“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Jul 15, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I am a mother of four. My oldest son, "Jeff," is from a previous marriage. My ex was convicted of child molestation, involving his daughter from a previous relationship.

Jeff is now 11. He has had very few unsupervised visitations with his dad over the last few years and is always talking about how great a guy he is. I have tried to explain that his father has done "inappropriate things" that got him in trouble with the law, which is why he can't have contact with his sister.

Instead of trusting my judgment for having moved several states away, Jeff always tells me about how he wants to go live with his dad when he's 18. Being "Big Bad Mama" is no fun. The once-a-year gifts from his father trump any nice things my husband or I provide for Jeff. How can I explain to my son that I am only looking out for his best interests, and that he will never live with his dad?-- BIG BAD MAMA IN GEORGIA

DEAR MAMA: I don't know how mature your son is, but most 11-year-old boys idolize their fathers. Jeff has his father on a pedestal because he sees him only rarely, and has no concept of what the reality of living with him would be.

At some point your son will need to know exactly what his father did that got him into trouble -- without your glossing over it using the vague description of "inappropriate behavior." When that conversation happens, he should already understand the concept of boundaries and what taking advantage of a child really means.

If I were in your position, I would consult a licensed psychotherapist or social worker for input before trying to explain this to Jeff, because the news is going to be shocking. However, if your son still wants to live with his birth father when he's 18, I don't think there is anything you can do to prevent it.

DEAR ABBY: I raised my children to stay with me when we were in a store. They didn't touch things displayed on the shelves because the items were not theirs and we weren't going to purchase them. We didn't have cellphones when my children grew up. However, even now I never remove mine from my purse while I'm in a store.

Is there a nice way to tell other shoppers to put their phones away and pay attention to their children while shopping, and suggest that it might not be safe for their kids to run through the aisles or roll canned goods down them? I am not sure about their children's safety, but I'm positive it isn't safe for me when their children are acting this way.-- MEME IN THE WEST

DEAR MEME: No, I don't think there is. You appear to be part of a generation that had the time (or took the time) to teach these things to their kids.

I agree that children should be taught to respect the property of others and to ask before touching it. I also agree that leaving items in an aisle could be dangerous to shoppers whose attention may be fixed on the store shelves instead of the floor.

But because so many parents today seem to have "forgotten" to convey these important lessons, then caveat emptor -- but in this case, let the shopper beware.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Jul 15, 2014
1- Know what? Actually you sound like a bitter ex and a helicopter mom. If your ex did "inappropriate things" with his daughter, I agree he's scum, but, he's not in prison and still is allowed contact with his son. And I'll bet you trash-mouth him to your son at every opportunity, don't you? I think it's no wonder he can't wait to get away from you once he's 18

2- How bout you just MYOB? I've never felt that my own safety was in danger by someone else's unsupervised kid in a grocery store. You sound like a btch, and I think this letter might be fake

Since: Jan 14

Location hidden

#3 Jul 15, 2014
L2: Not a fake letter. This is a constant problem in grocery stores. But it's not about adults getting hurt, it's about the kid who running around.

Case in point: 3yo running along the refrigeration cases. When I went to open the door I saw him just before I opened it. If I had not then he would have run into the door. Guess who would have been blamed when he got hurt. Because I did say move to the kid and mama who wasn't paying attention to him lit into me for "yelling" at her kid, I didn't. Said he's just a kid. When I brought the other scenario to her attention she just walked away. This is not a MYOB situation.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Jul 15, 2014
LW2: Go f yourself. You technophobes are annoying as hell. You wanna keep your phone in your purse? Have at it. But taking it out or not has nothing to do with whether or not you let your kids run wild. I watch my kids like a drill sergeant yet I have my phone out every time I'm in the store. You know why? CAUSE I HAVE MY SHOPPING LIST ON IT! Quit blaming technology for every f'n problem you see and assuming it must be the cause since you shun technology and you're perfect. C@#+

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 Jul 15, 2014
L1: It's not a contest about who is the better parent. You already won that contest. Be vigilant that he does not get abused but be cautious that you keep what you tell him at his level. He'll probably figure it out when he's older.

L2: When I was a kid, I remember other kids getting to run around the stores and I had to stay by the cart. So, no -- it's not generational and it's not the technology. Some parents do not watch their kids properly.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#6 Jul 15, 2014
Glance into LW1's future:
(a) Jeff will be appeased if she lets him write to his father and gently
nods when he talks about how wonderful Jeff thinks he is.
(b) By letting those remarks get to her, she will burn the bridge with
Jeff--and provoke him to want to see the guy that much more.
(c) By changing the subject to Jeff's current interests, such as scouting.
sports, etc., and helping him get to those activities, she may be able to
also avoid irritating Jeff.
or
(d) other

And LW2 (Meme) should mind his own business.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#7 Jul 15, 2014
LW1: Of course you are Big, Bad Mama, you have to discipline your child day in and day out. Your ex gets to ride in on his white horse and be Santa for a day. You've tried to prepare him, but Abby is right, the truth is going to be a huge shock to him and he's not going to like it. I agree with Abby's suggestion that you consult a therapist or social worker, someone who has experience dealing with these issues, before you tell your son the whole, unvarnished truth.

LW2: Ha! Good luck with that. Calling parents out on their bad parenting is going to make you the target of a lot of hostility. I don't agree that it's generational. There are a lot of parents today who do watch their kids properly. You just don't notice them as much. It's the squeaky wheel principle.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jul 15, 2014
Kuuipo wrote:
LW2: Ha! Good luck with that. Calling parents out on their bad parenting is going to make you the target of a lot of hostility. I don't agree that it's generational. There are a lot of parents today who do watch their kids properly. You just don't notice them as much. It's the squeaky wheel principle.
Exactly! A lot of times that's why kids act-up. To get noticed. Who's noticing the quiet little girl holding on to her mom's cart?

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