Dear Annie: I’ve been working at the same car dealership for five years, since I graduated high school. When I started, it was just a job. I thought I would do this and then figure out what I really want to do. Then I started to make some money, and I got decent at selling. A week turned into a month, which turned into a year, and here I am at 23.
I got married last year, and my wife and I now have a 6-month-old baby girl. She is the love of my life, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. But part of me regrets that I never went to college before starting a family. I don’t want to be a car salesman my entire life.
I’d really like to pursue a degree and study business. I am only 23 and know that I have a long way to go, but the past five years have flown by so quickly, and I want to make sure that I am not on a path I will regret. I love my daughter and her mother. I don’t hate my job, but I can’t imagine doing this for the rest of my life. What should I do? -- Stuck Salesman
Dear Stuck: Car salesmen get a bad rap, but really, it’s not an easy job. They have to be persistent, quick-thinking and good with people. If you have the finesse to be a good car salesman, you can probably do pretty much anything you set your mind to.
Look into seeking a degree online or through a local college that offers night classes so you can continue working and supporting your family while laying the groundwork for a new career path. The U.S. News University Directory can match you to a reputable online program that meets your needs.
The skills you’ve honed over the past five years will take you far. With real-world experience plus a degree, you’ll be firing on all cylinders.
Dear Annie: I have two healthy, beautiful kids -- one boy, one girl.
My daughter is 6, and she is really into reading. She can’t wait to go to bed and devours her nighttime reading material. She was reading on her own before kindergarten. She sounds out words and sits and listens and figures things out.
But my son is 4 and can’t sit still. I open a book and he gets up. When it’s bedtime, he has zero interest in any of the books on his bookshelf. We’ve tried every book there is, from Dr. Seuss to Eric Carle to Shel Silverstein to Mo Willems.
These kids have the same genes. How can one be so into books and the other want nothing to do with them? -- Reading Rain-bro
Dear Reading: You’re raising siblings, not clones. Of course they won’t have identical aptitudes.
Although there’s no definite “right” age by which all kids should be reading, it usually happens around age 6. It sounds as if your daughter was a bit of a prodigy.
As long as your son is in the healthy range of his age group and is getting a hang of the pre-reading fundamentals (such as identifying letters), he should be fine. Don’t give up on trying to get him excited about books, though. Read to him for short periods of time to hold his interest. Pick stories about subjects he loves.
Your son may never be the bookworm your daughter is, but the bottom line is he will go to college knowing how to read.
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