Dear Abby 1-25-14

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jan 25, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, who recently turned 21, sent me a two-word text message, "I'm pregnant." She has been dating a marijuana-smoking young man for less than a year, and I'm disappointed by this outcome.

Her sister, who is a year older, already has two children by two men. No, they weren't raised by a harlot. I adopted them when they were early elementary-aged children. It's not my fault. I'm disgusted by their choices.

I haven't talked with her yet. I won't try to lecture her or tell her how she should live her life. The time for that is over. I feel it would be best to say nothing if I can't be positive. Suggestions?-- DISGUSTED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR DISGUSTED: It would be better if you said nothing to your daughter while you are angry, or you may say something you will regret. It would not be out of line, however, to text her back and ask, "How do you and 'John' plan to support the baby?" If you don't plan to help her in any way, you should let her know now that she'll be on her own.

DEAR ABBY: Our 13-year-old is addicted to her phone. She stays on it for hours, and it's affecting the time she goes to bed. She's now starting to oversleep the alarm in the morning before school.

She's spoiled, and I'm afraid that removing or limiting phone privileges will lead to major problems with her protesting it. I don't want truant officers or social workers coming to my house because my wife and I can't discipline our kid.

How do you handle a spoiled brat without involving outside agencies? She's nice to people in school, but is lazy at home and totally self-centered.-- FRUSTRATED, EXHAUSTED DAD

DEAR DAD: You and your wife created this "monster," and now it's your job to make things right. Of course your daughter won't like it when you set rules, but you must establish some for her before your lack of parenting causes even more serious problems.

Set the rules and stick with them. If she won't follow them, there should be penalties for not doing so. Try this: Start with homework. When it's done, she can have her phone for a period of time. Inform her that if she oversleeps because she was up too late on her phone, you will take it at bedtime. And then follow through.

DEAR ABBY: I'm about to be 17 and just started living with my mom after being a runaway for three months. During that time, I made friends with people who were not good for me. However, I still feel I need to cling to these people and be there for them.

As I write this, one of the girls I was closest to is in prison and will be there for a long time. I have to pretend to be fine and act as if I don't care for her, but I do, desperately. My mom refuses to be understanding and talk about anything with me. I don't know what to do.-- TEEN IN LITTLE ROCK

DEAR TEEN: Your mother appears to belong to the ostrich school of parenting. If she doesn't hear something, it doesn't exist. Clearly, you do need to talk with someone about the feelings you're experiencing and why you feel the need to "cling to these people." Because your mother can't/won't do this, it's important that you talk to a counselor at school and ask for the help you need.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Jan 25, 2014
1- Great job parenting. Wonder how old and under what circumstances YOU were when you had children a year apart? The apples don't fall too far from the tree.

2- So you won't discipline or set limits or be a PARENT to your kid for fear of her "protesting," then you complain how spoiled she is, then ask what you can possibly do? A rock has more intelligence than you.

3- The child from L1 four years earlier....

Listen, honey, you're only as good as the company you keep. Cut ties now or follow their path.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Jan 25, 2014
L1 They may not have been raised by a harlot but they hd to pick up the behavior somewhere.

However,( now sit down), this is not about you. If she was old enough to sleep with her boyfriend, she was old enough to have figured out birth control and how to care for a baby.

Wait- you did let her have sex ed, didn't you?

L2. You raised this monster. Grow a spine. Deal with her. Teenaged years are really easy anyway, so training a spoiled brat should be easy.

L3 Was it your mom you ran away from in the first place? Are you in school?
The runaway resources should be able to put you onto a counselor or life coach who may be more helpful than your mom
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#4 Jan 25, 2014
1: Sometimes apples fall very far from the tree.....this is a great nature versus nurture debate.

2: ARG!! I hate parents like this. AFRAID?!? Of a freaking teenager? I'll bet they were the parents who stopped everything and got the candybar every.time their snowflake whined for one. Infuriating.
If she had a teacher like me, you could ask them--I do not suffer fools easily, no matter what age you are and I fear no teen, lol.
I've encountered many conferences where a child obeys me but then I witness their blatant disrespect to a parent in a conference. It's called boundaries, clear expectations, and CONSISTENCY.

3: I know talk to school counselor is the go-to reason, and I hate to sound like a negative nelly, I just want people to realize they are not as powerful as people think, not nowadays. They could listen, but that's all. They have few resources and are pulled in multiple non-counselory directions and you have a hard time getting one in office. Plus most schools break them down by grade level or last name and you can only see that one. So our 7th grade girls rarely go, since it's a dude.
I wish they'd give more hotlines and agencies to call.
Even a teacher or someone she will see more often if what she needs is an ear.
Cass

Claremont, CA

#5 Jan 25, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
1- Great job parenting. Wonder how old and under what circumstances YOU were when you had children a year apart? The apples don't fall too far from the tree.
She didn't give birth to them. She adopted them when they were elementary-school age.
Cass

Claremont, CA

#6 Jan 25, 2014
LW1 - Stop judging and being disgusted. It doesn't help. Maybe it's your disgust with their choices throughout their childhood that pushed him to poor choices in adulthood.

LW2 - Take away the d--n phone. Grow a spine. Yep, she is going to throw a fit, but there is no way to start implementing consequences for poor behavior for teenagers without them throwing a fit.

LW3 - You need counseling.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#7 Jan 25, 2014
Cass wrote:
She didn't give birth to them. She adopted them when they were elementary-school age.
I misread her comment. I took it to mean she adopted her *daughter's* two kids, but I think you're right. Still, I doubt they were wh0 res in early elementary school. SOMEthing went south SOMEwhere.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#8 Jan 25, 2014
Cass wrote:
Maybe it's your disgust with their choices throughout their childhood that pushed him to poor choices in adulthood.
Right. The girls aren't responsible for their own behavior. It's their mother's fault.

Since: Feb 08

Location hidden

#9 Jan 25, 2014
Cass wrote:
<quoted text>
She didn't give birth to them. She adopted them when they were elementary-school age.
Yep, and I'll just bet she took every opportunity to remind them of just how lucky they were to be adopted, and how much they should appreciate not being in foster care, etc etc and more like that. Plus, any and all mistakes or problems and it's their fault for being "bad seeds" or because of their parentage. I'm sure the guilt tripping never stops.
She must have looked good on paper and interviewed well, because she's surely a crap mother, based on how she speaks of the girls, not what they've done.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#10 Jan 25, 2014
LW1: It is OK to be disappointed; I am sure that every mother whose daughter becomes pregnant under less than idea circumstances feels the same way. But Cass is right. Judging and being disgusted are not going to help. Your daughter needs your unconditional love right now, so swallow your disappointment and tell her that you're there for her and her child.

LW2: A lot of 13-year-olds become addicted to phones. Be a parent. Confiscate the phone until she learns to finish her homework and chores before chatting.

LW3: I'm with edog. You need to cut ties with your unsavory companions because they will drag you down when you are trying to climb up.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Jan 25, 2014
1: She adopted these girls when they were in elementary school. In other words,(in her mind) their behavior isn't her fault because they aren't her biological children. In some situations, that might be the case. Sometimes a mental illness can be inherited just as predispositions to certain physical health issues. Sometimes a child's early life experiences form the basis of their character. I think it was a Jesuit who once said something about giving him a child until the age of 7 and he'd mold his character. That was very much paraphrased but you get the idea. The lw says they weren't raised by a harlot. I don't know what her attitudes are regarding men and sex. But I definitely get the impression that she was one of those overly strict parents who end up alienating their kids by giving rules and edicts without any true conversation/communication. I'd say the older daughter started having sex at a younger age at least partly to show her independence and perhaps to try to get married and become a truly "independent" woman who didn't have to listen to her mom. I had a cousin like that. The lw doesn't mention a spouse; so I imagine she adopted these girls as the only way she'd be able to have children. I wonder if she let them know in no uncertain terms that she "saved" them. But that said, sometimes even kids with decent loving parents who try their very best to be good parents just end up doing exactly what you always hoped they wouldn't and you just have to deal with it. But Amy is right, she needs to make it clear to this girl that she and her boyfriend need to be the ones responsible for the baby. The daughter is no minor who you'd expect to need mommy's help with a baby. She's a 21 year old adult.

2: So the 13 year old daughter is in charge of the family? The parents are afraid to set up rules and make sure she abides by them? Sounds like my late sister and b-i-l. They sure made a mess of their two sons. They thought we were weird because we had rules and we made sure our kids followed them. As Amy said, if you don't set up rules/boundaries, there will be much larger problems later on. At 13, a phone is a luxury item when it comes to talking/texting friends. It can also be a great incentive to good behavior. Even if it's a phone like a trac fone that she bought herself with her own babysitting money, you as her parents have a right to take it away as punishment for bad behavior. I mean, would you allow her to smoke the pot or drink alcohol simply because she used her own money to obtain them?

3: I can see why you ran away in the first place if your mom won't even talk to you about the things you are concerned about. So yes, talk to your school counselor.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#12 Jan 25, 2014
Pippa wrote:
I'd say the older daughter started having sex at a younger age at least partly to show her independence and perhaps to try to get married and become a truly "independent" woman who didn't have to listen to her mom.
I don't think young girls intend to get "married" in order to show their independence. Kind of a contradiction there.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#13 Jan 25, 2014
Pippa wrote:
She's a 21 year old adult.
Uughh...God... I've heard, and hate, these arguments that "they're an adult now" so they can make their own decisions about anything.... I've known 20-somethings that were as mature as 14 year olds. That's what the "Entitlement Era" has given us. Personally, I think the legal age should be risen to 25.

"Coddle your kids til they're 26, then let the government take over!"

Sadly, there are those fully on board with this
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#14 Jan 25, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Uughh...God... I've heard, and hate, these arguments that "they're an adult now" so they can make their own decisions about anything.... I've known 20-somethings that were as mature as 14 year olds. That's what the "Entitlement Era" has given us. Personally, I think the legal age should be risen to 25.
"Coddle your kids til they're 26, then let the government take over!"
Sadly, there are those fully on board with this
I don't disagree with you, edog. My point was that at 21, a person should be responsible for his/her own behavior and its consequences. Why should the lw have to take care of this grandchild? I can certainly see that some parents might be able and willing to help a young adult through difficult times but there should be limits and the "child" should be working hard him/herself to get out of whatever bad situation he finds himself in. A parent who does too much is robbing the "child" of the needed lesson and satisfaction of doing things himself. And after all, the parent(s) is not going to be around forever so it's important that the "kids" know how to deal with life's problems on their own

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