Frustrated Dad Tired of Trying To Connect with Teens Dear Annie: I am a 51-year-old man and have been unemployed for the past three years. Last year, my wife asked for a divorce. My question is: What can I do to revitalize my relationship with my three teenage children? I have to initiate all phone …Read more. Do Your Husband a Favor and Don't Pick a Fight About Mom's Memorial Dear Annie: My husband's sister controlled his mother's finances. "Carol" paid the nursing home with her mother's credit card and gained reward points, which she used for vacations while Mom was still alive. My husband was the one who handled doctor …Read more. Healthy Attitude, Healthy Body Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with kidney disease as a child and started dialysis at age 11. Because I didn't think I would live to adulthood, I adopted the philosophy of living each day like it was my last. In 2013, when I saw an ad for the National …Read more. Do Dogs Go To Heaven? Dear Annie: Several years ago, you printed a piece from a reverend about a dog who had died. My own precious Poochie died yesterday after being hit by a car. I am having a hard time. I miss him so much. Could you please print that piece again? …Read more.more articles
Indulgent Grandma Rules this Roost
Dear Annie: I am 26 and a single parent to a 3-year-old girl. I love my daughter more than anything in this world. However, in the past few months, she has become a brat and a monster, doing everything she can to test me.
Due to recent financial problems, we had to move in with my mother until I can finish my degree and get a job. No matter what discipline I use, nothing works because my mother undermines me. There is no consistency in what is right or wrong. My mother always gives in to her every request.
Once in a while, I will spank my daughter, but only on very rare occasions. I would never hurt her. My mother, however, cornered me and gave me a lecture on how awful I am for spanking my child. Yet I can clearly recall being spanked by my mother numerous times when I was little.
Mom often questions my parenting in front of my daughter and then treats me like an 8-year-old. I am enormously grateful that she opened her home to us, but I can't be an effective parent when she constantly undercuts my authority. How can I get her to keep her child-rearing opinions to herself and allow me to make the parenting decisions for my child? — Texas
Dear Texas: While we agree with your mother that discipline does not require spanking your daughter, we also understand how difficult it is to raise a child when an indulgent grandparent rules the roost. First, have a sit-down discussion with Mom when your daughter is asleep. Get her to acknowledge that a lack of discipline is not healthy for her grandchild. And you can compromise by agreeing to use different forms of discipline other than spanking. Create rules you can both abide by. If that doesn't work, bring Mom to your next pediatrician appointment, and ask the doctor to speak to her. And please, find other living arrangements as soon as possible.
Dear Annie: I am a typical 20-year-old college guy.
He doesn't have friends anymore. He works once a week and says he's "too sick" for a second job. He sits in his room playing computer games all day. I want to motivate him, but whenever I try, he turns the argument against me. I see how much it upsets my parents. They are trying everything they can, and honestly, none of us knows what to do anymore. Can you help? — Concerned Brother
Dear Brother: Your brother has anxiety issues that have not been addressed, so they have become worse over time. In addition, he may now be suffering from depression. This is not to say he isn't also using his anxiety as an excuse to avoid responsibility, but it nonetheless can be crippling to deal with. Your parents should get a referral to a psychiatrist and then insist that your brother make an appointment and be evaluated. There is medication for anxiety disorders, and the sooner he can be helped, the better.
Dear Annie: "Scared Sister" said she was afraid whenever her sister, "Louise," had to drive at night, because her vision was impaired.
My 22-year-old son's night driving was scary. It took two separate visits to the ophthalmologist to discover that he had congenital cataracts. It affected his depth perception. He was very clumsy as a little kid and had a lot of bruises. It was unnerving to be questioned by the school principal about child abuse. Despite multiple eye exams, the cataracts were not diagnosed until recently. Maybe "Louise" has the same condition. — Accused Mom
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