DR. WALLACE: Your advice to a 12-year-old girl was not correct. When the girl was 7 she was sent to live with her grandmother in the country and she has lived there for five long years. They have obviously bonded because the girl and her grandmother love each other very much. The girl wrote that her mother recently remarried and now wants her back. The girl is confused and doesn't know what to do. You told her to return to her mother.
That is bad advice. Even though the girl said she loved her mother, she probably loved her grandmother more. I'm sick and tired of parents dumping their kids off for a grandmother to raise, (without funds no less) and then taking them back whenever they darn well please.
I think the mother is very selfish. Where was she when the girl needed to be fed, needed a bed, needed medical care? She was nowhere to be found. Why does she think she can raise the girl better than the grandmother? And doesn't anyone care about Grandmother's feelings?
I'm 82 years young and I can raise a child a heck of a lot better than many of today's mothers. I had seven children and all did very well and not one wound up in jail. — Granny, South Bend, Ind.
GRANNY: You're justly proud of your many accomplishments as a mother and a grandmother, and I appreciate your point of view. I applaud this self-sacrificing woman who raised her granddaughter for five years.
The love shared between granddaughter and grandmother will never end. The girl was in conflict. She loved Grandma deeply, but she also loved her mother and was motivated to try living with her and her new stepfather as a family. Her main worry was about moving to the big city from a small town in Iowa.
I advised her to make plans to return to her mother, but to keep in close contact with Grandmother. Whenever there is mutual love between mother and daughter, they belong together if at all possible. I realize that many readers will agree with you and not with me. I gave great thought to my answer. In the end, I felt the girl would be given greater opportunities living with a mother she loved and who loved her.
I'D LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR A HUSBAND
DR. WALLACE: My boyfriend uses cocaine. He thinks that it is safer to snort cocaine than inject it. Is this true? I really love this guy and hope someday he will be the father of my children, so I don't want him to die. — Morgan, Albany, N.Y.
MORGAN: Respiratory collapse and death can occur more quickly when cocaine is injected directly into the vein, but sniffing (snorting) or swallowing coke can also kill. Regardless of how it enters the body, cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. As a snorter, your boyfriend is hardly safe, and if I were you, I'd look elsewhere for a future husband.
His life will only be out of danger if he vows to give up cocaine entirely and enters a rehab program. Once he's been drug-free for a year, it may be possible to reconsider him as a suitable husband and father of your children. That is unless you are, by then, contemplating someone else to father your children.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski