Teen rebelling through apathy is challenge for dad to reach
Those phone calls might become easier if you take a few minutes and make a list of topics you think she’s interested in, as well as questions to draw her out, before picking up the phone. Ask her what she THINKS about something or how she FEELS about things rather than yes or no questions. Tell her you are thinking about her and that you love her every time you call, because that’s really the most important message you are trying to convey, and the one she needs the most to hear.
DEAR ABBY: I am a first-time uncle of a 4-month-old nephew. My brother and sister-in-law are extremely close with my wife and me. We see them three or four times a week, and we are very fond of our nephew. I love being an uncle, and my wife loves being an aunt.
My sister-in-law grew up calling all her parents’ friends “Aunt Sally,” “Aunt Jenna” and so on. Naturally, she plans to have my nephew call her friends “aunt” and “uncle” as well. I feel that being an aunt or uncle is much more than just a title. We are family; we are blood. I’m a bit put off when I hear my sister-in-law say, “Here’s Uncle John,” when they see “John” only a couple of times a year. He’s not an uncle to my nephew! Should I be offended, or is it just a title like saying “Mr.”? -- REAL UNCLE IN MARYLAND
DEAR REAL UNCLE: Simmer down. Your SIL is using the term as an honorary title. As you stated, she does this because it’s the way she was raised. In no way does it diminish either your emotional or blood tie with your nephew.