Ask Amy

Ask Amy

Grandmother wants to ‘school’ son and wife

Dear Amy: My husband and I went to visit our oldest son and his wife. They have three children, ages 6, 9 and 11. The youngest girl screams at the top of her lungs when she does not get her way. She also hits her mother when her mother tries to correct her. The oldest child baits the others to stir up trouble. The son hits his sisters with anything he picks up and never does what he is told. The house is in a constant uproar. The children are out of control at home, but are perfect at school and are excellent students.

Ask Amy

Survivor of childhood abuse continues to struggle

Dear Amy: I’d like to know how to get over a lifetime of embarrassment. I was raised by self-absorbed and often cruel parents. Both of them took delight in humiliating me as a child. My father would stand up at my birthday parties and tell jokes about me in front of my friends. He would make fun of me until I cried, and then laugh at me.

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Daughter struggles with self-esteem at college

Dear Amy: My beautiful, talented, intelligent and sensitive daughter just started college after taking a gap year. She is so happy in school, however, she has never had an official boyfriend and feels she never will have that kind of relationship because, somehow, she believes she is flawed. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and no matter what I tell her, there is no satisfying her, and she is so sad. She has been in therapy but has discontinued it since starting college. Do you have suggestions on what I can do/say to help her know that things will shift for her?

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Gift-giving imbalance causes holiday stress

Dear Amy: My husband and I get along very well with his parents, but spending time with them around gift-giving holidays can be extremely stressful. My in-laws give my husband’s siblings much more in the way of gifts than they give us, both in monetary value and quantity. This is very hurtful for my husband.

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Sister worries about including felon in holiday

Dear Amy: My youngest brother spent about six years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young woman he met at a bar. While he was in prison, we exchanged a few letters, but I did not go to visit him. He expressed remorse for what happened, and was receiving counseling in prison.

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Housecleaner sometimes needs extra funds

Dear Amy: The woman I have employed to clean my house for several years has a very difficult life. She’s a hard worker, does a beautiful job and is completely trustworthy. But, like so many people in her situation, her financial situation is extremely precarious.

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