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1 - 8 of 8 Comments Last updated Dec 26, 2013
Cass

Claremont, CA

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#1
Dec 26, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old girl and a caring person. I'm worried about my mother. She has been an addict for nine years. She always says she wants help, but she never follows through with getting the help she needs. I have asked her many times to go and get help, and have told her how bad her using makes me feel.
What do you think I can do to encourage her to follow through with treatment? I miss my mother. Any advice would be appreciated.-- IN NEED OF HELP IN OLYMPIA, WASH.

DEAR IN NEED OF HELP: You are not only a caring young woman, you are also mature for your age and intelligent. If your mother has been an addict since you were 6, your entire childhood has been spent taking care of her and raising yourself. I am truly sorry for that.

Because nothing you say gets through to her, consider moving in with another relative if that's possible. You should also join a Narateen support group. It's a 12-step program for teenage friends and family members of addicts. There is one in your city called "Hope for Today." To find the location, check the Nar-Anon website, www.nar-anon.org .

DEAR ABBY: I am a grandmother, a former teacher and I have my master's in child psychology. I was also a school board member. I love children.
Please pass this along to parents and anyone else who cares for children: Quit force-feeding them! Again and again I see parents beg and coerce their kids to eat. There are too many obese people in the world. Kids will eat when they are hungry. Just don't give them any junk in between.

I know a dad who told me he forced his son to finish his food until the son went and threw up. He said he will never do that again. Remember, children have small stomachs. They don't need to eat much to feel full. Restaurants serve too much.
Let kids eat when they need to. Just give them healthy choices.-- DIANE IN MILWAUKEE

DEAR DIANE: Unfortunately, babies don't come with written instructions. Many parents "encourage" their children to eat because they're afraid if they don't they're not doing their job. It's a reflection of their anxiety. Too often, mealtime turns into a power struggle, which is a big mistake.

What you have written is common sense. A pediatrician or health clinic can advise parents what and how much their child should eat. And I agree, restaurant portions are usually larger than customers should consume in one meal, which is why those who are watching their calories are advised to cut the portions in half before eating.

DEAR ABBY: I am a grown woman with a wonderful husband, two jobs and five beautiful children. I am a good person. My parents raised me to be respectful and accepting of all kinds of people.
My arms are partially tattooed with beautiful flowers. Family members openly express their dislike of it. They have a right to their thoughts and to say what they please. What can I say back that tells them how rude they are and how they hurt me?-- INKED AND IRKED IN POCATELLO, IDAHO

DEAR INKED AND IRKED: You should say, "When you gave your opinion about my arms, I heard you the first time. For you to keep repeating it is insulting and hurtful, so please cut it out. I think my tattoos are beautiful and that's what's important." And if your family members persist in making cruel comments, you have my permission to end the conversation.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#2
Dec 26, 2013
 

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LW1: First, accept the fact that there is only so much that you can do for an addict. I do think NA or Ala-Teen can help you to manage the situation as best you can. Next, you need to ensure that you will have a solid future, so stay in school, keep your grades up and apply for college scholarships. You may eventually need to just get out of that situation and save yourself.

LW2: I have never understood why people try to force their children to eat.

LW3: It is rude to comment negatively on the body art of others; on the other hand, you certainly understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea. I like Abby's script.
Cass

Claremont, CA

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#3
Dec 26, 2013
 

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LW1 - I feel for you, kid. Hang on in there. Do move in with another relative if only possible. I don't know if you are willing to talk to your school counselor about getting some support. It's risky because they have a legal obligation to report dangerous situations (and you ARE in a dangerous situation) to CPS or an equivalent thereof in your state, so you may end up in foster care. But the most important thing for you to do is to stay clean yourself. You can't do anything to help your mother. She needs professional help.

LW2 - Yep, there are too many obese kids. Unfortunately, eating disorders are also starting to show up earlier and earlier in kids. Just two weeks ago my 8yo would not eat at dinner, so I asked her why. She said that "Kylie" in her class had been teasing her about being "chubby," so she wanted to lose some weight. Teasing about weight is awful in the first place, but my daughter is not even close to chubby. She is in the 36 percentile for weight for her age - less than average, although not undernourished.

We talked about food, and healthy weight, and exercise, and I brought the issue up with the teacher as well, so the problem is being resolved.

However, when one sees parents trying to force-feed their kids at a restaurant, it's better not to assume that you know what's going on. Yes, parents should offer healthy choices to their kids, and yes, making food an issue of contention with your kids is unlikely to help anything, but for strangers to opine on what is going on at the next table in a restaurant is totally inappropriate.

LW3 - Yep, tell them you heard them the first time and weren't interested in their opinion then, so repeating it would serve no purpose. Stop feeling hurt, though. You can't take others' boorishness personally all the time, or it'll eat you up. Whatever problem they have with your tattoos is theirs, not yours.

Somewhat OT:

When people keep harping on other's tattoos, what exactly do they think they will accomplish? Even if the tattooed person hates his/her tattoos now, it's not easy or cheap to remove them, but if the person wears clothes that reveals the tattoos, he/she most likely doesn't hate them.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#4
Dec 26, 2013
 

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LW3: While I agree no one should say anything about the tattoos, I wonder how LW can afford the tattoos when she has to work 2 jobs and has 5 kids.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#5
Dec 26, 2013
 

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Stina2 wrote:
LW3: While I agree no one should say anything about the tattoos, I wonder how LW can afford the tattoos when she has to work 2 jobs and has 5 kids.
You can say that about anything that costs money. But she does not say she's out getting a new tat every weekend. There's no ongoing maintenance cost associated with tattoos. You have no idea when she got them. They could all be from before she got kids. She could get a new one every few years. I just don't understand how you can infer that she's somehow living beyond her means cause she has some tattoos

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#6
Dec 26, 2013
 

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Kuuipo wrote:
LW1: First, accept the fact that there is only so much that you can do for an addict. I do think NA or Ala-Teen can help you to manage the situation as best you can. Next, you need to ensure that you will have a solid future, so stay in school, keep your grades up and apply for college scholarships. You may eventually need to just get out of that situation and save yourself.
LW2: I have never understood why people try to force their children to eat.
LW3: It is rude to comment negatively on the body art of others; on the other hand, you certainly understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea. I like Abby's script.
1. Addicts of any kind only change when the voice inside their own head says to do it. Voices from other people won't work except the Judge saying "15 years" confinement.. Your moving out may do the trick because that is behavior, not words, which is tied directly to her using. It also will distance you from any dealer customer misunderstandings. Nar-teen or Al-anon is for you. It is not an instruction course on how to get her to quit.

2. Baby care is passed on within families. We are all still close enough to our immigrant roots to have grandmas or great grandmas who had first hand knowledge that a skinny baby had a poor chance at survival and that a fat baby was more likely to grow up. That is what you are seeing in the force fed issue. It is also occasionally a control thing:I am the parent and you will do what I tell you. Now open up and eat.

3. You knew what you got the tatt's what a good segment of the population would think. Now they are saying it..

Either look at them and say I heard you the first time, or wear long sleeves when you go visiting.

Clue: people will comment at your wake,too: get used to it.I would suggest you grow a thicker skin but I am not sure how that would work for you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

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#7
Dec 26, 2013
 

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3- I'm rather annoyed by people's love of their tattoos. I see comments on facebook all the time: "Tattooed chicks are sexy," or "Real men love a woman with tattoos." Ugh, give it a rest already.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#8
Dec 26, 2013
 

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edogxxx wrote:
3- I'm rather annoyed by people's love of their tattoos. I see comments on facebook all the time: "Tattooed chicks are sexy," or "Real men love a woman with tattoos." Ugh, give it a rest already.
Puts a slightly different spin on the Ben Franklin quip that all cats are fry in the dark

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