Harriette Cole: I’m 16, and my mom refuses to help me claim my lottery winnings

DEAR HARRIETTE: I come from a highly religious background, and my mother holds strong beliefs.

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Recently, I received a free scratch-off lottery ticket at a gas station and ended up winning $400. Excited, I shared the news with my mother and asked her to come with me to claim it, only to be met with her refusal to accept the money due to religious reasons. She believes that gambling is associated with evil.

How do I reason with her so I can get the payout? I’m 16.

— Want a Payout

DEAR WANT A PAYOUT: Since your mother is absolutely not going to help you get your cash, you either have to forgo it out of respect for her or get another adult to cash it for you.

As a minor under your mother’s care and guidance, you will be breaking her rules to cash it out. Are you ready to live with the repercussions of that? Is $400 worth disgracing yourself in the eyes of your mother?

While you may not agree with her strict rules, you are not in a position to care for yourself without her help.

It’s best to wait until you are an adult and fully self-sufficient before you make choices that blatantly go against your mother’s values.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend recently opened a new restaurant, so my family and I visited this week to show our support.

From the moment we walked in, it was clear that the restaurant was struggling.

The service was chaotic, and it seemed like the staff members were either undertrained or overwhelmed. At one point, one of the servers accidentally spilled water all over my daughter, which made for a very uncomfortable situation. While accidents happen, this seemed to be just one of many issues we encountered that night.

The food was another major disappointment. Since it’s an Italian restaurant, we were excited to try the pizza, which is supposed to be their specialty. However, when our pizza arrived, it was cold and slightly burnt, making it almost inedible. The other dishes we ordered were bland and did not live up to our expectations.

At the end of the meal, my friend came over to our table and asked for our feedback. In the moment, not wanting to hurt her feelings, I told her everything was delicious and that we had had a great time.

She seemed so happy and proud, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.

Now I’m filled with regret because I know that honest feedback is crucial for her to improve her business. I’m torn between wanting to support my friend and feeling obligated to give her the honest feedback she needs to hear.

How can I tell her without hurting her feelings?

— Bad Reviews

DEAR BAD REVIEWS: A true friend tells the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, in a way that the person can hear it.

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Harriette Cole: My husband doesn’t know I discovered his secret purchases

You should follow up with your friend. Tell her you want to share some notes about your experience at her restaurant. With her permission, give her a list of concerns you have, accompanied by specific experiences to illustrate your point.

Encourage her to get feedback from others and incorporate improvements into her restaurant so that she can be successful.

This may be hard for her to hear, but you will be doing her a disservice by letting her continue to believe the lie that everything was great.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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