Posted in the Chicago Forum
“Not a real reg”
Since: Jan 13
#1 Oct 26, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I have a 10-year-old son. "Zack's" a great kid, creative, funny and athletic. He has decided to grow his hair long. My husband and I figure it's not illegal or immoral, so why fight it?
My family does not share our opinion. My mom and sister are cruel in their opposition to Zack growing his hair. They tell him he looks like a girl and call him names. There have been bribes, bullying and instances of utter insanity on their part, trying to make him cut it.
My sister's son has been physically and verbally cruel to Zack, and she thinks it's funny. She's repeating a pattern from when we were children of being the "toughest" -- if you can't handle the abuse, you're a "baby."
I need to know how to stand up to these family members for my son. It's a struggle for me to speak to them face-to-face, and they have called me a coward for sending email messages. My mother lives alone and sometimes has suicidal thoughts. Zack is stressed because he loves his grandma, but can't deal with her harassment. Can you help?-- GUILT-RIDDEN AND STRESSED IN ONTARIO, CANADA
DEAR GUILT-RIDDEN AND STRESSED: I'll try. Somehow, for your son's sake, you must find the courage to tell your mother and your sister to their faces that if they don't knock it off immediately, they'll be seeing a lot less of you and Zack.
The dynamics in your family are unhealthy -- but you are an adult now and no longer have to tolerate it. Because Zack is athletic, enroll him in self-defense classes and make sure he knows he does not have to tolerate physical abuse from anyone and that includes his cousin.
As to "Grandma," your son's emotional health must take precedence over hers. I seriously doubt she'll kill herself if she doesn't have your son to make miserable, so don't feel guilty about it.
DEAR ABBY: I was on a bus yesterday and a woman seated near me complained about how long the trip was taking for so long and so loudly that I ended up "catching" her negative energy. Because I couldn't find a nice way to shut her up, I finally put on earphones and turned on my music.
When there is a toxic person in a public place, what is the best way to get them to stop spewing their hateful sewage onto everyone else?-- ALLISON IN BROOKLYN
DEAR ALLISON: The most obvious way would be to put physical distance between you and the person, if that's possible. If it isn't, then the way you handled it was appropriate. In the interest of safety, I would not recommend confronting a possibly emotionally disturbed individual.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are retired and financially secure. Our three adult children shower us with costly gifts on Christmas, birthdays, and Mother's Day and Father's Day. Most of them end up on our closet shelves.
How can we tell them that what we would really prefer is just a kind, handwritten (not store-bought) note with possibly a recent picture of them or our grandchildren enclosed?-- DAD WHO HAS IT ALL
DEAR DAD: Why not say it the same way you expressed it to me? You are financially secure. Your closets are filled. You don't have room for any more "things," and this is the kind of gift you would prefer. If they disregard your wishes and give you more gifts you can't use, you can always donate them to a needy fa
#2 Oct 26, 2013
LW1 - Oh, for f's sake, stand up for your son! Cut the ties with this "family." If it is a struggle for you to speak up to their face, then I bet they bullied you through your childhood. Please see therapy to address your inability to stand up for yourself.
LW2 - I always have my iPod with me when I travel by public transit. It's boring to just do nothing, and I can't read on buses - I get motion-sick.
LW3 - Use your words. If they are not listening or ignoring your pleas about no gifts, ask for consumable gifts. An Edible Arrangements basket can cost an arm and a leg (if that is how your offspring want to show how much they care about you), but you can eat it. And it's delicious. There are other companies, of course, that will sell elaborate fruit and other food baskets in case Edible Arrangements is not available where you are. If fruit/food baskets are not your thing, ask your kids to treat their mother to a full spa day on Mother's day, or to give you a get-away weekend for Christmas. Let your kids spend money on you if they wish. You can't stop them anyway.
As for your preference for handwritten (not store-bought) notes and recent pictures, I have to say you sound a bit hard to please. Have you previously expressed disappointment at store-bought cards? Have you expressed disappointment at the lack of hard copy photos when they have sent you electronic ones? You may want to reflect on your reactions to your kids' gifts and see if they bear changing.
#3 Oct 26, 2013
Agree with Cass all the way.
You can't choose your relatives,neighbors and fellow transit riders.
#4 Oct 26, 2013
1: I can't stand parents who are too wussy to speak up and protect their child. Even a freaking animal with low cognitive abilities can do that!
The "coward" things almost annoys me most--they are intentionally stirring a pot and attacking like bullies do.
Bet they've been doing this to you since you were little....think back....then seek help when the realization knocks you off your feet.
2: SHADDUUPPPP usually works.
3: I hate gifts. I hate the obligation, the hassle of finding it, the non-stop all year long events, and the pretend happiness when your gift isn't the best. Most of all, I hate how the items and act of purchasing has taken over the real important thing: like spending time with someone, or celebrating a Savior's birth, etc...
#5 Oct 26, 2013
These look like letters from the sixties.
“I Am Mine”
Since: Dec 08
#6 Oct 26, 2013
LW1: You're a failure of a parent if you allow your child to be mistreated by his "family".
LW2: "what is the best way to get them to stop spewing their hateful sewage onto everyone else?"
How bout you stop looking for a way to make other people act the way you would like them to act? You did fine by popping your headphones in and ignoring her.
LW3: "My wife and I are retired and financially secure. Our three adult children shower us with costly gifts on Christmas, birthdays, and Mother's Day and Father's Day. Most of them end up on our closet shelves."
What horror. How bout you start thanking them but letting them know you really have no use for <insert item>. These are your kids. Why are you afraid to use your words? I've gotten stuff that I was never going to use and had no problem being thankful, but saying I'll never use it. I've said it before. I'd rather you spend nothing on me than waste money on something I'll never use.
"How can we tell them that what we would really prefer is just a kind, handwritten (not store-bought) note with possibly a recent picture of them or our grandchildren enclosed?"
Grunt at them and make hand gestures since words must have trouble forming at your mouth.
(Hand written notes? WTF? Good luck with that.)
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