Friday, February 09, 2007

Dear Debby - Column 1

Welcome To Dear Debby! I was going to do this twice per week but I've decided to just see how it goes. So for now, Dear Debby will run every Friday. Do you have a pressing question you want to ask, a problem you want to air anonymously? Click the link in the sidebar to email me. And let's not forget the required legal yada-yada. This is for entertainment purposes only.

Dear Debby,
My sister and I are not close. Nor is she close to anyone else in the family. Historically she will come and go from our lives as the moment moves her. She has never held down a job for longer than a few months. She has had three husbands that we know of and gave up her only child for adoption without asking the family for help even though she knew any one of us would have taken the child in. This last time she stayed away for almost three years then showed up unannounced as if nothing had happened. Our father died this past year and she was not at the funeral, claiming she couldn’t get a flight home when we were finally able to track her down.. At a recent family gathering she took offense when our mother commented about her lifestyle and habits in front of other family members. Even though what our mother said was true, my sister has been in a rage ever since. I feel caught in the middle. Any advice on how I should handle this?

Let your sister rage all she wants to. Whatever choices she’s made for her life, she made without thought for anyone else and for her own personal reasons. Sometimes, in some places, the truth is best left unsaid. I have no doubts your sister didn’t appreciate having your mother air her dirty laundry out in public. But your sister will get over it. Sometimes the truth hurts but sometimes hearing the truth when we least want to serves to help open our eyes to what we need to change in our lives. Your sister is crying out for attention. Maybe facing the truth will help her seek the help she might need. Just let her know you’re there for her, that you love her, but that you won’t coddle her tantrums or pretend that her mistakes haven’t impacted your life and your mother’s life. Then just be ready to listen.

Dear Debby,
I am fourteen years old. My father is very strict. He won’t let me go out with my friends, not even to hang out at the mall. I have to get good grades in school or I’m not allowed to participate in drama, dance, or extra-curricular activities. I feel he is being very unfair. How can I convince him to give me more freedom like my friends have?

Okay, so you’re saying that if the grades are good, Dad lets you participate in drama, dance, and extra-curriclular activities? Seems to me that your father is giving you plenty of freedom as long as you’re doing the right things to earn that freedom. I’m sure your father is doing everything he has to do to keep you safe and secure because he knows it’s a big, scary world out here for a young girl with no one to look out for her. So suck it up. Be smart. Keep the grades up and I’m sure your father will continue to work with you. Life isn’t fair, especially when you’re thirteen. But trust me when I tell you that this will pass. Dad might be tough now but he is only preparing you for when you get his age and life really gets tough. So cut him some slack and I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to work with you as you get older and continue to make him proud.

No comments: