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“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Apr 29, 2013
EAR AMY: My husband and I have a son and a daughter in their 30s. Some years ago these two had a falling out in which my son became violent. My husband and I did not learn of this until two years after it happened.

Our son had another incident while at home and was diagnosed as bipolar. He has seen psychiatrists and is on medication and counseling.

My daughter will have nothing to do with him and refuses to let him around our 3-year-old granddaughter. She won’t come home for the holidays and wants all family gatherings at her home because it is her home and she can therefore exclude him. Our son is living with us because he lost his job and is trying to set up his own business. Therefore, our daughter won’t let our granddaughter spend the night at our house.

When my husband and I try to talk to her about him, she becomes defensive and says we are taking his side. This is heartbreaking. It also hurts my son that they ignore him. We have tried to get them together to discuss things and bring the family together again, but my daughter flies off the handle and says she has a 3-year-old to protect.

What can we do as parents to try to rectify this heartbreaking situation?-- Heartbroken Mom

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: You’ve done a lot already to try to mitigate your son’s behavior, but you don’t mention that he has made efforts in this regard. Has he acknowledged and apologized for what he did? Has he reached out to his sister to explain bipolar disorder and to offer her assurances that he is stable?

In addition to your son’s mental illness, if your children have an otherwise volatile relationship history, her feelings about him will be complex and conflicted. Your description of your daughter as “flying off the handle” makes me think your son isn’t the only volatile person in the family.

Mental illness is both stigmatized and misunderstood. Your son should discuss this with his therapist to explore ways he can be a more active participant in this process. Perhaps this therapist would meet with you and with your daughter (separately or together).

In the meantime, you will have to respect the fact that she is the child’s mother and has to make judgments about who the girl spends time with. Her motivations might be mixed, but you have to accept her choice.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a wealth of information on bipolar illness at nami [dot]org.

DEAR AMY: Our daughter is graduating from high school this spring. We’d like her to go to a different university than her boyfriend of 16 months for many reasons.

She needs to grow emotionally, socially and, mostly, academically. He is too jealous and possessive, and we are very concerned about this relationship. We’d appreciate your advice.-- Very Concerned Parents

DEAR VERY CONCERNED: I completely agree with you. If you are paying for college, you have leverage over her choice of schools, and I wouldn’t hesitate exerting this influence.

Additionally, if she is with someone who is jealous and possessive, she would benefit from professional help (you could offer it to her as a way to deal with her frustration over how mean you are).

Be aware that this boyfriend’s control could continue quite easily, even from different campuses. She needs some emotional distance and perspective (and additional maturity) to see the damaging and potentially dangerous effect this sort of relationship has on her personal growth and on her other relationships.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Apr 29, 2013
DEAR AMY: The letter from “No Kid Zone” really shocked me. This couple doesn’t want any children in their home until they have their own. This writer seems to assume that all their friends who have children are negligent, indulgent parents who won’t control their children and will allow those children to damage or destroy items in the letter writer’s home. Is that because that’s the type of parent the letter writer is planning to be?-- Barbara

DEAR BARBARA: Good point. All of this conjecture happens in a vacuum when you deny yourself access to actual experience.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#3 Apr 29, 2013
LW1 - Your daughter is the only one in the family who is thinking with her brains. I can't believe you are suprised that she doesn't want her 3 year old around a violent person. When violent son moves out she will let her daughter visit you.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Apr 29, 2013
1 Way to coddle you son lady. Start his own business?? Yeah right. Face it, he is never leaving and you will never see your grand child. Deal.

2 She's graduating and you dont have a college picked out yet? College is all about drinking smoking and whooring anyway. She will learn and grow plenty, dont worry.

3 The lady is a moron, I think we all established that.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Apr 29, 2013
L1: I think Amy's intern did a pretty good job with this letter. However, I don't think you get to call the daughter "volatile." Sounds like the parents ahve been minimizing son's condition (um, no, it doesn't rear its ugly head in one's 30s, that's rare, it generally happens 10-15 years earlier than that) and minimizing daughter's feelings for years. Leave her alone.

L2: I think Amy's intern totally muffed this. MOther should not try to control daughter's life or choice of college. MOm, you seem no less controlling than a jealous boyfriend would be.

L3: You're a snotty brat and apparently, Amy had nothing of interest to offer so she gave us your stupid letter.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#6 Apr 29, 2013
"You’ve done a lot already to try to mitigate your son’s behavior, but you don’t mention that he has made efforts in this regard."

Um, besides... "He has seen psychiatrists and is on medication and counseling."

I think your daughter is being a bit unreasonable, but I agree he should try to reach out to her and she needs to understand his mental condition. I don't think there's a real concern for her daughter's safety, she's just using her as a bargaining chip to try to manipulate and control you. Don't give in. Continue to have family gatherings at your house, and if she refuses to show up, that's on her. Let her ostracize herself instead of trying to ostracize your son.

2- Start her off at a community college.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#7 Apr 29, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L2: I think Amy's intern totally muffed this. MOther should not try to control daughter's life or choice of college.
As long as their daughter is living under their roof and off their dime, they absolutely have every right to try to make her do what's best for her. Allowing her to follow her possessive, controlling, and jealous boyfriend to college would be a parenting fail on their part.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#8 Apr 29, 2013
Shari23 wrote:
LW1 - Your daughter is the only one in the family who is thinking with her brains.
I think the daughter is acting like a btch.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Apr 29, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
As long as their daughter is living under their roof and off their dime, they absolutely have every right to try to make her do what's best for her. Allowing her to follow her possessive, controlling, and jealous boyfriend to college would be a parenting fail on their part.
Once again, the nonparent fails to get it.

Try to keep them apart and you'll end up pushing them together.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#10 Apr 29, 2013
OMG, I totally agree with edog.

I had to double check to make sure he really wrote it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#11 Apr 29, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Once again, the nonparent fails to get it.
Try to keep them apart and you'll end up pushing them together.
Uh, you're a nonparent, too. And as long as she's dependent on her parents, what's she gonna do? Run away and go live with bf in his dorm?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#12 Apr 29, 2013
ScarletandOlive wrote:
OMG, I totally agree with edog.
I had to double check to make sure he really wrote it.
Why is that always so surprising? I'm right 99.999% of the time.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#13 Apr 29, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Uh, you're a nonparent, too. And as long as she's dependent on her parents, what's she gonna do? Run away and go live with bf in his dorm?
'

I"m a nonparent but the evidence is clear: I know far more about child rearing and child behavior than you do.

And no, it's not "so long as she's dependent on her parents." WTF did THAT come from?

Tell an 18yo she can't do something, and she's going to do it just to prove you wrong. Tell her she has to go to a different school than her boyfriend, she'll make SURE she goes to his school, even without your financial support.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Apr 29, 2013
LW1: Red's right: bipolar symptoms show up in the early 20's. Wouldn't be surprised to hear that there had been altercations between these sibs long before the one that became the last straw for the sister. The son definitely needs to be the one to do the talking and mommmy and daddy need to stop being his go-between.

And I really like the idea of the sister talking to the brother's therapist. Probably the only opinion on the brother that she will be able to trust.

LW2: Of course you can control where you send the tuition check, but if you push her too hard away from the boyfriend, she will try three times harder to get back to him. Try and keep her focused on picking a school that good for *her*.

LW3: I'm feeling this urge to walk on somebody's carpet with muddy shoes...
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#15 Apr 29, 2013
I'm with Squishy today.

My dogs walked on my freshly cleaned tile with muddy paws this morning.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#16 Apr 29, 2013
squishymama wrote:
And I really like the idea of the sister talking to the brother's therapist. Probably the only opinion on the brother that she will be able to trust.
LW2: Of course you can control where you send the tuition check, but if you push her too hard away from the boyfriend, she will try three times harder to get back to him. Try and keep her focused on picking a school that good for *her*.
LW3: I'm feeling this urge to walk on somebody's carpet with muddy shoes...
I agree strongly, and bet that daughter may be viewing the boyfriend as an escape ladder from LW2.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#17 Apr 29, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I think the daughter is acting like a btch.
Which letter are you talking about? The sister who doesn't want to have see her bi-polar brother or the p girl who wants to go to college with her bf?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#18 Apr 29, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>Which letter are you talking about? The sister who doesn't want to have see her bi-polar brother or the p girl who wants to go to college with her bf?
Her response was to letter 1.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#19 Apr 29, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>'
I"m a nonparent but the evidence is clear: I know far more about child rearing and child behavior than you do.
And no, it's not "so long as she's dependent on her parents." WTF did THAT come from?
Tell an 18yo she can't do something, and she's going to do it just to prove you wrong. Tell her she has to go to a different school than her boyfriend, she'll make SURE she goes to his school, even without your financial support.
Don't presume to know more about ANYTHING than I do. I don't buy in to the philosophy of "well, kids are gonna do what they're gonna do regardless, so I'm not even gonna bother."

I don't agree with this "hands off" approach to parenting.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Apr 29, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't presume to know more about ANYTHING than I do. I don't buy in to the philosophy of "well, kids are gonna do what they're gonna do regardless, so I'm not even gonna bother."
I don't agree with this "hands off" approach to parenting.
I'll presume whatever the hell I want and I DO know that I know more about kids and raising them than you do. That's been made very clear in a multitude of threads.

And this is not "hands off" parenting. You don't get to boss your 18yo around when it comes to her love life.

Folks, we're going to pass the hat to get edog neutered.

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