“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 5, 2014
DEAR READERS: Your questions and dilemmas never take a holiday, but occasionally I must. This year I'm spending a week pursuing a rigorous summertime schedule of mini-golf, water slides and go-kart racing. This week's "best of" columns come from deep within the Ask Amy vault. Like a soft-serve twisty cone, they are sometimes even more enjoyable as a second helping.

DEAR AMY: Recently I was in my 16-year-old daughter's room, where I thumbed through what I thought was a sketchbook. In fact it was a diary/journal, and although I know I should have closed it at that time, I read the last entry.

It was written after we had a recent quarrel, which I thought on a 1 to 10 scale to be about a 3. In it she called me her "God D--- Mother" and said she wished I would stay away from her and that she is only happy with her friends.

I was shocked because I thought that we always had a much-better-than-average mother/daughter relationship and was hurt by the amount of anger she had toward me.

In the past any angry barbs that came my way I just brushed off as teenage angst, but now I wonder if it is more personal.

She is in general a great kid and has spared me any other worries (knock on wood).

I'm having trouble getting past this (it's been a couple of weeks now). I just feel something has been lost.

Any suggestions?-- Mom in a Muddle

DEAR MOM: I ran this question past my own 16-year-old daughter and asked her if she thought you should confront your daughter about this.

She quickly reminded me that diaries are full of exaggeration and are never meant to be read by anyone else. She thinks that if you tell your daughter you read her diary, she might find this violation of her privacy unforgivable.

Right.

Now I have my own reaction. Though I agree with my daughter on this, I feel your pain. One of the burdens of motherhood is that your kids can hurt you, and you still have to soldier on and be the mom.

Remember when your daughter was 3 years old and pitched an epic fit and called you "bad mommy" in the hardware store because you wouldn't let her buy the chain saw? This is like that. She is calling you "bad mommy," and you're going to have to go ahead and love her anyway.

That having been said, if your daughter's out-loud outbursts or angry barbs include the sort of language she used in her diary, or if she seems particularly or chronically upset, sad or angry, then I think you really need to try to get to the bottom of it. Teenage angst and all -- it's not normal, and it's certainly not acceptable, for kids to heap abuse on their parents.

That's what diaries are for.(2004)

DEAR AMY: I am the father of a 19-year-old daughter. She is a great kid, smart, stays out of trouble and has lots of friends. The problem is that she likes to run around the house in her underwear.

I will come home from work and she will be sitting in front of the TV with just a T-shirt and underwear on or come out of the shower with only a towel on her head. She doesn't do this when we have houseguests. I have asked her to put more clothes on, but she just tells me not to be so stuffy. My wife thinks this is just a passing phase.

What do you think?-- Confused Father

DEAR FATHER: Your daughter's reaction to you tells me that she doesn't worry too much about respecting your point of view; I don't know how that strikes you, but that would probably bother me more than the nudity. If she continues to refuse to respect this pretty simple request, the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts. If she asks you what's going on, you can look at your daughter and say, "Stop being so stuffy! Please pass the potatoes." (2004)

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 Aug 5, 2014
1- oh the humanity

2- enjoy the view

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Aug 5, 2014
Lw1: omg. My teen daughter had mean thoughts about me when she's angry. Ie: she's normal. And holy sh!t. All dhe said was my gd mother? Hell, my sister called my mom a bitch behind her back. Eddie Murphy wished his mother got hit by a truck and died. If you never had an unkind thought about your mother, you are the odd one.

Lw2: "the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts."

Don't most dads do this now and then?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Aug 5, 2014
1 You answered your own question, you should have stopped reading.

2 Is it so hard to avert your gaze?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Aug 5, 2014
1. Don't reveal you read the journal. Not now or ever in the future. That will taint your entire relationship with your daughter.

If she had written about something tangible like doing coke or blowing 2/3 of the junior class there could be some action needed, but blowing off steam about your mother should remain private.

2. I support the dad. If this was opposite and he was coming out of teh shower and waggling his dangly bits in front of his 19 year old there would be an uproar.

She is being an exhibitionist. She is 19 and he may not be able to do much but he can roar at her to cover up. His house, his rules and she needs to respect that.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#6 Aug 5, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw2: "the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts."
Don't most dads do this now and then?
Uh.... no
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#7 Aug 5, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw1: omg. My teen daughter had mean thoughts about me when she's angry. Ie: she's normal. And holy sh!t. All dhe said was my gd mother? Hell, my sister called my mom a bitch behind her back. Eddie Murphy wished his mother got hit by a truck and died. If you never had an unkind thought about your mother, you are the odd one.
Lw2: "the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts."
Don't most dads do this now and then?
1: I agree but I think it would have been more directed at my husband than me unless I'm living in fantasy land. My husband was more strict than I was and I often had to play monkey in the middle to try to mediate a compromise. I'm the one whose shoulders received all the tears and angst. I'm sure my kids were angry with me at times too though when I wouldn't let them do something they really wanted to do and I knew they shouldn't. And then there were the times I insisted they clean their rooms or had to help wash the dishes or insisted that one daughter who went shopping with a friend had to return the see-through blouse or I was going to tear it up (and yes, I took her to the store myself to make sure she did).... So ok, they probably hated me at times too. ;-)

2:I will repeat what edog said, "Uh.... no." My husband never did. But I admit my dad did until my mom went out and bought him several pairs of shorts when my sister and I were about 9 and 10 (perhaps younger).
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#8 Aug 5, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw2: "the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts."
Don't most dads do this now and then?
My dad and my friend's dad both wore their boxers when in the house. My dad would put on pants when friends came over, but my friend's dad insisted that he was going to wear whatever he wanted in his own house, no matter who was coming over.

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