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 [...]

Real Life with Real Wife

Dear Short Answers: Do you foresee a problem getting married to a woman I love but whose family I can’t stand? Groom-to-Be Dear Groom: If people married their in-laws … most wouldn’t. It is an issue, potentially a big one, that married people need to manage. Talk to your bride about her feelings and her [...]

All Romance Is Complicated

Dear Short Answers: My mother claims to have fallen in love with an elderly gentleman (they are both in the 70s) who she met socially at a party. Both of them lost their spouses within the last year and both seem genuinely happy to be together. Even though they’ve only known each other for about [...]

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Intention

Dear Short Answers: How do I get my children (6 and 4 year old girls) to listen to me? Mama Dear Mama: Be firm, keep smiling, say what you mean and mean what you say. Like Unlike

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