Dear Annie: I would like to tell "Distressed About Departing Dependent" to think about how she can best parent her adult child before caving and giving her money. At age 19, I married a man who spent any money we had and more. My parents didn't want to support his spending habits so they cut off any funds to me while they continued to bailout my brothers financially.
I was angry at my parents for a while but got over it. Meanwhile, my brothers didn't grow up until the funds dried up many years later, when they were in middle age. I'm very grateful my parents were tough with me. I told my children I wasn't going to ruin them by bailing them out. It was hard to stick to my guns sometimes. As an adult, my son has expressed his appreciation for bringing him up this way.
If you can stick to this, it helps your child become a responsible, independent individual. You may have to go through a period when she is unhappy about it, but she may be grateful later on. — Tried To Be a Good Parent
Dear Tried To Be a Good Parent: I am here to tell you that you succeeded in being a good parent because you tried. Trying is the same as caring; when you care about parenting and the job you are doing, you are more than halfway there. Raising a healthy, responsible and independent individual might be hard work at the time, but if you stay the course and stand by your values, it will pay off in the long run.
Dear Annie: I have lived with a mental illness for the past 12 years. I take my meds as prescribed and, for the most part, they keep me stable. I live with my mom and two sisters, but my mom is my main support system. I feel overwhelmed by financial troubles and the fact that we're all getting older and having health issues.
Sometimes, I want to move away because my situation is so stressful. But I don't want to run away from my problems or leave anyone behind.
My mom is getting older and we work as a team to take care of the house and bills. I feel like if I leave, then my mom will have nobody to talk to and may lose her house. We get along really well and are like best friends, but sometimes I feel irritated by her and my sisters — even to the point of packing my bags and leaving. What should I do? — Concerned Brother and Son
Dear Concerned Brother and Son: First of all, I congratulate you for being an advocate for your mental health and taking your meds. Treating your mental illness should remain your first priority. It sounds like there is a great deal of positivity in your home, despite the stressors. Feeling irritated by your mom and sisters is understandable. Try not to let things build up, and always address things that bother you about how your sisters or mother are behaving. Let them do the same with you. Continue to focus on your strong support system and how well you all get along together. A loving family is a beautiful thing, and it sounds like you have one.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]