Teen’s ef­forts are never good enough for her fam­ily

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 LIFE - Jeanne Phillips Dear Abby

Dear Abby: I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I’m strug­gling with abuse. I’m men­tally and phys­i­cally abused by my fam­ily con­stantly, yet they make me out to be the abu­sive one. I could do amaz­ing on a test, and they yell at me for some­thing that hap­pened on the last one. They’re al­ways push­ing me so hard to do bet­ter that it’s mak­ing me do worse.

How can I make my fam­ily see that I’m not them, and I can do good if they just give me the chance to learn from my mis­takes? — Strug­gling in Wis­con­sin

Dear Strug­gling: Par­ents al­ways want their chil­dren to per­form to their level of ca­pac­ity. Be­cause you say you are be­ing abused phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally for your in­abil­ity to live up to your fam­ily’s ex­pec­ta­tions, dis­cuss what’s go­ing on with a coun­selor at your school. It’s pos­si­ble there needs to be an in­ter­ven­tion by some­one they will lis­ten to. Please don’t wait to do it.

Dear Abby: My hus­band of three years has vis­its with his son ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day evening. My mother-in-law picks up her grand­son, takes him to her home and makes din­ner for the three of them. I work 10-hour days Monday through Fri­day and am not able to at­tend these din­ners.

My ques­tion is, isn’t it proper eti­quette that my mother-in-law should send a plate of food home for me with my hus­band? She never has, and I think this is rude and in­con­sid­er­ate of her. What is your opin­ion? — Hun­gry in El Paso

Dear Hun­gry: Al­though brief, your let­ter speaks vol­umes about your re­la­tion­ship with your mother-in-law, which ap­pears could be bet­ter. No rule of eti­quette dic­tates that she is ob­li­gated to send a plate of her food home with her son for you. Per­haps if your re­la­tion­ship with her was warmer, or your hus­band was thought­ful enough to sug­gest it, she would. How­ever, since you asked, my opin­ion is that rather than com­plain, you should pick up some take-out on your way home from work.

Dear Abby: I’m a 22-year-old col­lege stu­dent on the verge of grad­u­at­ing this May. I’ve been dat­ing my boyfriend for more than five years, and I am ex­tremely close with his fam­ily, es­pe­cially his sis­ter “Clau­dia” and her three chil­dren (ages 6, 3 and 6 months).

My par­ents are throw­ing me a grad­u­a­tion party at their home, and they don’t want any guests un­der the age of 10. How do i tell Clau­dia — a dear friend — that her chil­dren won’t be in­vited with­out up­set­ting her? (I have small cousins who won’t be at­tend­ing ei­ther.)

It truly is noth­ing per­sonal, but I know she will prob­a­bly take it per­son­ally. I don’t want to cause drama, but I do want to honor my par­ents’ wishes that no small chil­dren be present. How do I tell her? Help! — Soonto-be Grad­u­ate

Dear Soon-to-be Grad­u­ate: You are not host­ing the party; your par­ents are. As the hosts, it is their priv­i­lege to de­cide whom to in­vite — or not. When Clau­dia is in­vited, your par­ents should ex­plain that they pre­fer chil­dren un­der the age of 10 not be present, and soften it if nec­es­sary by ex­plain­ing there are small nieces and neph­ews who will not be at­tend­ing as well.

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