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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 20, 2013
DEAR AMY: My daughter recently left for college, and I am having a difficult time with her not being around. I am proud of her and excited about this new chapter she is starting, but I am sad about her absence.

I constantly hear from family and friends that I "should be happy for her." They say, "Stop crying, she will be fine," or my favorite: "You have to be strong for her."

I find this condescending.

How can I politely tell them that I need time to adjust and that this is difficult for me? We are very close.-- Anonymous

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Your friends and family members seem to misunderstand why you are sad and emotional. You are not crying for your daughter; you are crying for yourself.

And -- this is completely normal. You and your daughter are both experiencing a huge life transition. Ultimately this will yield unexpected joys and challenges to both of you. What you must not do is impose your emotional response onto your daughter.

In life, it is the child's job, ultimately, to leave the nest. The parent's burden is to let her leave, and to celebrate her independence in stages. Do not share your feelings with people who are unsympathetic or judgmental, but instead with people (in person or online) who share your perspective and can offer support. Read "Letting Go (Fifth Edition): A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years," by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger (2009, Harper Perennial).

If you find that you are extremely upset on a daily basis or that your depression and sadness don't abate over time, you should pursue professional counseling to better understand and process your emotions. Tackling this successfully will be good for you and will model balanced and mature behavior for your college student.

DEAR AMY: Last month my twin grandchildren (one boy, one girl) turned 5 years old.

Their mother decided it was time for them to use restaurant bathrooms by themselves. She felt they were old enough to handle the normal bathroom issues without her presence.

I was upset when she told me this. My objection wasn't due to whether they could/would wipe themselves, flush the toilets, wash their hands, etc., but was due to a safety issue.

I think they are too young to use a public bathroom alone.

My daughter-in-law said she wanted to give them more responsibility, and so she waits outside the restroom when they are using it.

In the state where I live there have been problems with older boys (or men) sexually assaulting (or murdering) children when they are left unattended in public bathrooms.(I'm talking about bathrooms with more than one stall and men's restrooms with urinals and not the "for families" type.)

At what age do you think children can use a public restroom by themselves?-- EF in California

DEAR EF: I agree with you that 5 is too young to use a public restroom alone. One (relatively minor) reason is that I don't know any 5-year-olds who can reach the sink or soap dispenser to wash hands after using the toilet.

Parents must be extremely cautious when sending their children into public restrooms by themselves. A restaurant might be a slightly safer environment than a state park, beach or stadium because a mother could (and should) check a small men's room to make sure no one else is using it and then stand outside the door and wait while the child uses it.

I think age 9 is the minimum age to send a child into a public restroom alone. Even at that age a parent should be at the door when the child enters and wait, ready to walk in and check on the child if he/she takes too long.

DEAR AMY: I'm married to an identical twin.

Is it true that twins are always trying to get you to think like they do and are very critical of the smallest things?-- Twin Spouse

DEAR SPOUSE: This is only true if the identical twin is also a jerk.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Aug 20, 2013
1- Yet another pitfall of helicopter parenting.

2- Five is plenty old enough. Nine? Really? Why not 13? And I wasn't aware of this rash of molestations and murderers in public restrooms recently.

3- No.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#3 Aug 20, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- Yet another pitfall of helicopter parenting.
2- Five is plenty old enough. Nine? Really? Why not 13? And I wasn't aware of this rash of molestations and murderers in public restrooms recently.
3- No.
There you go, assuming the position again.

L2: Five is a little too young, mom has to be especially careful about this, especially for the boy. Make sure the bathroom is empty, keep the door ajar while waiting outside if someone goes in. Make her presence known.
Surprised that in this country of 300+ million you haven't heard about every one of the incidents in public restrooms.
L1: Mom doesn't have to be a helicopter parent to get this emotional about her child going to live away from home. I didn't get the impression from the LW that she was a hp.

It's very obvious that you aren't a parent.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Aug 20, 2013
Lw1: i agree with amy. Don't share your feelings on this. No one wants to deal with your whining.

Lw2(or whatever # the bathroom one was): i'm with the dog. 9? Are you fn kiddining me. My kid is 6 and has been going alone( and asking to do so) dor about a year. At first i would stand outsid and wait, but dependinh on where we are(size of the store) i sometimes let him go alone, then come back and find me. 9 years old is 4th grade. That's extreme helicoptering.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#5 Aug 20, 2013
dahgts wrote:
<quoted text>
There you go, assuming the position again.
L2: Five is a little too young, mom has to be especially careful about this, especially for the boy. Make sure the bathroom is empty, keep the door ajar while waiting outside if someone goes in. Make her presence known.
Surprised that in this country of 300+ million you haven't heard about every one of the incidents in public restrooms.
L1: Mom doesn't have to be a helicopter parent to get this emotional about her child going to live away from home. I didn't get the impression from the LW that she was a hp.
It's very obvious that you aren't a parent.
I'm not a parent but I was a kid. By five I was embarrassed to go into the ladies room with my mother. I was able to tinkle just fine on my own by then, thanks.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#6 Aug 20, 2013
I respectfully disagree with you guys. Maybe as a mother I would be more cautious. You can go into a multi-stall bathroom more easily, age 6 is better. If it was a single use toilet then 5 is fine to go alone. Cripes, it's been so long since my son was 5 I can't remember what I did that far back. I know that one didn't hear about as many pervs around then.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#7 Aug 20, 2013
LW2: Totally with dog and Tonka here. 5 years old (especially when mom is monitoring the door, which at that age IS a good idea) is old enough. Yeah, pay attention, of course. But 9??? That's just crazy!!! These are the kids that will need to have mommy set up job interviews for them because they can't even pee alone.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Aug 20, 2013
I am so outraged by Amy on lw2 that I will have to wait for a keyboard to give my response.

It will sound a little like this: F*CK YOU!
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#9 Aug 20, 2013
squishymama wrote:
I am so outraged by Amy on lw2 that I will have to wait for a keyboard to give my response.
It will sound a little like this: F*CK YOU!
WOW!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Aug 20, 2013
L1: I think it's perfectly normal to be emotional over this big life event/change, much like at your kid's wedding. My mom wasn't the only mom in the dorms crying on moving in day that freshman year. But you're *still* moping? If your emotional reaction to your daughter going off to college has led to you not doing the things you normally do (activities, friends, etc.), then I think you should seek professional help. If you *can* do those things but you're not your usual self, then I still think you should get counseling. That just seems to be an extreme reaction. I guess I'll wait for the moms here to weigh in!

L2: I think Amy and this LW are NUTS. Five is FINE. My goodness, children in The Big City take mass transit to go to school and piano lessons and they are fine. Giving them measured freedom and independence early gives you a good gauge as to what they can be trusted with next. And LW, your little add-on about crimes in bathrooms? Right. that's just been a "thing" in your town and kids are at EXTRA risk where your grandkids live. Wrong. You pulled that story deep from the confines of your brain and are making stuff up to try to get your way.

And NINE? Amy, seriously? You both are whack. And I feel sorry for your offspring.

L3: "Is it true that twins are always trying to get you to think like they do and are very critical of the smallest things" BULL. I've known tons of identical twins (heck, there were eight sets of twins -- all combos -- just int he grade ahead of me). Either your husband's a jerk, or his brother is. I'm guessing it's your husband. Dump him. Marry his brother.
Anonymous

United States

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“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#12 Aug 20, 2013
LW1: I think you are taking things more than a bit too far.

LW2: We werenít letting our kids use it by alone when they were 5, but I think 9 is much too old. I donít think there is a hard and fast rule. We were more comfortable with letting them go at the age of 6 or 7. Itís not just safety, but hygiene.

LW3: No.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Aug 20, 2013
L1: Being sad your life has changed is normal. Don't let it go on for too long, however.

L2: Most 5 year olds would be more than fine. 9 years old is way too old to start doing stuff like going to the bathroom yourself. You need to teach your kids how to take care of themselves so that don't become a victim.

L3: Yes, yes! Of course! And they read your mind and know what you're thinking at all times...

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#14 Aug 20, 2013
1 could not even finish reading the letter...
People wont say condescending things to you if you quit dumping on them. Get a hobby for crying out loud.

2 5 is fine, the kid went to the potty all by himself and he is still alive right?

3 No, you married a controlling jerk who happens to be a twin.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#16 Aug 20, 2013
LW1 - You are *crying*? Really? I regret to say this, but you need some help. Missing your child who is away at college is normal. Actually *crying* from sadness is not. There should have been plenty of opportunities for your daughter to have been away from you for limited periods of time until now: sleepovers at friends' houses, sleep-away camps, etc. Along with therapy, try to stay in fairly frequent touch with your daughter, weening yourself from overly frequent telephone conversations little by little.

LW2 - How often have you been assaulted in public bathrooms? I agree that 5 is a bit too young to go all by yourself when the bathroom is around the corner, out of the parents' sight, etc. But it is not too young to go all by yourself when mom/dad are outside the restroom's door.

Nine? That's a bit too old to need mommy or daddy to help you. And what do you do when the parent is of the opposite gender? I have no problem with a mom taking her 5yo son to the ladies' bathroom, but an 8yo is too old for that. And it's even worse with dads and daughters because mens' restrooms have urinals. When my daughter was 5, and she was out with my husband, he had to take her to the ladies' room and wait outside the door while she used the bathroom alone. We both believed that was the most prudent course of action. We did not really want our 5yo to see adult men peeing.

LW3 - No, it is not true. Either your spouse or the spouse's twin or both of them are manipulative emotional abusers. I recommend therapy and, possibly, divorce.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Aug 20, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
Itís not just safety, but hygiene.
LW3: No.
This. If he's got to go #2, I go in to do a prelim check and make sure there's no piss on the seat. I'm not overly concerned with the boogeyman cornering him as I don't see that as a likely occurence at the grocery store or a restaurant

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#18 Aug 20, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>This. If he's got to go #2, I go in to do a prelim check and make sure there's no piss on the seat. I'm not overly concerned with the boogeyman cornering him as I don't see that as a likely occurence at the grocery store or a restaurant
I also remember in a similar discussion where you said your young (maybe 4?) son was capable of peeing without dad helping in the restroom, but your presence was more about keeping a curious kid from touching every possible surface in a dirty public restroom.
pde

Palatine, IL

#19 Aug 20, 2013
Lw2: Five is fine, if the mother is waiting outside the restroom. The day my kid turned seven, he announced he was old enough to get to the restroom and back by himself, thank you very much, thus, now he does if we're in a restaurant or something.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 Aug 20, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>This. If he's got to go #2, I go in to do a prelim check and make sure there's no piss on the seat. I'm not overly concerned with the boogeyman cornering him as I don't see that as a likely occurence at the grocery store or a restaurant
CAn't he check himself?

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#21 Aug 20, 2013
Unfortunately boogymen are everywhere.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-...
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>This. If he's got to go #2, I go in to do a prelim check and make sure there's no piss on the seat. I'm not overly concerned with the boogeyman cornering him as I don't see that as a likely occurence at the grocery store or a restaurant

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