans that would lessen penalties for pot and expunge records of those convicted for minor possession. Former state Sen. Scott Jensen, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Governor this year, supports such expungement.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen called such measures “piecemeal” and said they wouldn’t suffice.

Wednesday’s vote in the Senate wasn’t actually on the merits of legalization, but on whether the proposal should be brought to the Senate floor. Every DFLer who voted on the measure voted in favor of that idea, while every Republican who voted cast their vote against it. Two retiring independents, Sens. Tom Bakk of Cook and David Tomassoni of Chisholm, split their votes, with Bakk opposing and Thomassoni supporting.

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Tartan High senior chosen as ThreeSixty scholar for four-year scholarship to St. Thomas

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Tartan High senior chosen as ThreeSixty scholar for four-year scholarship to St. Thomas

Gwynnevere Vang, a senior at Tartan High School in Oakdale, has been chosen as the ThreeSixty Journalism Scholar and will attend the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul on a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.

The honor is awarded each year to one student enrolled in the nonprofit high school journalism program, which draws participants from across the metro area. There are currently four ThreeSixty Journalism Scholars enrolled at St. Thomas.

Housed at St. Thomas since 2001, ThreeSixty Journalism launched at the University of Minnesota in 1971 as the Urban Journalism Workshop, providing basic journalism training to Minnesota high school students, particularly low-income teens and teens of color. The program was part of a nationwide effort to increase the presence of people of color in newsrooms in order to better reflect and serve increasingly diverse communities. The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune are active partners.

Vang, in a written statement, said her career goal is to travel the country — if not the world — telling stories about the earth’s natural beauty and environmental movements. She joined ThreeSixty in summer 2020 and remained active with the program during the school year, completing a TV Broadcast Camp and high school journalism classes while contributing to her school’s online newspaper, the Plaid Press.

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