Amy 12-6

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“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Dec 6, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: My mother-in-law has no situational awareness. She often pets or strokes my 1-year-old daughter in a way that makes me extremely uncomfortable.

For instance, she will rub her leg all the way up to her diaper over and over, and let her hand rest at the top of her thigh, or will put her hands under her shirt to rub her chest. This makes me uneasy. I feel that if I don't say something now, very shortly those things are not going to be OK. Some of the areas my mother-in-law touches are my child's private areas and should be off limits.

My mother-in-law will also stroke my child when she is in my arms and her hand will brush against my breasts. She will also let her hand rest in my husband's upper thigh and crotch. He has talked about how uncomfortable this makes him, but he won't say anything to her.

The whole thing gives me the heebie-jeebies. I want it to stop, but I am not sure how to do that in a way that is effective but doesn't permanently damage the relationship. My mother-in-law has early dementia, so whatever I do will have to be reinforced over and over.-- Worried Mom

DEAR MOM: You must tell the truth about this unwanted touching -- and you should do so in a way that is respectful, gentle and repeatable.

You don't say whether your mother-in-law has always done this, but this sort of stroking might also be a symptom of her dementia.

Tell her, "Mom, I'm a little 'touchy' about touch. Always touch 'Baby' over her clothes."

If she rests her hand where it is not wanted, you (or her son) should gently take her hand, place it elsewhere (on your or his arm, for instance), say, "Here. This is better for me," and pat her hand. She craves (and we all need) physical contact. Be patient, firm and kind.

DEAR AMY: We are a small group of young, hard-working, academically successful college students studying for a degree in elementary education. We have advanced far and are looking forward to graduation, when we can become teachers.

We are enrolled in a very boring class, however. Our instructor is nice, but doesn't speak the greatest English and has little sense of classroom management.

The assignments are not useful. This has caused us to engage in uncharacteristic behaviors such as talking and laughing in class, doing crossword puzzles instead of group work, reading novels and engaging in other immature behaviors.

We decided to ask you for advice or words of motivation to make it through to the end of our semester.-- Bored to Tears

DEAR BORED: Talk about a teachable moment! Here you are, future teachers, and you are willfully squandering classroom time because your professor doesn't have a sense of "classroom management"? Welcome to fifth grade.

I know it is challenging to rise above a teacher's weakness, and, of course, I appreciate your choice to write to me while you fritter away your education. However, you paid for this class; I assume it should cover valuable material; and you have a right to a competent teacher.

You should raise this issue with the school administration. Your end-of-year evaluations will reflect this teacher's weaknesses. You could also use this experience to further your own educations by forming a study group to cover material the professor is missing. If the professor can't manage your class, you'll have to do your best to manage yourselves.

Now mush! Get to work!

DEAR AMY: You asked to hear from readers about how to tell someone they are odorous.

Our college baseball team developed a new greeting. Team members attend weight training at 6 a.m., and we practice for a couple of hours in the afternoons. And with homework and socializing, few have time to run down to the laundry room and wash uniforms every two days.

Consequently, the team members now greet each other saying, "Smell you later!" -- Aromatic

DEAR AROMATIC: The reply to this greeting is, of course, "... Not if I smell you first!"

“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Dec 6, 2012
 
1- I'm wondering if the LW is overreacting a little. While it's odd that the woman is putting her hand on her son's crotch, I don't see the big deal in rubbing the leg or back of a one year old.
liner

Bellport, NY

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#3
Dec 6, 2012
 
L1: Odd how you wait till the last sentence before offhandedly mentioning that she has dementia. That would kind of seem important, no?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#4
Dec 6, 2012
 
1 Amby is right, the person is craving physical contact, not being perv. You will have to move her hands whenever she does this.

2 You sound like a snob, and for all your high horse attitude, you're acting like a school girl and trying to blame your teacher for your laziness.

3 Stupid, stupiid, stupid.

Since: Jan 10

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#5
Dec 6, 2012
 

Judged:

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L1: I was fine with MIL"s touching of the baby, but touching her grown son's crotch? What the hell is wrong with you people that you don't draw firm boundaries? How do you get through daily life, letting people walk all over you, you afraid to say "no" or "don't touch me" or "stop it." I have zero comprehension for this LW and zero sympathy. Either speak up, draw firm boundaries, AND ENFORCE THEM, or quit complaining. This LW is yet ANOTHER idiot who pulls the "I want this person to stop but I don't want my standing up for myself to have any effects on our relationship whatsoever.

Amy is completely wrong. None of that gentle crap.

(I don't think the dementia is to blame -- I think mom was always like this and now they're worried about upsetting her now that she has early dementia.)

L2: I think once you've been int he teaching trenches for a while, you'll understand and sympathize with this instructor. And maybe, just maybe, you 20-somethings can grow up and pay attention and do the work. You sound like you'll make a lousy teacher.

L3: Way to steal Nelson Munch's line.

“Walt Frazier for POTUS”

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#6
Dec 6, 2012
 
1 Your MIL needs to have an airhorn blown in her ear each time she touches taboo areas. What too weird? So was Amy's advice!

2 Teacers are absolutely the worst students. When I taght, I was embarassed at how immaturely my peers acted at seminars. Grow up kid!

3 Waste of time.......
cjl

Owensboro, KY

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#7
Dec 6, 2012
 
When my grandma was in the nursing home an old woman who was also in there would go around flashing everyone and pinching everyone's butts all while clucking like a chicken. I have witnessed the craziness dementia causes.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#8
Dec 6, 2012
 
LW1: Use your words.

LW2: As a teacher you will work with all kinds of students Ö some of who will be hard and some of who will be easy. If you canít handle a difficult professor, I donít think you are cut out for teaching.

LW3: Dumb

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Dec 6, 2012
 

Judged:

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LW1: Babies love skin-to-skin touch, so I see nothing wrong with what grandma is doing there. But with the adults, her hands will need to be moved to more appropriate body parts.

LW2: Remember this feeling when your first classroom starts acting like you are right now. Because it will happen, no matter how perfect you think you are.

LW3: What Red said. Ha ha!

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

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#10
Dec 6, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: I was fine with MIL"s touching of the baby, but touching her grown son's crotch? What the hell is wrong with you people that you don't draw firm boundaries? How do you get through daily life, letting people walk all over you, you afraid to say "no" or "don't touch me" or "stop it." I have zero comprehension for this LW and zero sympathy. Either speak up, draw firm boundaries, AND ENFORCE THEM, or quit complaining. This LW is yet ANOTHER idiot who pulls the "I want this person to stop but I don't want my standing up for myself to have any effects on our relationship whatsoever.
Amy is completely wrong. None of that gentle crap.
(I don't think the dementia is to blame -- I think mom was always like this and now they're worried about upsetting her now that she has early dementia.)
L2: I think once you've been int he teaching trenches for a while, you'll understand and sympathize with this instructor. And maybe, just maybe, you 20-somethings can grow up and pay attention and do the work. You sound like you'll make a lousy teacher.
LW1: I respectfully disagree that the dementia doesn't have anything to do with it. Both of my stepparents are now in the final stages of two different dementias (Alzheimer's and Lewy Body Dementia, the second most-common form) and they both did things like this in the earlier stages; they'd never been like that before. I think the MIL has lost her sense of boundaries and appropriate behavior, which is typical in these cases, and being harsh will not do anything but make her worse.

What they need to do is be firm but gentle and they're going to have to constantly reinforce that, because she won't continually remember it. Trust me, I've been dealing with this crap for years now. And I've told my husband and family that if I ever have any form of dementia myself to just shoot me, I am NOT going through that myself and putting family and friends through it.
liner

Bellport, NY

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#11
Dec 6, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: I was fine with MIL"s touching of the baby, but touching her grown son's crotch? What the hell is wrong with you people that you don't draw firm boundaries? How do you get through daily life, letting people walk all over you, you afraid to say "no" or "don't touch me" or "stop it." I have zero comprehension for this LW and zero sympathy. Either speak up, draw firm boundaries, AND ENFORCE THEM, or quit complaining. This LW is yet ANOTHER idiot who pulls the "I want this person to stop but I don't want my standing up for myself to have any effects on our relationship whatsoever.
Amy is completely wrong. None of that gentle crap.
(I don't think the dementia is to blame -- I think mom was always like this and now they're worried about upsetting her now that she has early dementia.)
L2: I think once you've been int he teaching trenches for a while, you'll understand and sympathize with this instructor. And maybe, just maybe, you 20-somethings can grow up and pay attention and do the work. You sound like you'll make a lousy teacher.
L3: Way to steal Nelson Munch's line.
I agree with you to a point Red. The grown son should certainly have enough common sense to know that his mother has dementia and might not be responsible for her behavior. And yes, I'm pretty sure the dementia is the cause of her behavior, by the way. I have had, like others posting today, experience dealing with elderly family members with dementia. It ain't a walk in the park.

Since: Jan 10

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#12
Dec 6, 2012
 
I know plenty about dementia, including that it can lead to this behavior. But I still believe this specific person was like this before any dementia was developing.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#13
Dec 6, 2012
 

Judged:

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I used know plenty about dementia, but now I....
What was I saying?
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I know plenty about dementia, including that it can lead to this behavior. But I still believe this specific person was like this before any dementia was developing.
Sam I Am

Huntingdon, TN

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#15
Dec 6, 2012
 
1. Yes, move the hand. And get her a cat.

2. If you can't deal with a less-than-perfect teacher, how are you going to deal with less-than-perfect students?

3. Choke you later!

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#16
Dec 6, 2012
 
L1: I'll go with Janie b/c she sounds like she knows about this the most.

L2: I'm with Sam on this one.

L3: I agree with everyone on this one.

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