Mother fed up with con­stant bick­er­ing with teen daugh­ter

Cape Breton Post - - FOOD FOCUS -

Dear An­nie: My 19year-old daugh­ter has al­ways ar­gued with me about ev­ery­thing. I could say the sky is blue, and she would say, “No, it’s azure.” When she was a child, I tried to ig­nore her de­bates and told her to just do as I say. But now that she’s a young adult, it no longer works. I don’t know how to put an end to th­ese con­stant ridicu­lous ar­gu­ments.

I just got off the phone with her. I asked if she could stop and get some cookie dough at the gro­cery store on her way home. She could not see any rea­son why I would want any, and I spent way too much time and ef­fort con­vinc­ing her to please get some so I could make some cook­ies. The store wasn’t out of her way and it wasn’t ex­pen­sive. She sim­ply saw no rea­son for me to bake cook­ies.

She rarely does this with her fa­ther, al­though he has oc­ca­sion­ally got­ten the same treat­ment. I do not un­der­stand why she feels the need to make our lives so much more un­pleas­ant than nec­es­sary. She will be fin­ish­ing her ed­u­ca­tion at a uni­ver­sity half­way across the coun­try next year and it would be nice to put an end to this non­sense be­fore she leaves. Please help. — Just for Ar­gu­ment’s Sake

Dear Just: You and your daugh­ter have cre­ated a con­fronta­tional pat­tern that nei­ther of you seems able to break. Here’s how: Stop ar­gu­ing with her. When she says the sky is “azure,” tell her, “OK.” If she says you don’t need to bake cook­ies, re­ply thought­fully, “ You could be right.” Th­ese are not ma­jor is­sues, and it won’t mat­ter if you let her win. Ar­gu­ing is how your daugh­ter gets your un­di­vided at­ten­tion. When she sees that she can­not pro­voke you, she may look for dif­fer­ent ways to com­mu­ni­cate. Help her out.

Dear An­nie: I am 75 and have four mar­ried chil­dren. My first wife died, and I’ve been mar­ried to my sec­ond wife for eight years. It causes her great pain that one of my chil­dren dis­plays a pic­ture of me with my first wife in a prom­i­nent place in the liv­ing room. There is no pic­ture of me with my cur­rent wife. She thinks it is an in­ten­tional way to say she is not wel­come, and she re­fuses to visit there again.

My wife has made a point of dis­play­ing pic­tures in our home of both sides of the fam­ily to avoid just this type of ill will when my chil­dren visit. I un­der­stand peo­ple have the right to hang any pic­tures that please them, but I would like my wife to feel like part of the fam­ily in their home. Should I re­quest that the of­fend­ing pic­ture be re­moved dur­ing our vis­its? — Up­set Fa­ther Dear Fa­ther: Your wife is be­ing over­sen­si­tive. It is per­fectly proper for a child to have a pic­ture of his or her par­ents on dis­play in the home. We sug­gest you ex­plain the sit­u­a­tion pri­vately and give them a framed pho­to­graph of you with your cur­rent wife, ask­ing if they would please hang it where your wife can see it when she vis­its. Tell them it would be a kind­ness to you and a ges­ture of ac­cep­tance for her.

Dear An­nie: “Louisville Lass” pre­ferred that the grand­par­ents do­nate to their chil­dren’s col­lege funds in­stead of show­er­ing them with gifts on hol­i­days and birthdays. That is ex­actly what my in­laws did for my two sons. They would give them a copy of a de­posit slip to a sav­ings ac­count in their names.

The small amounts of $10 or $25 didn’t mean much to the boys at the time, but when they grad­u­ated from high school, the amounts had added up to $5,000 apiece. The smile that brought to their faces, and to ours as well, was far greater than all the “ land­fill” gifts they would have re­ceived over the years. It also teaches a valu­able les­son on how sav­ing small amounts can be very re­ward­ing. — A Happy Par­ent There may be cheaper ways to de­clare your love on Valen­tine’s Day than by say­ing it with flow­ers, but that doesn’t mean hav­ing to forgo a bou­quet. Just put more thought into the pre­sen­ta­tion.

Some­times less is more, such as at­tach­ing a car­ing note to a sin­gle long-stemmed rose rather than or­der­ing a pricey dozen. Or mix a few stel­lar roses with a big se­lec­tion of lower-priced blooms to make a state­ment.

Sprin­kling a layer of rose petals on pil­lows or float­ing them on a can­dlelit bub­ble bath has been known to warm a Valen­tine’s heart. Be creative about show­cas­ing what­ever you can af­ford.

“Flow­ers are a lux­ury, a dis­cre­tionary pur­chase, but they’re an af­ford­able lux­ury,” said Jen­nifer Sparks, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing for the So­ci­ety of Amer­i­can Florists in Alexan­dria, Va. “A lot of peo­ple may be go­ing away for the (Valen­tine’s) week­end, but with the econ­omy the way it is, many more will be stay­ing home and hav­ing din­ner in. Flow­ers ac­cent that and cre­ate a lit­tle ro­mance at the same time.”

Here are some ways to prune your Valen­tine’s Day flo­ral costs even fur­ther:

— Shop­ping ahead of time can earn you some in­cen­tives. “There’s a bet­ter chance you can get free de­liv­ery, bet­ter se­lec­tion or an early-bird dis­count,” Sparks said. “It cer­tainly should guar­an­tee they’ll ar­rive on time since Valen­tine’s Day this year falls on a Sun­day when there’s no mail or ex­press de­liv­ery.”

— Buy a small but ex­trav­a­gant as­sort­ment of lesser-known cut flow­ers. “Red roses are prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar gift, but there are so many other op­tions and price ranges,” Sparks said. “Car­na­tions and tulips are great al­ter­na­tives. There also are some fra­grant new hy­brids out there that are a great value. Don’t be afraid to ask florists for sug­ges­tions.”

— Stretch things out. Put a pot­ted plant here; place a mixed bou­quet there. Present her with a cor­sage be­fore leav­ing for that spe­cial din­ner.

— Craft your own ar­range­ment. Dig around for a whim­si­cal pot or un­usual vase. De­sign some­thing sug­gest­ing a shared ex­pe­ri­ence or a mem­o­rable trip to­gether. Drop some golf balls or seashells be­neath the blooms or stick a cou­ple of the­atre tick­ets and sev­eral colour­ful post­cards into a hand-tied mix.

Still an­other way to boost flower power is by coax­ing your blooms to stay fresh longer than the usual four to seven days. Re-cut the stems with a sharp knife as soon as you get them home so they can “sip” what­ever wa­ter they need. Re­move any leaves be­low the water­line to avoid un­sightly bac­te­rial growth and de­cay. Keep flow­ers in a cool place overnight (18 to 22 C); steer clear of drafts, heat­ing and cool­ing vents, and long pe­ri­ods of di­rect sun­light. And who says real men don’t like flow­ers? “ When it comes to re­ceiv­ing flow­ers, men and women are on the same play­ing field,” said Jeanette Hav­i­land-Jones, a Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity psy­chol­ogy pro­fes­sor, in a be­havioural study re­in­forc­ing the idea that flow­ers have a pos­i­tive im­pact on emo­tional health.

Ig­nore fem­i­nine frills, how­ever. Go bold, said Sally Fer­gu­son, a spokes­woman for the Nether­lands Flower Bulb In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter.

“Gen­er­ally, men go for more vi­brant colours — reds and yel­lows and pur­ples, while women like softer shades,” Fer­gu­son said. “Pre­sen­ta­tion is the point of Valen­tine’s Day. That’s where the in­di­vid­u­al­ity comes in.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.