lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea
DEAR ABBY: I have been friends with a woman for the last 30 years. Our children are the same age. My daughter, who is in her late 20s, has a number of tattoos on her arm that she can cover with clothing if she chooses. However, she doesn't cover them often because she likes them and they mean something to her.

Recently, I showed my friend a picture of my daughter that showed one of the tattoos on her upper arm. My friend said, "Oh, I am so sorry about the tattoo," and proceeded to cover the tattoo with her hand, implying that my daughter would be attractive if it weren't for the body art. I was shocked.

I have always been supportive of my friend's children and have never criticized any of them, even though I haven't agreed with everything they have done. I was so hurt by her comment that I was speechless. I'm not sure I can continue the relationship feeling this way. But I'm hesitant to lose a 30-year friendship over something I might be overblowing. Am I being too sensitive? How do I resolve this? -- COMPLETELY THROWN BY THIS

DEAR THROWN:
For a friendship of 30 years to end over one thoughtless comment would be sad for both of you. Sometimes people say things without thinking, and this is an example. Resolve your feelings by talking to her in person and telling her how deeply hurt you were by what she said. It will give her the chance to apologize and make amends.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently had a baby girl, our first. We both work full-time, but my husband is gone nights and weekends and I'm the primary parent at home with our daughter.

Something has been bothering me since my daughter came along. My in-laws have never once told me I'm doing a good job as a mother. I'm critiqued every time they come over, whether it be that her hands are too cold, her room is too warm or her nails are too "sharp."

They compliment my husband repeatedly, and he's the first to give all the credit to me, but I feel like they don't think I'm doing a good job and it makes me feel bad. Am I being too sensitive? -- CRITICIZED ALL THE TIME

DEAR CRITICIZED: It is possible that in making these comments, your in-laws are simply trying to be helpful. Instead of regarding them as criticism, take them under consideration.

However, if your hurt feelings persist, you -- or your husband -- should point out to his parents that in trying to be helpful, they have forgotten to be supportive, and mention some of the things you are doing right.
cereta: Close-up of Merida from Brave, text "Fights Like a Girl" (Merida)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR HARRIETTE: I don't want my teenage children going to the marches and protests taking place in my city. These marches are for causes I support, like women's rights, the environment and raising the minimum wage. But these marches can get dangerous and almost always have a police presence. Also, I am not sure how much of a positive impact they end up having in the long run. How can I ensure that my teenagers are in school and not out on the street with signs? -- Skipping School, New York City

DEAR SKIPPING SCHOOL: I want to encourage you to rethink your position. The fact that your teenage children want to be involved in the political process and speak up about their thoughts is a good thing. It will encourage active participation in the voting process when they come of age. Of course you want them to be safe. A different approach might be to offer to go with them, letting them know that you want to protect them from harm. You can also give them instructions on how to be in a crowd, including not pushing their way into a crush of people where it can get dangerous, even when people are well meaning. You can find out from their school if any organized or chaperoned efforts are being considered as these protests pop up.

Reality says you may not be able to prevent them from going. What you want to avoid is having them lie to you. Then you really won’t be able to protect them. I recommend that you keep the dialogue open, talk about safety and possibly even become their chaperone.
cereta: Cover of Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots (do princesses wear hiking boots?)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am the mom of two sons, ages 13 and 14. When I took them for their annual physical last summer, their pediatrician said this would be the last year I would be in the room while he examined my sons.

I don't understand why I should have to leave if my children are OK with my being there. My sons are comfortable with me, and I am an only parent. It seems to me that more and more rights are being taken away from parents. Am I out of line for feeling this way? -- EXAM ROOM OFF-LIMITS

DEAR OFF-LIMITS: Yes, if you trust your sons' doctor, which I hope you do. By ages 13 and 14, your sons are maturing into manhood. As their hormones and bodies change, they may have questions and concerns they would be more comfortable -- and less embarrassed -- talking to a male doctor about than their mother. Privacy in the examination room would give them the chance to do that.
cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I bought my 11-year-old daughter a cellphone. My ex does not approve. We have been divorced for six years, and he still can't get over it. He despises me. He refuses to listen to why I want her to have a cellphone.

While I want her to be responsible with it, I realize she will make mistakes -- which she already has by being on her phone too much. (It has been taken away from her once.) I want her to carry the phone with her in case of emergencies. If it is confiscated at school, her dad will no doubt tell me, "I told you so."

Should I abide by his wishes and not allow her to have the phone, or do you think my points are valid? -- MOM WITH PHONE ISSUE

DEAR MOM: Wanting your daughter to have the cellphone in case of emergency seems valid to me. If you are her custodial parent, I think that prerogative belongs to you.

But I do have a question: Who took the phone away from your daughter? If you did it because she was abusing the privilege, then she will learn her lesson if you are consistent. If a teacher takes it away from her at school, there should be consequences and you should ensure that they are enforced.
cereta: Batman with words, "No, you're a poopy butt" (Batman thinks you're a poopy butt)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: While our 6-year-old enjoys the positive attention he receives from his often unusual and imaginative clothing choices, his grandparents feel we are being "disrespectful to others" by allowing him and our other children to wear these outfits in public.

Neither my husband nor I was permitted freedom of expression as children, and we agreed that with the exception of health, profanity, lewdness, immodesty and adherence to organizational dress codes, that we would not restrict our children's freedom of expression. While we often don't agree with our children's choice of attire, it seems prudent to choose the battles we fight.

Is anyone other than our parents actually offended by a pirate (sans weapon) in the dentist office, or a backward shirt at the grocery store? And if they are offended, does their desire not to see a costumed child trump my children's need for a healthy outlet for their individuality during this phase of their life over which they have so little control? -- CLARK KENT'S MOM

DEAR CLARK KENT'S MOM: I seriously doubt that anyone other than your parents and in-laws cares at all if your children visit the dentist looking like Clark Kent, a cowboy or his horse. As far as I'm concerned, your children should be allowed to exercise their sartorial creativity. It's harmless. A few years from now they'll be getting pressure from peers about fitting in, so let them enjoy themselves while they can.
cereta: (bert and ernie)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: After the birth of our son, "Ricky," my husband insisted he sleep in our bed with us. When our son was 3, I finally put my foot down because none of us were sleeping peacefully. Ricky is now 8, and my husband lies in his bed with him until he falls asleep.

Our daughter, "Julie," was born 2 1/2 years ago. She slept in our bed until she was 1, when I moved her to her own bed. She goes down well on her own, but seems to be more clingy (with me especially) during the day. I try to make sure she gets the affection she needs before bedtime, but I feel guilty that she doesn't get that closeness at night.

By the end of the day I'm exhausted, and I do not want to fall asleep in a kid's bed. Am I wrong for wanting bedtime without kids? At what age should children sleep on their own? -- SLEEPY IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SLEEPY: You're not wrong. Some parents co-sleep with their children for the first few months after they are born because they enjoy the closeness. After that, they transition the baby to sleeping in a crib nearby so the child's needs can be attended to as necessary.

According to Los Angeles pediatrician Faisal Chawla, M.D., children form their sleep habits early: "The longer co-sleeping continues, the more difficult sleeping separately becomes. At 7 or 8 months, babies begin to develop age-appropriate separation anxiety. By the age of 1, a routine is usually set in a child's mind. By age 2, it becomes very difficult to change the sleeping routine because of the 'terrible 2s' temperament that begins."

Your husband has done Ricky no favors by continuing to lie beside him until he falls asleep. Your son should have started sleeping alone years ago. A boy his age should be able to go to sleepovers at friends' houses or away to summer camp without having to worry about sleeping because his dad isn't there.
cereta: (spydaddy)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I'm a single father raising my four children alone. My problem may seem trivial and minor, but it's extremely taxing for me. My kids refuse to stop talking during my very brief television/movie time.

I work full time and take care of them by myself, and my two-hour escape via a movie or TV show is constantly interrupted. When I point out that what they are doing is rude and even disruptive, I am met with accusations that I "don't care about them" or "You love TV more than me." They somehow turn my anger around to their benefit. Please help. -- ME TIME IN FLORIDA

DEAR ME TIME: Welcome to parenthood! It's a 24-hour-a-day job, seven days a week.

You didn't mention how old your children are, but if they are under the age of 13, they should have a regular bedtime. Once they are in bed, you can have your "me time." However, if they are older, then accept that teenagers may need to communicate with their dad about things that are important, and it is more important to be available to them than to watch television every night.

P.S. Suggestion: Perhaps you can record or stream your shows and watch them at a later time when your kids don't need you.
cereta: Baby Galapagos tortoise hiding in its shell (baby turtle)
[personal profile] cereta
Note: I tried for five minutes to come up with a neutral way to phrase this trigger warning, and it's just not there. This was the best I could do.

Unwanted Parenthood/Parental Absence )
cereta: Amelia Pond (Amelia)
[personal profile] cereta
Q. Success through spandex?: I am a successful, work-from-home businesswoman who is an embarrassment to my tween daughter because I don’t look like the other moms at school. Specifically, I don’t wear Lululemon pants. She has asked me not to pick her up from school. How do I get my daughter to understand that her mom is a strong, respected, powerful woman whom she should be proud of? How do I get through to her that success isn’t defined by wearing the right brands but by having the respect of peers? Or should I just go buy myself a pair of Lululemons so she can have the respect of her peers?

A: This can’t be real. Can this be real? This can’t be real. And yet—anything that can happen … will happen. I have two suggestions: 1. Go full Auntie Mame and start picking up your daughter in ball gowns and ripped flannel and increasingly embarrassing costumes; teenagers can be painfully conservative, and this tendency ought to be gently teased right out of them. 2. Let her take the bus home. If she doesn’t like what the bus driver is wearing, she can try offering constructive criticism and see how other people welcome her input on their ensembles.
cereta: (spydaddy)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Miles" for two years. He will move in with me soon. Miles has two sons from his previous marriage. He loves them and sees them regularly.

I can't help but feel a little jealous because he makes a huge effort to be with his kids as often as possible, entertaining them and taking them to nice restaurants. The issue I have is that Miles and I never go out. We have never been on vacation or had a weekend date. Our dates consist of eating a sandwich or me cooking. Is it normal to feel a little jealous, or should I call him out on it? -- AT THE FOOT OF THE LIST

DEAR FOOT OF THE LIST: Miles appears to be a good father, but your feelings are understandable and they should be discussed with Miles BEFORE he moves in. In romantic relationships there is a certain degree of "courtship" that appears to be missing here. And believe me, unless you talk this through, nothing will change because he thinks the status quo is acceptable to you.

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