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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1 Mar 28, 2013
EAR AMY: My brother has fallen upon some hard times. He and his daughter have moved in with my parents while he gets back on his feet. I am very happy he has the opportunity to do that.

The issue is his 5-year-old daughter (the child’s mother is not in the picture). She is the most rude, disrespectful child I know. I have four children myself and while they are not perfect, they do not hit their grandparents, tell me or my wife that they hate us, tell us to “F’’ off, or use vulgar language like this cousin does.

She has absolutely no discipline and my brother does nothing about it. My parents choose to divert her attention instead of telling her no!

Whenever my family spends time with my brother and niece, my wife and I have to spend several days after correcting our children’s behavior from what they have learned from her. My children are young and impressionable, and some don’t even want to be around her.

My niece is causing extreme tension in the family. She needs discipline, which she is clearly not getting!

How should we handle this? We are a small, tight-knit family. Everyone complains about her but says nothing.— Bothered Uncle

DEAR BOTHERED: Without positive mentoring and good role models, this very young child is a raging whirlwind. Her behavior is a reflection of her life so far. She is practically begging for attachment, stability and loving discipline. So give her some.

You and your family can demonstrate positive, pro-social behavior. Urge your children to play nicely with her and make sure an adult steps in with patient and firm correction the minute she acts out. Notice and praise her for any (even minimal) positive changes. Spend one-on-one time with her. Do not give up on her.

She needs to be taught how to be a child. She has experienced the loss of a parent and the loss of her home. The adults who are raising her are letting her raise herself without consequence; they are not offering any positive alternatives.

This child’s father needs basic parenting instruction and support. He would benefit from a professional parenting class. Help your brother to be a better dad and urge your parents to help by introducing consistent, appropriate and compassionate consequences when she acts out.

DEAR AMY: I was recently married to a man with a 10-year-old daughter, whom I adore. I also have a daughter, 12, from a previous marriage.

My daughter has been extremely close to my best friend since birth. She calls her “aunt,” and I love the bond they have. My best friend has met and hung out with my stepdaughter from time to time and my stepdaughter has grown very fond of her.

However, my stepdaughter lives with us only part time, while my daughter is with us full time, so it’s only natural that my best friend sees my daughter more often.

My best friend recently got engaged. She told me that she is going to ask my daughter to stand up in her wedding as a junior bridesmaid.

I completely understand this and would never expect her to also ask my stepdaughter. But my stepdaughter is very inquisitive and I am dreading the “why didn’t she ask me?” question. What do I tell her?-- Stepmom

DEAR STEPMOM: You can explain that your daughter has known the friend since she was a baby. Kids are able to understand that people have special relationships — perhaps your stepdaughter has at least one of her own. If your stepdaughter is going to be invited to the wedding as a guest you can help her to find a special dress and share your excitement in enjoying the event together.

DEAR AMY: I felt for “Doting Daughter,” who notices her father’s rages. I hope she can face this and get him to recognize the effect his anger is having on their family.

I can tell you from experience that if things don’t change, a raging parent can affect everyone’s physical, mental and emotional health.-- Been There

DEAR BEEN THERE: I hope this daughter follows your sage advice.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Mar 28, 2013
Take the kid from L1, add 60 years and get the parent from L3

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Mar 28, 2013
L1: Right, the brother will be overjoyed to hear comments/advice about his parenting. And honestly, someone with four kids may not be up for the task of getting overly involved in the raising of this child -- LW has his own responsibilities.

L2: "If your stepdaughter is going to be invited to the wedding as a guest" Well she certainly SHOULD be invited -- she's part of your family and it apparently is a kids-friendly wedding. I agree with Amy's advice.

L3: That explains a lot: A useless throwaway rehash letter and Amy thinks it offers "sage advice."

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 28, 2013
LW1: What Amy said.

LW2: What Amy said. Must be the intern.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#5 Mar 28, 2013
Why does it take a village?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Mar 28, 2013
RACE wrote:
Why does it take a village?
It shouldn't. But the current course of action is not working. Lw can continue to do what he's doing and watch the problem get bigger and bigger and affect his family in worse ways as the kids get older, or he can cut off contact and shield his children from her influence, or he can actively try to do what he can to correct the problem. He claims they are a tight knit family. Leads me to believe option 3 is his best option.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 Mar 28, 2013
These letters blow

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#8 Mar 28, 2013
Agree, but I think the most emphasis should be on getting bro to man up in the parent dept.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> It shouldn't. But the current course of action is not working. Lw can continue to do what he's doing and watch the problem get bigger and bigger and affect his family in worse ways as the kids get older, or he can cut off contact and shield his children from her influence, or he can actively try to do what he can to correct the problem. He claims they are a tight knit family. Leads me to believe option 3 is his best option.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#9 Mar 28, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
These letters blow
Eh, I think they suck.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Mar 28, 2013
LW1: "We are a small, tight-knit family. Everyone complains about her but says nothing."

Not that tight-knit...

If the child misbehaves in your presence, then correct her.

LW2: What the intern said.

LW3: What Sub said.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#11 Mar 28, 2013
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)

What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#12 Mar 28, 2013
To believe in myself more, have more confidence.
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#13 Mar 28, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?
To learn to be obsessivly organized and to take typing.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#14 Mar 28, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?
I'd tell myself to be nicer to my sister. I pretty much hated her growing up. We're okay now, but I'll always regret that.

I'd tell myself to stand up for kids who were being picked on. Nobody ever says "Gee, I wish I'd been meaner in junior high."

I'd tell myself to start drinking caffeine in high school. I think I'd have gotten a lot more out of it had I been even remotely awake. I'm just naturally a very sleepy person.

I'd tell my early-mid 20s self to dump the guy I dated for almost 7 years. It wasn't a bad relationship, per se, it just wasn't going anywhere and I could have been having more fun. I don't regret dating him; I regret dating him for so long.

2008 Matilda, I'd tell to change going to Vegas with my sister to something that we could have done with my mom, since she died later that year.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Mar 28, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?
Travel. Move around.

I have a wife with a good job and 2 kids. As I have been looking fora new job, I have been limited to this area because I don't like the idea of uprooting my family and moving. Not to mention, my wife already has a job, so to move somewhere to find me a job only to have her needing to find a new job is not a game plan either of us are interested in. But during this search, I have had inquiries about positions in in far off places (Colorado, NC, Michigan, Dallas). At this stage in my life, I don't want to move.

But hell, fresh outta college? If I knew then what I know now, I would have moved around a bit more. Move to Sand Diego fora few years. Try somewhere new after that. Hell, see if there's a position in Hawaii that would pay my moving expenses. I actually know someone who has been doing that recently. My friend's ex and her current BF. Bout 10 years youngerthan me. No kids. He has a job that he can pick up and move any time. She has the same job she's always had, but she is able to work remotely. In the past few years, they've lived out west, in Florida, and have now moved up to the North East.

I'd like to impress upon the Junior Tonkas the value in doing that before they settle down. Hell, even if they don't MOVE, get a job that involves travel.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Mar 28, 2013
RACE wrote:
To believe in myself more, have more confidence.
<quoted text>
" I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darned it. People like me!"

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#17 Mar 28, 2013
Ha Stuart!
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> " I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darned it. People like me!"

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#18 Mar 28, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?
Don't get married. At least not to THAT guy.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#19 Mar 28, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Since I agree with Sub AND edog, here's a Q of the Day:
since the Abby thread got all social issues on us... ;)
What advice would you give your younger self if you could talk to the person you were from 10, 20, 30, etc. years ago?
I would tell the gradeschooler that boys tease you because they like you.

I would tell the highschooler to not worry about what people think of you so much.

I would tell the college student to skip the sorority, study more and worry about boys less. And that just because a boy wants to eff you that does not me he cares about you. And to always carry your own condoms and insist they be used, or else no nookie. Also now would be a good time to get into an exercise routine - I know, I know you don't like running, but trust me and find some other activity that will keep you in shape.

Oh, and don't get married at 23!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Mar 28, 2013
I would tell my 20year old self to focus less on drinking and more on college. Don't marry BRL.

Still get the same pets.

I wish I could have Rose cryogenically frozen, because she'd be a wonderful cat to have in retirement.

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