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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 13, 2013
DEAR AMY: I'm a divorced dad in my late 30s and have two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 7.

I've been divorced for four years now. Two years ago, my ex-wife decided she wanted to relocate out of state.

After a big legal battle that took a serious financial and emotional toll on me, my family and especially my young daughters, I decided that I could no longer continue the battle, and so I allowed my ex-wife to relocate.

I'm torn about the decision, but in my heart I know I did the right thing for my daughters. Now they live 1,000 miles away, and I get to see them on Skype, talk on the phone, and they travel back home every school break and every summer.

I also fly to visit them when time and money allow it.

Any advice on how I can be the best "long-distance dad" I can be?-- Distant Dad

DEAR DAD: I applaud your intentions and determination. This might be tough to hear, but the biggest single impact you can have on your daughters at this stage is to maintain a positive relationship with their mother. Realistically, she controls access to them in very basic ways.

I can only hope that now that she has gotten what she wanted, she will actively promote access -- because this is best for everyone -- especially the girls.

Skype is great for maintaining face-to-face contact. In addition to spontaneous calls, setting up a scheduled call each week would give the kids something to look forward to. Additionally I suggest creating a photo book for each girl containing pictures of you going about your daily routine -- and of lots of photos of them. Kids love to leaf through photos and read warm and funny captions.

Send them postcards. This is easy and quick. Getting mail is fun for kids, and it's a great way to connect.

During your visits with them, do your best to establish a routine. Include their friends as much as possible. Don't express too much sadness about your long-distance separation -- this is the reality of all of your lives, and staying positive will help them (and you) to cope.

DEAR AMY: Last evening my wonderful husband took me out to a lovely dinner for my 66th birthday. We went to an expensive restaurant and sat in a small, intimate room. One other couple dined in this room.

The woman had recently hired the man for a sales position in an insurance company. They proceeded to speak in loud voices during the entire dinner about the company and the job, other employees, her mother, his wife, etc. He even described a wealthy client he was bringing to the company by name -- including his assets, his business (with names and locations) and other specific details.

As attorneys, we were appalled about that and also the fact that our romantic dinner was compromised.

We could hear every word they said, loud and clear! What can my husband or I do in situations like this?-- Helpless

DEAR HELPLESS: A room with only one other party dining is worse (for noise) than a crowded one with lots of ambient noise.

When this happens, you can say, kindly and respectfully, "Would you mind lowering your voices a little? We don't want to accidentally eavesdrop on your conversation." You can also ask the manager to help you change tables.

Otherwise, I share your frustration. We all do. People seem to have no awareness of the amount of possibly confidential and proprietary (and definitely personal and uninteresting) information they shout out to the world.

I'll run suggestions from readers.

DEAR AMY: "Heartbroken" had a long-term live-in partner who was having a baby with another woman. And she wondered what to do?

She should absolutely give him the boot. His actions are unconscionable. The writer should set higher standards for her relationships and never tolerate being treated like a doormat. The relationship is dead, whether she is willing to see it or not.-- Christy

DEAR CHRISTY: I agree. She should celebrate Valentine's Day by loving herself more.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Feb 13, 2013
LW1: "Additionally I suggest creating a photo book for each girl containing pictures of you going about your daily routine -- and of lots of photos of them. Kids love to leaf through photos and read warm and funny captions."

Photo book? I hope this is Amy speak for "online photo album" where you can add pictures daily and they have instant access.

LW2: "A room with only one other party dining is worse (for noise) than a crowded one with lots of ambient noise." This

'When this happens, you can say, kindly and respectfully, "Would you mind lowering your voices a little? We don't want to accidentally eavesdrop on your conversation." '

F that. Unless they are being extraordinarily loud, you just deal with it. I am gussing it was the fact that the room was so quiet that made their conversaton so clear and the only way to keep you from hearing would be to whisper.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#3 Feb 13, 2013
Sometimes when I ride teh commuter train to work, people have conversations like this on their cell phone. I have found it very useful to "join" the conversation. It has always shut them up.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Feb 13, 2013
1 Amby actually gave good advise, and the part about the beyotch controlling access to the kids is spot on. You would not believe the amount of crap I had to put up with before I could get my daughter on the line to say hello. Then you have to stuff all that anger and frustration and be "Happy Daddy" for you kid.

My advise is that your doing the best you can, and as long as you keep doing that, your kids will realize and accept it. Kids has an internal awareness of knowing that their parents are doing what they can, and they are not going to hold it against you.

2 Get the manager get a different table. Was that so hard?

3 No, Who are we to set any standards for anyone else. Who are we to say that a person has to act in a particular way, or not act in a particular way, just because "WE" dont approve?

If this woman wants to act in a way that other might see as being a "doormat" then so what? If that is what she chooses, well, thats her choice aint it?

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#5 Feb 13, 2013
1 Don't ever give up in the efforts to stay in touch. As these kids get older it'll only get more difficult.

2 "Yo! Shut up!"

3 Rehash!

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#6 Feb 13, 2013
L2. I find those loud-mouths to be more than annoying myself.
However, as an attorney, you of all people should know that there is no expectation of privacy when out in public.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#7 Feb 13, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: "Additionally I suggest creating a photo book for each girl containing pictures of you going about your daily routine -- and of lots of photos of them. Kids love to leaf through photos and read warm and funny captions."
Photo book? I hope this is Amy speak for "online photo album" where you can add pictures daily and they have instant access.
This would be a situation where I would agree that a 5 and 7 year old could possibly benefit from a Facebook account. Heavily monitored and restricted, of course, but he could send them pictures and stuff and they could practice reading and typing with him.
Agree with you on L2.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Feb 13, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
This would be a situation where I would agree that a 5 and 7 year old could possibly benefit from a Facebook account. Heavily monitored and restricted, of course, but he could send them pictures and stuff and they could practice reading and typing with him.
Agree with you on L2.
Facebook not even necessary. There's lots of straight up photo sharing sites. I use picasa web albums to share stuff with the grandparents. That and email is plenty.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Feb 13, 2013
LW1: What Amy's intern said with a dash of Tonka. If he learns to use the technology, he'll be in like flynn.

LW2: "He even described a wealthy client he was bringing to the company by name -- including his assets, his business (with names and locations) and other specific details."

Well then call up this guy and tell him how indiscreet his insurance company is and proceed to retell all the things you over-heard. I suppose and email would work too.

Or you could have just asked your waitstaff to talk to them. I'm sure such a high-scale joint could have handled that appropriately.

LW3: Putting the rehash in a heart-shaped box doesn't work, Amy.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#10 Feb 13, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
Photo book? I hope this is Amy speak for "online photo album" where you can add pictures daily and they have instant access.
Yeah, because 5 and 7 yr olds are absolute Rembrandts when it comes to navigating online photos.

Sometimes, tonks, an actual, physical "thing" is a better option.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#11 Feb 13, 2013
PEllen wrote:
Sometimes when I ride teh commuter train to work, people have conversations like this on their cell phone. I have found it very useful to "join" the conversation. It has always shut them up.
I can't understand why people scream into their cell phones or talk loudly to the person next to them as if everyone around them is interested in their convo. Sometimes I join in too!

"Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were talking to me."

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Feb 13, 2013
L1: I despise parents like LW's ex. Yes, despise. You think your job opportunity elsewhere is so important? YOU move, leave the kids with the other parent who wasn't trying to separate the kids from their other parent.

Dude: Move to where they live. They will need you even more as they get older and become adolescents and teenagers. Their mom has lousy judgment, soyou'll need to be there for them. Move.

I can't say enough how much I hate that so many states still give primary custody to the mother by default, including my state. It's insulting to FATHERS.

L2: You can ask to be moved. As attorneys, you two sound pretty passive. Was one of you the attorney for LW1? Also, those two people divulged confidential information. Contact the rich client and tip him off.

L3: Stupid rehashes.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Feb 13, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, because 5 and 7 yr olds are absolute Rembrandts when it comes to navigating online photos.
Sometimes, tonks, an actual, physical "thing" is a better option.
my older kid is 6. he was using a computer( for games) over 2 years ago. put him on the nick jr web site & and he can go from game to game with no direction. while doing homework with him last night, i gave the tablet to the 3 year old. he kept himself entertained. Trust me. A 5 year old is more than capable of clicking through an online photo album.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#14 Feb 13, 2013
I know quite a few two-year-olds who know how to work an ipad, TV remotes, and mom and dad's smart phones.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#15 Feb 13, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, because 5 and 7 yr olds are absolute Rembrandts when it comes to navigating online photos.
Sometimes, tonks, an actual, physical "thing" is a better option.
Source please?

Just kidding. Isn't that irritating?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#16 Feb 13, 2013
Saluki Rod wrote:
<quoted text>
Source please?
Just kidding. Isn't that irritating?
If people are gonna make blatant falsehoods, they should expect to be called out on it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#17 Feb 13, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
Trust me. A 5 year old is more than capable of clicking through an online photo album.
I never said they couldn't. But with certain things, little kids do better with an actual thing they can hold and touch. Frankly, your refusal to admit anything should exist outside of a computer screen is getting annoying.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#18 Feb 13, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I never said they couldn't. But with certain things, little kids do better with an actual thing they can hold and touch. Frankly, your refusal to admit anything should exist outside of a computer screen is getting annoying.
Right. Your years of experience caring for very young children tells you this.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Feb 13, 2013
And kids can hold and touch an ipad just fine.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#20 Feb 13, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
Right. Your years of experience caring for very young children tells you this.
Of course, you would know better than I.

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