Monkey in the Middle

Dear Short Answers: What is our responsibility to our parents as they get older and require more time, more energy and more money from their children? Exhausted and Broke Dear E&B: We hear you. This is very tough and the boundaries are different in every family. Remember that you are an adult (which is often [...]

Cut to the Chase

Dear Short Answers: My husband and I have constant disagreements over how to raise our children.  Everything from when is bedtime to how much candy they can eat at Halloween. Is there a book you can recommend that can settle these arguments once and for all? Wit’s End Dear Wit: Disagreements about kids is a [...]

Oh No, This Again

Dear Short Answers: Every one around me is gearing up for the holidays and I am so not feeling it!  I love my family and do my very best to stay in touch and hear their concerns, but the thought of all of them banging up against one another (not to mention all that work) [...]

Another Parent Trap

Dear Short Answers: What’s the secret to NOT spoiling your children?  I can’t seem to stop buying them stuff and giving them everything they want.  Is that wrong? RS Dear RS: Well, the first thing is STOP — nobody, except maybe infants, should get “everything they want.”  We don’t know the secret, but we do [...]

Good Things Get Better, Bad Get Worse

Dear Short Answers: I’m well past 50 years old but my mother still has the ability to make me feel like an incompetent fool every time I talk to her. Nothing I do is ever right — or certainly not the way she would have handled something.  Would it be wrong of me to simply [...]

Cents and Sensibility

Dear Short Answers: My daughter is turning 5 next month which is a very important event in my family (my parents were born in Japan).  We are going to Disney World to celebrate which is rather expensive for all of us but my parents want to pay for the trip.  I didn’t invite my in-laws [...]

A Worthy View

Dear short Answers: Your response to Auntie’s gift ideas was the lamest.  You “pondered this all week”!  Sad. This gift is for her niece or nephew.  Surely she can contribute monetarily to their future plans. College? $$$. Work? Automobile? $$$. There is NO other gift for a family member to give a graduate.  Any monetary [...]

The Way It Is

Dear Short Answers: What is to be done about ungrateful children? Disappointed Dear Dis: Give less. Like Unlike

The Joy of Giving

Dear Short Answers: It’s that time of year, any ideas for a high school graduation present? Auntie Dear Auntie: We pondered this all week. We dislike obligatory gifting because it is rarely appreciated — yet there are occasions that seem to require something. In principle, if you know someone well, you will know what they [...]

Diplomacy Can Avoid War

Dear Short Answers: My husband has started to take this whole environmental consciousness thing too far. He refused to use plastic wrap. He saves every scrap of aluminum foil and reuses it dozens of times (until I throw it out because it’s gotten go gross). He flushes the toilet ONCE A DAY (it’s disgusting). He [...]

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