He's, Uh, Changed His Mind Dear Margo: I have been dating a sweet, loving man for over eight months now. We have been living together and having sex for six of those months, and it has been great. Recently, however, he announced that we will no longer be having intercourse …Read more. Five's a Crowd Dear Margo: I read the letter from the empty nesters who were happy on their own. My situation is exactly the opposite. I am not happy, and I am not alone. My three adult sons are all still living at home. The middle one is a college graduate and …Read more. What To Do About "Old" Kids Dear Margo: My girlfriend was in one other serious relationship aside from ours. It lasted three years and ended three years before ours began. She keeps in touch with the ex because they work together a few days a week, and also my girlfriend was …Read more. Be Well This will be my last column as Dear Margo. I have been giving advice for 15 years — first as Dear Prudence and then under my own name. I have been writing for newspapers for 45 years. The time feels right to retire from deadline journalism. I …Read more.more articles
The 10-Year-Old Is in Charge
Dear Margo: We have a dear friend who was divorced about four years ago. She has two kids, 10 and 14, and is a loving, caring parent. The problem? She has had the children sleep with her nightly since her divorce.
The boy finally decided last year he could sleep in his own room. The 10-year-old sleeps with her mom every night and won't go to bed unless Mom goes to bed with her. This child rules the household with her demands around bedtime.
We have asked my friend how she is ever going to get her daughter to sleep alone. She just shrugs her shoulders and says it's too much trouble to fight with her daughter over going to bed and that she likes the company.
This doesn't seem healthy. I am hoping you will print this because she reads your column. — Concerned
Dear Con: The mother has clearly thrown up her hands, and the kid is in charge. Happily, the boy took himself out of her bed. As for the 10-year-old, it is unlikely she will be sleeping in her mother's bed when she is 20, so they will both just have to live with whatever squirrelly consequences there are due to a mother who cannot discipline her child.
This woman needs educating about raising a youngster to become a balanced adult. She is doing the kid no favors by acceding to her every wish. Kids need to be told "no" simply because limits are a necessary part of growing up and functioning with other people.
Although our friend is years late, suggest she get guidance about how to right the situation. And because you say this path-of-least-resistance behavior began with her divorce, she also needs someone to help her understand that her kids are not supposed to take the place of her decamped husband, in bed or anywhere else.
Dear Margo: I have a question concerning family finances.
My parents are retired, and though they are not ill, we've had family discussions about what will happen when they are no longer here.
We know where to find a copy of their will, as well as information about their financial assets. I think all families should do this to avoid misunderstandings and added burdens at the time of death. Even though I am younger than my sister, I am named as the executor of my parents' estate. I have always been "the responsible one" when it comes to money.
We didn't always get along as children, but my sister and I have a much better relationship now. I'm sure the two of us, being adults, can come to an amicable settlement when it comes to splitting the money and who gets what.
However, one thing concerns me: her husband. Though not a bad person, he is immature about finances. Whenever he gets money, it is spent very fast on frivolous items. He will wind up in debt, crawl his way out, then the cycle will repeat. To him, my parents' estate will be like winning the lottery.
I am afraid that two-party discussions with my sister will become three-party discussions with him. Do you have any advice for handling this situation? — Planning Ahead
Dear Plan: First of all, you are operating under a misapprehension. The division of assets is to be decided by your parents, and that's what should be in the will. The executor, well, executes the directions in a will and sees that legal requirements are met.
As for your fear that Good Time Charlie will take the money and run, you might suggest to your parents that your sister's share of the estate be put into a trust for her. If you are the sole executor, there is no need for any discussions, with anyone. — Margo, testamentarily
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers' daughter. To learn more about Margo Howard or to read features by other writers, visit creators.com.
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