Ask Amy: 'Stuffy' father should retaliate in his boxers

FresnoJuly 15, 2013 

Dear Readers: I'm marking my 10-year anniversary of writing the "Ask Amy" column by rerunning some of my favorite Q-and-A's from the early days of the column. I return next week.

Dear Amy: I am the father of a 19-year-old daughter. She is a great kid, smart, stays out of trouble and has lots of friends. The problem is that she likes to run around the house in her underwear.

I will come home from work and she will be sitting in front of the TV with just a T-shirt and underwear on or come out of the shower with only a towel on her head. She doesn't do this when we have houseguests. I have asked her to put more clothes on, but she just tells me not to be so stuffy.

What do you think?

— Confused father

Dear Father: Your daughter's reaction to you tells me that she doesn't worry too much about respecting your point of view; I don't know how that strikes you, but that would probably bother me more than the nudity.

If she continues to refuse to respect this request, the next time she spends an evening at home, you might want to come to dinner wearing only your boxer shorts. If she asks you what's going on, you can look at your daughter and say, "Stop being so stuffy! Please pass the potatoes." (2004)

Dear Amy: I have six children and I am concerned about my 31/2-year-old.

I'm embarrassed to say he still uses a pacifier and is very attached to his "blankie." Blankie is nothing more than a filthy ball of string.

To make matters worse, the director of his preschool was recently over for lunch. My son walked into the room with his pacifier and blankie in tow. I have never felt so ashamed in all my life. — Under pressure in D.C.

Dear Under: My niece recently came to visit me from college, where she is an accomplished track star and "A" student. Imagine my surprise when she unpacked her "blankie," which I remember seeing her wrapped in as a baby.

After six children, one thing you've no doubt seen in your family is how different your kids are from one another. Any seasoned preschool director has seen children come into school with all sorts of different needs and anxieties. She and your son's teachers can help you wean him from these love objects by insisting that blankie and his pacifier stay at home, or in his cubby during school. You follow through at home by putting them in a place he can't get to so he has to ask you for them. (2003)


Contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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