Par­ents should hon­our all who love their chil­dren

Cape Breton Post - - Advice / Games - El­lie Tesher Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice. Copy­right 2017: El­lie Tesher Dis­trib­uted by: Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

Q : I’ve lived with my com­mon-law part­ner for seven-plus years. Dur­ing this time, his son mar­ried and had two lovely daugh­ters, now ages two and four.

My part­ner and I have done reg­u­lar weekly babysit­ting, helped the cou­ple move twice, had them over for fam­ily din­ners, and count­less other acts of parental sup­port.

It’s a small thing, but my birth­day was for­got­ten. An apol­ogy was ex­tended over a week later.

My part­ner’s birth­day is 10 days later.

It was ac­knowl­edged with a gift, a cake, and a hand­made card from the grand­chil­dren thank­ing him for all the “ad­ven­tures” he takes them on and all the won­der­ful things he does for them.

It’s not the fact that his son and wife for­got; it is what this over­sight sig­ni­fies.

The “real” grand­par­ents are im­por­tant. Al­though I’m just as ac­tive in the lit­tle girls’ lives, the time and thought­ful­ness I’ve ex­tended to them isn’t val­ued.

The grand­chil­dren are young but now should be the time to teach them to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion and grat­i­tude to all those who care for them.

My part­ner doesn’t un­der­stand how up­set and hurt I am by this. In fact, he didn’t even no­tice that they’d for­got­ten my birth­day.

How do I pro­ceed with both my part­ner’s lack of un­der­stand­ing and his chil­dren’s lack of ap­pre­ci­a­tion?

— Still Hurt

A: Your part­ner is as much at fault here as his son and wife.

They at least apol­o­gized, and also have the ex­cuse of be­ing in the busiest time of their lives with small chil­dren, jobs, and ex­tended fam­ily.

Even if your part­ner was ef­fu­sive about your birth­day, he should’ve no­ticed the ab­sence of cards, calls, gift, etc. from his adult son - es­pe­cially in light of your in­volve­ment with the grand­kids,

But “not notic­ing” and dis­tanc­ing from your hurt may be his go-to po­si­tion to avoid con­flict and blame.

Tell him it doesn’t work here. He needs to ex­plain to his son how wrong it is to not ac­knowl­edge the car­ing and par­tic­i­pa­tion you bring to his chil­dren.

Your gen­er­ous giv­ing of time and en­ergy makes his mar­ried/ fam­ily life eas­ier, and adds to the chil­dren’s sense of be­ing loved and se­cure.

You’re not an add-on to his grand­fa­ther role. You de­serve equal ap­pre­ci­a­tion to him.

Since the cou­ple apol­o­gized, move for­ward.

Hope­fully, so will your part­ner, by mak­ing sure this never hap­pens again.

FEED­BACK Re­gard­ing the young man whose fe­male cousin be­came flir­ta­tious then re­peat­edly groped him (July 6):

Reader – “You sug­gest that if she goes af­ter him again, he should call the po­lice.

“I be­lieve that, be­cause he’s a male, the po­lice would tell him to deal with it and walk away. But at worst, it could blow up in his face.

“If the fe­male got up­set about his call­ing the po­lice, I be­lieve she’d scream “sex­ual as­sault,” he’d be charged, and his life ru­ined. She’d get all the sym­pa­thy.

“Her be­hav­iour that night may’ve been zany or youth-hor­mone driven, but it could also be in­dica­tive of a men­tal prob­lem and, if so, she could do any­thing.

“I sug­gest he doc­u­ment the event and any fu­ture events, tell some­one who can back him up if needed, and avoid her stay­ing over again. Or avoid her al­to­gether.”

El­lie – Un­less men who are sex­u­ally as­saulted call po­lice, the dif­fer­ent ju­di­cial at­ti­tudes to­wards male and fe­male “vic­tims” will pre­vail.

In this case, she’s a close cousin; he wanted only to stop her (and ap­par­ently did). If there’s a sec­ond at­tempt, he must call po­lice.

Reader’s Com­men­tary “I’m an in­tro­vert who car­ried a lot of anger. At one work place, I felt hu­mil­i­ated by a su­per­vi­sor’s “or­ders.”

“My frus­tra­tion came from my fail­ing to con­tinue my higher ed­u­ca­tion.

“The rea­sons: Sud­den can­cel­la­tion of the pro­gram, hav­ing a sec­ond child, hus­band laid off, etc.

“I still re­gret that I avoided con­tact with my boss due to anger.

“But anger again con­trolled me due to a past sex­ual abuse.

“A co-worker ap­peared flir­ta­tious, though he kept his part­ner’s photo in his of­fice.

“He showed in­ter­est in me, and in some­body else much younger than me. He also breached per­sonal space with all fe­males.

“I re­acted with anger I couldn’t con­trol. I’m sorry for the way I be­haved and the hurt I may have done.

“I’ve since de­cided to for­give any­thing wrong that was done to me.

“The book that helped me, is by Gary Chap­man, Anger: Tam­ing a Pow­er­ful Emo­tion.”

TIP OF THE DAY

Fam­i­lies, es­pe­cially par­ents, should hon­our and ap­pre­ci­ate all who are lov­ing and help­ful with their chil­dren.

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