| By Dr. Gelasia Marquez

I have my own life now. How can I let my parents know I can’t house-sit like I used to?

Every time my parents go away on vacation they expect me to pick up their mail and look after their dog. This wasn’t a big deal when I was fresh out of college, but now I’d like to spend time in my own house.

The best method is to have a direct family conversation where together you can find solutions. Hopefully both parties can understand the other’s point of view. 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds families that keeping the faith means we “provide for ... especially family members.”

One option may be a post office box. They can fill out a change of address for the time they are gone. You could check their mail at your convenience.

As expected, this clear and direct conversation has to take place with enough time in advance so that your parents have enough time to plan.

Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.