“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jun 14, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old girl and I need my own bedroom. Ever since I was born, I have shared a room with my 17-year-old sister. Maybe it was OK when we were younger, but now it is impossible. It's crowded and annoying. I have no privacy, and I can't decorate it how I want.

What makes this worse is that we have an extra room. My parents refuse to consider it and won't give me a reason. It has gotten so bad I have moved into a closet. Every time I walk into my room I get a headache. I never hang out there anymore. Please help.-- IN THE CLOSET IN N.Y.

DEAR IN THE CLOSET: Your parents may be hoping you can come to a truce with your sister without having to sacrifice their guest room. If you feel your bedroom is crowded, it must be the same for her. If a truce isn't possible, then you will have to continue hanging out in other parts of the house.

Although it may be inconvenient for you, your sister can't help that she exists, and the sooner you accept it, the sooner your headache will lessen. As to redecorating the bedroom to suit your taste, be patient awhile longer. At 17, your sister should be nearly out of high school. In another year she'll be 18, and the room will be all yours if she plans on going to college or finding a job, roommates and independence.

P.S. At that point, don't be surprised if you miss her.

DEAR ABBY: A friend I have known for about 10 years messaged me again tonight saying she was going to commit suicide. I tried to get her to go to a hospital, but she refused. When I told her I was going to contact the police, she backed down a bit. This has become an almost-nightly occurrence.

She's going through a rough patch right now. She's breaking things off with her drug-addicted longtime partner. She is also underemployed, in danger of being evicted and has cancer.

It is tough on me to talk her down from the ledge every night. Many of her problems are of her own making, but she can't seem to see that. She can't afford therapy. I have taken her to Al-Anon, but she quit after a short time.

I don't know what to do. I hate to break it off with her because I'm afraid she will kill herself. I am the only friend she has left. How much longer do I hold on?-- SUCKED DRY IN KANSAS

DEAR SUCKED DRY: Because your friend is calling nightly threatening to harm herself, it appears she is using you to vent. That's all right if it's consensual and you have the emotional strength to handle it. If you don't, and because you describe yourself as emotionally depleted ("sucked dry"), I'm advising you to start screening your calls. I'm not advising you to shut her out completely, but to allow yourself not to answer your phone unless you are feeling up for it. And if she threatens suicide again, follow through on contacting the police.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#2 Jun 14, 2014
LW2 - Call 911 already.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#3 Jun 14, 2014
1: Typical sibling rivalry. Be glad you have a roof over your head, food to eat, and so many clothes and "stuff" that you have a crowded bedroom. Too many kids have only the clothes on their backs and aren't sure when they will have their next meal.

2: Sounds like this friend needs professional help. Call the police the next time she threatens suicide - and every time after that. You are not her keeper nor are you equipped to give her the professional help she needs. She has you tied up in knots and you will end up a "basket case" yourself. Hopefully, the police will take her to medical facility to have her evaluated. I think they're required to do that with suicide threats but I don't know for sure.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#4 Jun 14, 2014
Pippa wrote:
1: Typical sibling rivalry. Be glad you have a roof over your head, food to eat, and so many clothes and "stuff" that you have a crowded bedroom. Too many kids have only the clothes on their backs and aren't sure when they will have their next meal.
I agree with you, but this is a sentiment that doesn't sink in for kids who "have." Lack of gratitude for what you do have is a basic human trait, I think, and it is more evident in children, who have yet had little life experience, but adults are not immune from it either.

My 9yo constantly complaints how life is unfair because her 4yo brother may get more screen time when he is sick and gets to stay at home, so he plays games while she is at school. She ignores the fact that she has more screen time when she stays at home. She is also an extremely picky eater, and would rather go hungry than eat what she doesn't like, but of course food is in abundance in our environment, and she's never had to go hungry for more than a couple of hours. Letting her starve until she IS ready to eat brussels sprouts instead of pizza could easily lend me in jail for child abuse, so simulating famine is not an option.

But I see the same attitude among adults. A friend of mine who has lived in Germany for the past 25 years (since her late teens) whines sometimes about how the amount of kindergeld (a government allowance for families with kids - all families with kids!) is too little, and how her paid (at 65% of income) post-birth maternity leave was only 12 months, while it was 14 months for her next-door neighbor. When she does, I tell her to move back to the States permanently: NO kindergeld, and NO guarantee of paid maternity leave.:-)
Julie

Chicago, IL

#5 Jun 14, 2014
LW2: Your so-called friend sounds like a massive drama queen/emotional vampire. IMO, no way is she going to kill herself---she just wants to suck you into her sick drama. And she's doing a good job of it.

Of course it's understandable that you can't take the risk of ignoring her. You need to notify the police and her family *immediately*. I bet her attention-seeking threats will stop as soon as someone calls her bluff.

She needs extensive psychiatric help, but this is FAR above your pay grade.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#6 Jun 16, 2014
Cass wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you, but this is a sentiment that doesn't sink in for kids who "have." Lack of gratitude for what you do have is a basic human trait, I think, and it is more evident in children, who have yet had little life experience, but adults are not immune from it either.
My 9yo constantly complaints how life is unfair because her 4yo brother may get more screen time when he is sick and gets to stay at home, so he plays games while she is at school. She ignores the fact that she has more screen time when she stays at home. She is also an extremely picky eater, and would rather go hungry than eat what she doesn't like, but of course food is in abundance in our environment, and she's never had to go hungry for more than a couple of hours. Letting her starve until she IS ready to eat brussels sprouts instead of pizza could easily lend me in jail for child abuse, so simulating famine is not an option.
But I see the same attitude among adults. A friend of mine who has lived in Germany for the past 25 years (since her late teens) whines sometimes about how the amount of kindergeld (a government allowance for families with kids - all families with kids!) is too little, and how her paid (at 65% of income) post-birth maternity leave was only 12 months, while it was 14 months for her next-door neighbor. When she does, I tell her to move back to the States permanently: NO kindergeld, and NO guarantee of paid maternity leave.:-)
FWIW - you won't go to jail for not letting your kid have pizza instead of brussel sprouts. When she's hungry enough, she'll eat and no kid will starve to death for missing one meal.

What I used to do was put dinner in front of my daughter. If she wouldn't eat it, I put it in the fridge and when she said she's hungry, I pulled out the same plate.

I can't tolerate picky eaters and I sure as heck am not going to raise one!:-) I always said our house isn't a restaurant.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Jun 16, 2014
L1: Cry me a river. I shared a room with 2 sisters. I got my own room when I moved out and paid for my own room.

L2: Next time give your friend the phone number to the suicide hotline and then call the cops.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jun 16, 2014
Stina -- my son was a bit of picky eater when he was young. I would make something that made sense out of the meal I was planning that he would eat but tell him he must take a bite of whatever food he felt certain was somethign he would not like. That worked out well. He experienced more foods and once he got a bit older (9ish) he was eating many different things and liked to try things.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Jun 16, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
FWIW - you won't go to jail for not letting your kid have pizza instead of brussel sprouts. When she's hungry enough, she'll eat and no kid will starve to death for missing one meal.
What I used to do was put dinner in front of my daughter. If she wouldn't eat it, I put it in the fridge and when she said she's hungry, I pulled out the same plate.
I can't tolerate picky eaters and I sure as heck am not going to raise one!:-) I always said our house isn't a restaurant.
while I understand what Cass is saying and have a hard enough time getting my kids to eat(even resorting to the tactic you described), I can't help but disagree with you. Maybe you can elaborate. When it happens at my house, it is only with something they've had before and eaten without issue. Is that what happens at your place? Or are you calling it picky simply when they don't like something. Do you not have thinga you simply do not like and will not eat(taking starvation out of the equation)? I would never consider serving my kids(or anyone for that matter) something they don't like and forcing them to eat it.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Jun 16, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: Cry me a river. I shared a room with 2 sisters. I got my own room when I moved out and paid for my own room.
L2: Next time give your friend the phone number to the suicide hotline and then call the cops.
I have no idea what is going on in their house and don't have the parents side of the story, so I'm certainly not taking her side, but I wonder what they are using that other room for. I can understand a home office and I'm sure there are many other uses I could agree with but have not thought of.

But if it is as amby guessed, a guest room, I would see taking het side. I've got 2 kids, each with their own room. I just could not see the logic in bunking them up together full time to save a room for sporadic use on the occassions we have guests.

When we have guests, the kids can room together, but the majority of the time we don't

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Jun 16, 2014
Toj wrote:
Stina -- my son was a bit of picky eater when he was young. I would make something that made sense out of the meal I was planning that he would eat but tell him he must take a bite of whatever food he felt certain was somethign he would not like. That worked out well. He experienced more foods and once he got a bit older (9ish) he was eating many different things and liked to try things.
oh definitely. You can't just say you don't like it without trying it.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#12 Jun 17, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
FWIW - you won't go to jail for not letting your kid have pizza instead of brussel sprouts. When she's hungry enough, she'll eat and no kid will starve to death for missing one meal.
What I used to do was put dinner in front of my daughter. If she wouldn't eat it, I put it in the fridge and when she said she's hungry, I pulled out the same plate.
I can't tolerate picky eaters and I sure as heck am not going to raise one!:-) I always said our house isn't a restaurant.
I am not saying that my kids only eat pizza (or sweets, or whatever unhealthy food that they always want), but they both are quite picky. My daughter will not eat anything that once was a living animal or anything that tastes like meat. She'll eat only a limited range of vegetables, but all kinds of fruit. No potatoes in any shape or form with one exception - chips, and I am not going to let her eat those every day. Nothing that has cooked tomatoes in it (so even pizza can't have tomato sauce). My son used to eat more varied things, but as he grows older and develops quite a hero-worship of his sister, he is copying everything she does (with the exception of eating meat).

I am sure as hell not going to limit what my husband and I eat because my kids will only eat a limited range of foods, but forcing the issue is problematic. When my daughter was 6, we tried the "eat what you are served or go hungry" approach. She went to bed hungry and refused to eat anything at all unless it was her choice until the next afternoon, so she went hungry for nearly 24 hours. I started to really worry by the next afternoon, so I caved in and told her that she could eat fruit instead of what was served the night before (buttered peas, as I remember). She started to eat again. You may say that she won the battle, but from where I stand, I would lose a lot more if I had forced her to eat the damn peas. It wasn't worth it.

Yes, I sometimes (often, actually) give my kids different foods from what my husband and I eat, but that doesn't mean they survive on junk. When I cook what they will eat, we all have the same stuff, but if I make brussels sprouts (which I love), or potatoes, or green beans, or baked beans, I'll make my kids some canned or frozen corn or I'll slice up some apples or bananas for them. What's the point on insisting that they eat exactly what we eat? And how long will they go hungry in a house full of food, really? Will they hold out until the next school day and then tell the teacher that they haven't eaten in 24 hours? Will they develop food control issues for the future life?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Jun 17, 2014
Cass wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not saying that my kids only eat pizza (or sweets, or whatever unhealthy food that they always want), but they both are quite picky. My daughter will not eat anything that once was a living animal or anything that tastes like meat. She'll eat only a limited range of vegetables, but all kinds of fruit. No potatoes in any shape or form with one exception - chips, and I am not going to let her eat those every day. Nothing that has cooked tomatoes in it (so even pizza can't have tomato sauce). My son used to eat more varied things, but as he grows older and develops quite a hero-worship of his sister, he is copying everything she does (with the exception of eating meat).
I am sure as hell not going to limit what my husband and I eat because my kids will only eat a limited range of foods, but forcing the issue is problematic. When my daughter was 6, we tried the "eat what you are served or go hungry" approach. She went to bed hungry and refused to eat anything at all unless it was her choice until the next afternoon, so she went hungry for nearly 24 hours. I started to really worry by the next afternoon, so I caved in and told her that she could eat fruit instead of what was served the night before (buttered peas, as I remember). She started to eat again. You may say that she won the battle, but from where I stand, I would lose a lot more if I had forced her to eat the damn peas. It wasn't worth it.
Yes, I sometimes (often, actually) give my kids different foods from what my husband and I eat, but that doesn't mean they survive on junk. When I cook what they will eat, we all have the same stuff, but if I make brussels sprouts (which I love), or potatoes, or green beans, or baked beans, I'll make my kids some canned or frozen corn or I'll slice up some apples or bananas for them. What's the point on insisting that they eat exactly what we eat? And how long will they go hungry in a house full of food, really? Will they hold out until the next school day and then tell the teacher that they haven't eaten in 24 hours? Will they develop food control issues for the future life?
There you go...food battles that develop into control issues. That's what I always worried about. You have to maintain a balance and you're doing it.

Hopefully, they'll grow out of this phase.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#14 Jun 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
I would never consider serving my kids(or anyone for that matter) something they don't like and forcing them to eat it.
Seriously? What if the only thing your kid wanted was hot dogs and chicken nuggets? What if he turned up his nose when you try to feed him a more balanced meal? You gonna cave and let him eat ice cream for dinner?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Jun 17, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Seriously? What if the only thing your kid wanted was hot dogs and chicken nuggets? What if he turned up his nose when you try to feed him a more balanced meal? You gonna cave and let him eat ice cream for dinner?
No. But you can figure out easily enough a few simply things they do eat and keep that as an option. There are things I don't like and anyone who thinks I should be forced to eat it can go pound sand. If I am not going to eat whatever is placed in front of me, why would I force my kids to?

If I went to Race's house, there's no way in hell he's gettin me to eat his dripping blood steak. Trying to force me to do sowould just be a power trip

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Jun 17, 2014
And I've got a freak of a 4 year old. He LIKES salad. Went to dinner at neighborhood utaluan restaurant. He wanted salad. Cook actually came out cause he just had to see this 4-year old salad eater.

Went to Jason's Deli this weekend. You want a sandwich or salad bar.Eyes lit up for salad bar.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#17 Jun 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
And I've got a freak of a 4 year old. He LIKES salad. Went to dinner at neighborhood utaluan restaurant. He wanted salad. Cook actually came out cause he just had to see this 4-year old salad eater.
Went to Jason's Deli this weekend. You want a sandwich or salad bar.Eyes lit up for salad bar.
That's adorable.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#18 Jun 17, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>while I understand what Cass is saying and have a hard enough time getting my kids to eat(even resorting to the tactic you described), I can't help but disagree with you. Maybe you can elaborate. When it happens at my house, it is only with something they've had before and eaten without issue. Is that what happens at your place? Or are you calling it picky simply when they don't like something. Do you not have thinga you simply do not like and will not eat(taking starvation out of the equation)? I would never consider serving my kids(or anyone for that matter) something they don't like and forcing them to eat it.
No, I absolutely get that some people just don't like things. But there are kids who claim to not like ANYTHING (except, say mac and chees and chicken nuggets and that's all they eat - I know a few kids like that). That's the product of indulgence. I, for example, don't make my daughter eat spinach or mayo or American cheese. She doesn't like those things. But again, she doesn't "only" like 2 or 3 things, either. It's more the one day you like something fine, then decide you don't that I took an issue with. It's not an issue now. But if you indulge a child to the point where he/she won't try anything new or different and decides they just don't like it (without giving it a fair chance), then the child is just being spoiled. Toj's approach with her son was good. Make him at least TRY something and go from there.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#19 Jun 17, 2014
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I absolutely get that some people just don't like things. But there are kids who claim to not like ANYTHING (except, say mac and chees and chicken nuggets and that's all they eat - I know a few kids like that). That's the product of indulgence. I, for example, don't make my daughter eat spinach or mayo or American cheese. She doesn't like those things. But again, she doesn't "only" like 2 or 3 things, either. It's more the one day you like something fine, then decide you don't that I took an issue with. It's not an issue now. But if you indulge a child to the point where he/she won't try anything new or different and decides they just don't like it (without giving it a fair chance), then the child is just being spoiled. Toj's approach with her son was good. Make him at least TRY something and go from there.
we seem to agree in general

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