Amy 10-19

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Oct 19, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: My girlfriend and I have been together for five months. She has a 9-year-old daughter who is very bright and very jealous of me because now her mother has two people in her life. The child has not lived with anyone but her mother since her parents divorced when she was a baby. She has frequent temper tantrums that make me uncomfortable.

I raised a boy and a girl, and I never experienced that type of behavior because it was unacceptable in my house. Sometimes this child is affectionate toward me and sometimes standoffish.

Her mother and I are expecting a baby. Her daughter is excited about this because she has always wanted a sibling. They are planning to move into my house, but my girlfriend is nervous that my relationship with her daughter might not go well -- or get worse. There will be no relationship with my girlfriend without her daughter. The daughter has been seeing a psychologist to help her with her mixed emotions. What can I do to win this child's confidence so there is peace in the house?-- Want it to Work

DEAR WANT: Your children might not have had tantrums because their home life was stable, whereas this child's (suddenly) is not. I suggest you try to see her world from her point of view. In less than six months, her mother has found a new partner, told her she is going to have a sibling and has hit her with a move. Any one of these stressors could throw off a stable and happy child; add the onset of adolescence into the mix and it's no wonder she is periodically exploding.

Nine is a challenging age, and while I agree that this child is old to have tantrums, she will continue to act out until she sees that another kind of behavior yields better and more positive results. Her loss of control is a cry out for control. You should not discipline her or express your disapproval to her (let her mother take the lead). Reassure her calmly and encourage her to talk -- even if what she says is hard for you to hear. Regular, predictable routines, plenty of sleep, exercise and good nutrition will help too.

Visit the girl's counselor with her mother. Ask for recommendations and follow them.

DEAR AMY: I am a widower with very nice neighbors who invite me over for dinner frequently. They have a young black poodle, "Muffin," that has been schooled professionally but has regressed from her learning.

The problem is they allow the dog to wander freely among company and get inches from plates of food before they notice or say "no." Often the dog is already into the food before they can stop her.

I like this couple very much, but the dog's behavior turns me off. I have tried to ignore the problem. I would like to stop going to their house for meals, but I don't want to hurt their feelings when they ask why. How can I get out of this gracefully?-- Grateful Widower

DEAR GRATEFUL: You could get out of this by offering a version of the truth, accompanied by a pie. You say, "I have a tough time with Muffin near the table during meals. Instead of dinner, how about I join you for coffee and dessert? I picked up a pie and I'll bring it over."

DEAR AMY: I am amused at the anecdotes about young children cheating at games. I was playing the card game war with my 6-year-old grandson. I noticed him separating the cards into two decks. He said, "Let's play, Grampy," and handed me a pile. I explained that he had all the good cards and that was cheating, and that everyone wants to win fairly. We played another game, and he announced, "Grampy, I'm playing fair now." Better he should learn it at home.-- Bob

DEAR BOB: Way to go, Grampy!

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#2
Oct 19, 2012
 
L1: You parented 2 children and can't figure this one out? I doubt you gave any thought to her child when you two decided to get pregnant and uproot the 9 year old's life again. Makes me wonder how you really did with your first two children and why you don't mention them except in passing.

L2: He should have said something while it was happening.

L3: Slow letter day, huh Amy?
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#3
Oct 19, 2012
 

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Toj wrote:
L1: You parented 2 children and can't figure this one out? I doubt you gave any thought to her child when you two decided to get pregnant and uproot the 9 year old's life again. Makes me wonder how you really did with your first two children and why you don't mention them except in passing.
L2: He should have said something while it was happening.
L3: Slow letter day, huh Amy?
Decided to get pregnant? Or perhaps it just "happened" and he is not only taking reponsibility but acting good about it.

Its only 5 months

Since: Jan 10

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#4
Oct 19, 2012
 
L1: "Her mother and I are expecting a baby." Sigh. It's so annoying when unthinking adults breed. The kid doesn't need a shrink -- her behavior is normal, predicable even. Her mom just isn't that good at her job, as everything in your letter indicates (you don't seem like parent of the year, either). You and your girlfriend are the ones who need adult intervention.

L2: Or correct the dog YOURSELF. You get to draw those boundaries. I would have no problem if my dog was bothering somebody and that person used a firm voice to make my dog behave. Fortunately, I didn't have that problem because I trained my dog better than that and do so specifically with this type of situation in mind: I didn't want guests to be bothered by her.

L3: At some point in my childhood, I realized that the card game "war" is 100% luck and 0% thought or strategy, at which point I lost all interest. It definitely is a card game to play with a kid, not another adult.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#5
Oct 19, 2012
 
LW1: So baby daddy and her split up when she was a baby. And now you've got another one on the way after dating for only 5 months? How many months ago did she get pregnant? I find it difficult to offer any advice cause you both seem like idiots.

LW2: "The problem is they allow the dog to wander freely among company and get inches from plates of food before they notice or say "no." "
Something wrong with YOUR vocal chords? Why are you waiting for them to say no?

"Often the dog is already into the food before they can stop her."
So where is the person to whom this plate belongs? Are people just arbitrarily leaving plates around and going back later? I don't understand how someone can be sitting with a plate of food and not notice the dog until the dog is already into the food.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#6
Oct 19, 2012
 
L1. How sad. Shame on you for disrupting this poor kid's otherwise happy childhood.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#7
Oct 19, 2012
 
1 Meeting, dating, impregnating, shacking up. All within 5 months? Sounds like a match made in heaven

2 Next time show up with a rolled up newspaper.

3 Way to go gramps, cant feed the kids ego if it means you have to lose! whiner.
I bet he kicked your butt anyway
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#8
Oct 19, 2012
 

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Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: So baby daddy and her split up when she was a baby. And now you've got another one on the way after dating for only 5 months? How many months ago did she get pregnant? I find it difficult to offer any advice cause you both seem like idiots.

LW2 I don't understand how someone can be sitting with a plate of food and not notice the dog until the dog is already into the food.
Unless you glue a plate to your wrst there are times when you hand and eye are elsewhere. The dog is poorly disciplined. Amy's advice won't help- the dofg will eat the pie, too. He should ask them to his house, or ask them to cook at his house , or go out if economics allow.

L1- Good catch that baby daddy left when the girl was an infant.

But it is the current man who is asking for tangible advice on what to do going forward. He is not running away. He is not complaining. Isn't this what "manning-up" looks like? He is in a tough situation of his own making and he is trying to make the best of it. Like you never heard of unexpected pregnancies? It is not his sexual exploits in question, it is how to handle a problem kid.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#9
Oct 19, 2012
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Unless you glue a plate to your wrst there are times when you hand and eye are elsewhere. The dog is poorly disciplined.
I'm not denying that, but I can't picture a seating arrangement where a dog could get past me and get to my plate if I'm sitting at the table. And if I'm not, my chair is still in the way. I'm picturing this being more of a serve yourself and sit anywhere kind of shindig where people are leaving things on a coffetable or end table then walking away. I don't know any dog that would walk away from unattended easily accessible food. Perhaps because I have dogs, I know not to leave food where they can reach it, this seems more like an easily corrected people problem to me.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#10
Oct 19, 2012
 

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PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Decided to get pregnant? Or perhaps it just "happened" and he is not only taking reponsibility but acting good about it.
Its only 5 months
Birth control, when used correctly, is 100% effective. So they are stupid to get pregnant in less that 5 months.

:)
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#11
Oct 19, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Birth control, when used correctly, is 100% effective. So they are stupid to get pregnant in less that 5 months.
:)
That doesn't necessarily make him a bad parent
pde

Schaumburg, IL

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#12
Oct 19, 2012
 

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RACE wrote:
1 Meeting, dating, impregnating, shacking up. All within 5 months? Sounds like a match made in heaven
And he's already raised (past tense) two other children. What do you want to bet it's an older man, with twenty-something children shacking up with a younger woman?

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#13
Oct 19, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not denying that, but I can't picture a seating arrangement where a dog could get past me and get to my plate if I'm sitting at the table. And if I'm not, my chair is still in the way. I'm picturing this being more of a serve yourself and sit anywhere kind of shindig where people are leaving things on a coffetable or end table then walking away. I don't know any dog that would walk away from unattended easily accessible food. Perhaps because I have dogs, I know not to leave food where they can reach it, this seems more like an easily corrected people problem to me.
Yeah, this. Maybe it's because we both have short, fat dogs, though. Mine can't even get stuff on the coffee table.

Since: Jan 10

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#14
Oct 19, 2012
 
I think he IS a bad parent because he's blaming a 9yo for things that her mother's (and his) fault.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#15
Oct 19, 2012
 

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PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>That doesn't necessarily make him a bad parent
I will have to differ with you. I can't imagine any good parent getting involved with someone in 5 months to the extent this man did. The woman is no better, don't get me wrong. They're both a train wreck.

As for the difference of getting pregnant and it just happening -- maybe I'm giving them too much credit. Maybe they don't know how babies come into the world. If you don't use birth control properly, you get a baby. They have a baby coming into the world. They either wanted to bring a baby into the world or they didn't understand how birth control works. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it's one or the other.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#16
Oct 19, 2012
 

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pde wrote:
<quoted text>
And he's already raised (past tense) two other children. What do you want to bet it's an older man, with twenty-something children shacking up with a younger woman?
This is what I immediately thought when I read the letter.

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#17
Oct 19, 2012
 
LW1: I don’t believe in allowing children to think they are the boss and misbehave just because they don’t like something. I think the mother should sit her down and tell her, she’s not the boss and she’s expected to behave, and if she does there will be rewards and if she doesn’t there will be consequences. Then, most importantly, enforce it.

LW2: When it is your food that the dog is approaching, why don’t you correct the dog sooner? Quit being so timid.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#18
Oct 19, 2012
 

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Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Birth control, when used correctly, is 100% effective.
Are you trying to start a fight? On a Friday?

;)
Sam I Am

Huntingdon, TN

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#19
Oct 19, 2012
 
1. Buy her a pony.

2. A is ending the week on a low note.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#20
Oct 19, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you trying to start a fight? On a Friday?
;)
Somebody needs to. Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!

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