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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 24, 2014
DEAR AMY: This year, my older (childless) sister hosted a family gathering on New Year's Eve.

Among the group were five children, ages 6 to 9. "Betsy" is fond of our kids, and our kids have visited her many times. They really are good kids, and they know not to roughhouse, especially at Aunt Betsy's. But, long story short, we adults weren't paying attention, heard a crash, and ran to see the Christmas tree smashed on the floor of the front room.

Betsy went white, went into the room, closed the door, and started to salvage what she could, I guess. The rest of us finished the washing-up and left. Betsy has been collecting ornaments from her travels around the world for years, and has (or had) several that had belonged to our mother and grandmother. She could tell a story about every single thing on her tree. Her collection is irreplaceable.

My brother, cousin and I have been trying to apologize, but our calls to her have gone to voice mail. What can we do to begin to fix this?-- Wrecking Crew's Mom

DEAR MOM: If you had raced into the room to help your sister after your children destroyed her tree -- it would have given you a chance to be helpful, apologize and assess the loss. Expressing your sincere horror in person is preferable to grabbing your children and slinking out into the night.

You need to write to her. So do your children. You should say, "I'm so sorry about this. Although the children created the damage, we should have been watching them more closely." Tell her you are horrified at the loss of these beautiful and irreplaceable ornaments and say, "I hope you will let us try to help rebuild your beautiful collection."

You should ask your children to choose an ornament from your own collection to send to her. Even if the ornament is clunky, silly or a kindergarten creation, the children need to understand that there are consequences to catastrophes, even if the catastrophe is accidental.

DEAR AMY: I am a sophomore in high school. Last semester was terribly stressful. I have many amazing friends who care about schoolwork and grades. We often study together at lunch. However, chemistry was really a struggle.

My father does not accept grades below a solid B. I ended up with a B in the class, but I did not do well on the final. I understand that I should have done more to save my grades during the semester, such as go to tutoring.

Every day when I come home from school he screams at me for my grades. This semester, I will try harder to get good grades and concentrate, especially on chemistry. I don't know how to fix this problem, because I get super anxious and start having trouble breathing. One time I started crying in class.

Any advice on how to be more independent about my grades? I want my dad to care about how I do in school, but I don't want a bad relationship with him.-- Trying

DEAR TRYING: I'm sorry your father is putting so much pressure on you. This is very challenging for you -- and most importantly it doesn't seem to work in terms of raising your grade.

You should meet with your teacher to come up with a plan for tutoring and study that could help you learn the material and maximize your performance.

If your father is really screaming at you every day, then this is verbally abusive. Your school counselor might be able to mediate a solution between you so he will ease up in order for you to concentrate. Otherwise please remember that one motivation for doing well in school is to get into a good college -- and escape the daily wrath of dad.

DEAR AMY: We are grandparents and agree with your advice to the couple, "Drowning in Baby Supplies." We think that investing in our grandchildren's future is priority No. 1. We give our personal time, unconditional love, small gifts at birthdays and Christmas, and contributions that help to fund their 529 educational accounts.-- Seattle Grandparents

DEAR GRANDPARENTS: Excellent!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#2 Jan 24, 2014
1- Geez, how fragile were these ornaments? Was the tree made out of glass? Usually when the tree falls over, it's something to have a laugh about. Tell your sister to unfking wind.

2- Start getting D's and C's, let him scream about that.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Jan 24, 2014
1 Betsy needs to realize that life happens, and if the only loss she suffers are a few glass balls, then she needs to count her lucky stars. She also needs to learn the reason for the season.

But, yeah, your rugrats need to apologize and you need to get on Ebay to try and find replacements, or maybe those year round christmas stores.

2 Have a melt down the next time your dad screams. If that dont soften his attitude, then he's just an a$$ and you will have to deal.

3 Well, bully for you.
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#4 Jan 24, 2014
1. Use a tree stand. If there are kids or animals in the picture don't hang antything on it that you will have a coniption fit if it breaks. But yeah you should have helped and apologized on the spot and made the kids realize their actions.
2. Tiger parents. Kids who go beserk when they turn 18 and get away from them. Centuries old problem. Except now you can't change those D and F's into B's before bringing report cards home. My husband is a teacher and has seen the kids cry because they don't get perfect scores and their parents give them grief.
3. Oh goody. Let's throw this granny some confetti.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 Jan 24, 2014
L1: Some ornaments can be very pricey, especially heirloom ones. I can understand her getting upset -- but this is beyond upset. While I would be upset if that happened to me that irreplaceable things were ruined, I would not cut-off people over THINGS. I agree they should not have just left.

L2: Talk to the counsellors at school. You need someone who has a realistic view of your abilities. Most people are not great at everything and your father is giving you horrible anxiety. It's not worth it.

L3: People really do like to write in a brag.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#6 Jan 24, 2014
LW1: Judging by her subsequent reaction, I doubt that she would have let anyone help her clean up. They did not grab the children and slink out into the night. They stayed and cleaned up the rest of the party mess, Amy you dolt.

This is a good lesson for Aunt Betsy that things are just things, and if she is going to cut off her family because of this, then maybe Aunt Betsy ain't the aunt you all thought she was. Geez, no matter how much sentimental values is attached, things are just things.

And if she does come around, you all have the perpetual perfect christmas gift for Aunt Betsy. You can get her ornaments from your travels, or make special ones every year for her or just find the coolest one that you can find.

LW2: Nice way to motivate a kid <eyeroll> Talk to your school counselor, because crying in class will not make it better. In fact, it will make it worse; you will become "that girl that cries when she doesn't get an A" and EVERYONE will know about it.

So study hard *in spite* of your ahole father and get into a good school on the other side of the country.

LW3: Yay?
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#7 Jan 24, 2014
LW1: I can understand why Betsy was upset to lose her priceless and irreplaceable collection of ornaments that consisted of heirlooms of sentimental value and mementos of her travels. It will take her some time to put this behind her. You should be glad that she has let your calls go to voicemail for now because had she said anything to you, it would have been most unpleasant. Amy's suggestion is solid, and you should definitely use the word "horrified" to express your reaction to the damage. Do not attempt to minimize or trivialize this; her collection was something she valued very highly and now it is gone. You should definitely help her to replace it, but not with anything clunky or cheap. Go to Amazon or ebay and purchase ornaments from places that she has visited. Or maybe you can find someone who specializes in repairing restoring broken delicate items.

LW2: Your dad is doing a very poor job of helping you succeed. Find a tutor - perhaps a college student who excels in your poorest subject. You'll learn better and get your dad off your back - a win-win situation.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Jan 24, 2014
LW1. I feel for Aunt Betsy and for LW. Amy's suggestion is good. But after a month, Aunt Betsy's reaction seems somewhat out of proportion. What would she have done if a drunk adult guest had stumbled into the tree and caused the same damage?

LW2. This sounds like an Asian or Indian family. The LW needs to connect with other kids or a teacher of similar background . The father won't stop this. The LW will in all likelihood be forced into a STEM major in college.

LW is suffering the clash of assimilation between a traditional background and American culture

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#9 Jan 24, 2014
L2. Yeah. I had a hard time in chemistry too, balancing equations and carbon-14 dating and radioactivity and stuff. That is some hard core curriculum.
Chemistry is what they call one of the weed-out courses. It's hard for everybody. And as crazy as this might seem, you have to make it fun and you may need a good tutor too.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#10 Jan 24, 2014
LW2: Your father is abusive. Where is your mother in all this to protect you, or does your father abuse her as much/worse than he abuses you?
Talk to you school counselor, NOW
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#11 Jan 24, 2014
1: I see both sides. Watch your kids, but accidents happen...if she wants to ruin relationships over ornaments, she's no great loss. I think in time she will slowly come back.
2:*sigh* This bohers me because these parents have their kids so afraid of failure they acually freeze up. I'm teaching some kids like this. A 99% is questioned and they hinge their entire being into a subjective grade.
There is doing your best and being unreasonable. Not everyone will be tops in everything. This kid will grow to an equally neurotic adult and never feel good enough. Sadly, a school counselor will do little...what can they do?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Jan 24, 2014
cheluzal wrote:
2:*sigh* This bohers me because these parents have their kids so afraid of failure they acually freeze up. I'm teaching some kids like this. A 99% is questioned and they hinge their entire being into a subjective grade.
There is doing your best and being unreasonable. Not everyone will be tops in everything. This kid will grow to an equally neurotic adult and never feel good enough. Sadly, a school counselor will do little...what can they do?
Um, meet with the kid and their parents and point it out? It might fall on deaf ears or it might click with the parents. If I was a counsellor and a kid came to me with this problem that's what I would do. I would try. At least try to get a workable plan that would help the kid not feel like an epic failure.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#13 Jan 24, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
Um, meet with the kid and their parents and point it out? It might fall on deaf ears or it might click with the parents. If I was a counsellor and a kid came to me with this problem that's what I would do. I would try. At least try to get a workable plan that would help the kid not feel like an epic failure.
That's adorable.
Look, that might work sometimes, but the sad reality is that parental behaviors are deeply ingrained and very rarely modifiable.
If anything, they would not come in, or the kid would get in trouble for telling.

And more sad is that counselors have so many ridiculous mandates with testing and other ancillary duties, they don't have time to call and meet with all parents in such situations as this, which seem innocuous compared to other things going down.

I don't say this to condone, just a noticed truth.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Jan 24, 2014
cheluzal wrote:
<quoted text>
That's adorable.
Look, that might work sometimes, but the sad reality is that parental behaviors are deeply ingrained and very rarely modifiable.
If anything, they would not come in, or the kid would get in trouble for telling.
And more sad is that counselors have so many ridiculous mandates with testing and other ancillary duties, they don't have time to call and meet with all parents in such situations as this, which seem innocuous compared to other things going down.
I don't say this to condone, just a noticed truth.
It's NOT adorable, It might work sometimes? Sometimes it doesn't so you wouldn't advocate it?

It's ridiculous that people wouldn't try b/c it didn't work out for someone else. Sad, really. It sounds as if that's how you feel. And you are a person supposedly teaching. What really sad is some people are not willing to be the voice of reason. That's why things stay as they are.

If you know this to be true in your situation and don't do anything to change it, then you are condoning it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#15 Jan 25, 2014
Toj wrote:
It's NOT adorable, It might work sometimes? Sometimes it doesn't so you wouldn't advocate it?
It's ridiculous that people wouldn't try b/c it didn't work out for someone else. Sad, really. It sounds as if that's how you feel. And you are a person supposedly teaching. What really sad is some people are not willing to be the voice of reason. That's why things stay as they are.
If you know this to be true in your situation and don't do anything to change it, then you are condoning it.
She is a teacher. She is living this reality. You are neither a teacher nor a school counselor. You are not living this reality.

Guess which one of you has a more realistic, fact-based grasp on the matter?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#16 Jan 25, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
She is a teacher. She is living this reality. You are neither a teacher nor a school counselor. You are not living this reality.
Guess which one of you has a more realistic, fact-based grasp on the matter?
That may be true but starting the reply "How adorable" comes across as dismissive of a different point of view.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#17 Jan 25, 2014
I found toj's naivete of the situation adorable, but misguided.
I always tell the counselors of anything, so implying I never try is presumptuous and wrong.

But the sad reality is a parent pushing a child to excel is not something a counselor is going to call a parent IN for. It is unfortunate, but it's like the lw's who are told to talk to a parent or something....you can't really change most adult behavior that the state would not deem abuse. You have to ride out the situation.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Jan 25, 2014
Then what does a school counselor do if not counsel the children?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#19 Jan 25, 2014
RACE wrote:
Then what does a school counselor do if not counsel the children?
Eats doughnuts and drinks coffee

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#20 Jan 27, 2014
RACE wrote:
Then what does a school counselor do if not counsel the children?
Evidently in their school they hide from the parents.

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