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“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#1 Nov 7, 2012
DEAR AMY: My teenage daughter “Ariella” has shut me out of her life! I am a divorced dad of four years. Until now I have enjoyed a healthy and loving relationship with my daughter. Ariella stayed with me every other weekend and one evening a week. When she turned 14, she changed her hair color to electric blue and refused to see me.

For the last three months, I have consistently reached out to her to ask what’s wrong, but she refuses to see me and will not return my calls or text messages. Her mom won’t take sides and insists that whatever is going on is between Ariella and me.

We attended one counseling session together, and she says she is unhappy at my home but won’t say why. I have consulted several attorneys, and they do not recommend litigation for this delicate matter. Amy, I am very sad to not see her. How can I get my daughter back?-- Sad Dad

DEAR DAD: Your ex-wife’s refusal to help mediate this is damaging and not fair to the child. However, the blue hair is a clue of sorts into her angst. She also may be shutting out her mother and as much of a mystery to her custodial parent as she is to you.

Some 14-year-olds literally slam their bedroom doors on their parents, dye their hair and basically go underground. Your daughter is showing you how alienated she feels. If your daughter made it to therapy once, please do everything in your power to get her back into therapy.

Your therapist may direct you not to press your daughter too hard with leading questions such as “What’s wrong?” Instead, assume an attitude of listening, sympathy and openness. Stay in touch with her, without applying pressure.

DEAR AMY: Help! My son just bought an engagement ring! I have had one pet peeve since the day he started to date this young woman: She never gets up to help clear the table, ever!

My son is definitely a “doer”— he cooks and cleans — but when they are at a family gathering (and we are a big Italian family), everyone gets up after the meal and clears the table, and she remains seated. Sometimes she is the only one seated!

It really riles everyone up, but we are all afraid to say anything. I can’t believe my son doesn’t say anything either!

I don’t want to be the grumpy mother-in-law, but really, Amy! The first time we met her, there were 14 of us at the table. At the end of dinner, everyone got up to clear except for me.(Everyone knows the cook doesn’t clear.)

She said,“I guess I should get up,” and I said,“I think you should!” This was the first and last time she ever did! What can I do to graciously ask her to help out? We’re tired at the end of the day, so let’s all help one another, right?-- Tired

DEAR TIRED: It is surprising that you don’t know how to graciously ask a question. Granted, being gracious is not quite as entertaining as criticizing someone behind her back, but it’s infinitely easier.

Your future daughter-in-law may be less assertive than you are. She might not really know how to roll up her sleeves and plunge in. Or maybe you are right, and your son is marrying a lazy git.

You can retrain her by asking, nicely, every time you dine together,“Let’s give the cook a break and help with the dishes, honey. I’ll wash, and you can dry.”

DEAR AMY:“Grumpy Old Man” was complaining about the kids who live next door hitting many balls a day into his back yard. I can’t believe you encouraged him to continue to be grumpy! He should embrace these young people, whose biggest crime is that they are playing baseball.-- Upset Reader

DEAR UPSET: I could imagine how “Grumpy” felt. Sometimes, the repetition of youthful incursions into flower beds wears a person down. Next thing you know, you’re shaking your fist in the air, yelling,“Hey you kids, get the heck out of my yard!”

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Nov 7, 2012
Isn't this from yesterday?
ChicagolandChica

Atlanta, GA

#3 Nov 7, 2012
It's hard being the newcomer in a family whose rituals and traditions you don't know. Give the girl a break, and ask her to help! I was used to certain things my family did, and it's not the way my husband's family does them -- we've adapted to each other now, but my MIL did not like me at first, when we were just dating. It was an adjustment. Be nice to her, cut her some slack and ASK her to help.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 7, 2012
LW2: How bout you mention it to YOUR SON. Tell HIM how much it bothers you. If he agrees its a big deal, then its on him to try to change her behavior. Not your place.

LW3: FU. Its one thing to just be grumpy in general to kids. Its another thing to not want people(or any age) constantly coming into your yard. How bout they re orient which way they play. Have his house be behind home plate and hit the ball away from his house instead of towards it. I teach my kids to stay out of other people's yards, not assume it to be part of the playground. If the game you're playing results in constant trips into someone else's yard, you need to change the game or go play somewhere else.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 7, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Isn't this from yesterday?
this is the newest on wapo. Yesterday was co-worker geting to close for comfort and wanting to dial things back

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#6 Nov 7, 2012
1 How about you try and do some of the stuff your kid wants to do? Go to a concert with her or something.

2 lemme call you a whaaaaaaaambulance. If you want her to help just ask.

3 Or maybe the kids can go to a local ball field and play.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Nov 7, 2012
ChicagolandChica wrote:
Give the girl a break, and ask her to help! I was used to certain things my family did, and it's not the way my husband's family does them -- we've adapted to each other now, but my MIL did not like me at first, when we were just dating. It was an adjustment. Be nice to her, cut her some slack and ASK her to help.
This 100%. People do things differntly in different families. Big Mama is just expecting her to fall in line with everyone else without being asked. I really don't know what specific tasks she expects her to take on, but unless I am asked, the most I will do at someone else's house is take MY dishes to the sink. Whether other people are doing more is of no concern to me. I don't go to someone else's house with the intention or expectation that I will be cleaning up after dinner, nor do I people who are guests in my home to do any of that either.

If you ask for my assistance, I will offer it, but I don't consider it my duty or obligation.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Nov 7, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> this is the newest on wapo. Yesterday was co-worker geting to close for comfort and wanting to dial things back
weird. It ran in the Washington Post a few days ago. Oh well, here's my response from that day:

L1: "However, the blue hair is a clue of sorts into her angst." Or it's just blue hair.

I think mom should NOT stay out of it, but if she's capable of being a loving motherm, she needs to reach out to her daughter and do what she can -- without overpushing -- to help there be a father-daughter relationship, for her own daughter's sake.

My exbf made this deal with his teenage daughter when the marriage ended: "You can call me any time, day or night, and I will take you wherever you want to eat." Sometimes that meant Perkin's, or Burger King, other times it meant sushi or an even more high-end meal (they're both huge foodies and will eat/try anything). He didn't get much time with his teenage daughter, because she was 16 and independent, but he got more time than if he tried to see her more than she wanted to see her dad.(He now realizes she would have felt the same way if they were living in the same house. It's part of being a teenager, for many kids.)

L2: You sound like a grouchy ol' bat and I pity your son's future wife.

L3: Maybe Amy gets only two new letters per day.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Nov 7, 2012
L2: The real question is,how on earth do you fit 14 people in the kitchen? I'd stay put in my chair as well.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#11 Nov 7, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L2: The real question is,how on earth do you fit 14 people in the kitchen? I'd stay put in my chair as well.
If you don't know how to work in coordination with that large a group, it's *better* you stay out of the kitchen.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#12 Nov 7, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
My exbf made this deal with his teenage daughter when the marriage ended: "You can call me any time, day or night, and I will take you wherever you want to eat." Sometimes that meant Perkin's, or Burger King, other times it meant sushi or an even more high-end meal (they're both huge foodies and will eat/try anything). He didn't get much time with his teenage daughter, because she was 16 and independent, but he got more time than if he tried to see her more than she wanted to see her dad.(He now realizes she would have felt the same way if they were living in the same house. It's part of being a teenager, for many kids.)
This is brilliant. For *any* parent, regardless of marital status. With kids of either gender.

My mom and I used to do lunch pretty often when I was a teenager/early 20s. But my dad and I had a very distant relationship. I was like 22 maybe, and my mom was in the hospital for a stem cell transplant and my dad and I went to see her and then had dinner at a steakhouse on the way home. I was actually stressed about dining with him alone. It was one thing, us at the breakfast table, silently sipping tea and reading the papers or watching TV, but actually having to converse was weird. Much less weird now.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Nov 7, 2012
LW1: Mom needs to help out here and you need to sorta repsect your daughter's wishes. I think you could safely write her some letters, just telling her that you're thinking about her and that you love her, no matter what.

Unless you messed with her in some way, she'll come around.

LW2: You're big azz italian family probably scares the crap out of her. Just ask her to help.

LW3: What Tonka said.
Sam I Am

Knoxville, TN

#14 Nov 7, 2012
1. Litigation? What would you litigate? Your wife is a wench for not being supportive. Your daughter can only benefit from having a relationship with both parents. But it's no surprise, so just hang in there, keep letting her know you'll welcome her, and wait for your wife to piss your daughter off, then she'll come back.

2. "Hey Gretchen, will you please bring that _________ into the kitchen?" There was that so darn hard?

3. Unless gramps never went in anyone's yard and never ding-dong-ditched and never made a ruckus when he was a kid, he should shut up.
ChicagolandChica

Atlanta, GA

#15 Nov 7, 2012
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
If you don't know how to work in coordination with that large a group, it's *better* you stay out of the kitchen.
Agree! That's probably part of it, too, I sometimes don't help with things because I don't want to be in the way. Even the biggest kitchen can't fit 14 people around one sink or dishwasher.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#16 Nov 7, 2012
LW1 - tough spot. no amount of court ordered visitation will help if the kid shuts down at hte other parent's house. be open, be "there", try not to try too hard...

LW2- i agree at first that it's hard to jump up and help, but after being togehter long enough to get engaged, i'd think the girl could have caught on by now as to how hte family works. I still stay out of hte way at other's houses, but i watch adn follow along.

i really think LW is a drama queen though. she kinda implies that this is reason to call teh wedding off and never see her again. persoanlly, i'll take this as long as she's an otherwise upstanding person.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Nov 7, 2012
Just looking at Itlanian Mama again and saw a couple more lines that make me laugh.

"It really riles everyone up, but we are all afraid to say anything."

I highly doubt "everyone" is riled up and if they are, I'd bet money that Mama is doing the riling.

"Everyone knows the cook doesn’t clear."
Right. Cause your customs and practices are universal.

When she talks about "clearing the table" I get the picture of, not only plates and cups on the table, but serving dishes as well. Rare is the occassion that I have had a meal with serving dishes on the table being passed around. For regular meals, we put our food out right there at the stove and take our plates back to the table. There really is no big task to "clear the table". When you;re done, you put YOUR stuff in the sink.

For bigger meals such as thanksgiving, all the food is set up buffet style, away from the dining table. People server themselves and go back to the table.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#18 Nov 7, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>This 100%. People do things differntly in different families. Big Mama is just expecting her to fall in line with everyone else without being asked. I really don't know what specific tasks she expects her to take on, but unless I am asked, the most I will do at someone else's house is take MY dishes to the sink. Whether other people are doing more is of no concern to me. I don't go to someone else's house with the intention or expectation that I will be cleaning up after dinner, nor do I people who are guests in my home to do any of that either.
If you ask for my assistance, I will offer it, but I don't consider it my duty or obligation.
Wow - then, no offense, you clearly weren't taught manners. When you dine in someone's home, it is polite to offer to help clean up. The host can insist you sit and relax, but it is rude not to offer. And the fact that this gal just sat there while EVERYONE ELSE cleaned up is a clear indication that she is rude and lazy. I hope LW's son doesn't mind spending his life serving a prima donna that is too good to help or too stupid to use common sense.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#19 Nov 7, 2012
I ahve a vision of a nice quiet Polish girl brought into a large Italian family and being both overwhelmed and intimidated by her BF's mother and 14 others who are talking loudly using Italian phrases ad eyeing her as an addition to the gene pool.

I'd hide under the table rather than touch the good china.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#20 Nov 7, 2012
Hmm. Me and Stina see two very differnt things in this

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#21 Nov 7, 2012
L1: So you're thinking about taking mom to court for force daughter to see you but everyone is telling you it's not the way to go. It isn't. It gives insight, however, as to why she doesn't want to see you. Dye your hair blue and show up at her house with tickets to her favorite concert. That'll start a convo.

L2: You like to start trouble and you've probably hated every single one of his girlfriends -- otherwise you would have just asked her to take something to the kitchen.

L3: What Tonka said.

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