Girl, 2, hears Daddy curse at her mom — so she does, too

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

Dear Abby: Al­though he has never hit me, my hus­band has been emo­tion­ally and ver­bally abu­sive ever since our wed­ding five years ago. One of his fa­vorite names for me when he’s an­gry is “F-----’ B----.” I know this is my fault be­cause I have tol­er­ated it.

To­day, my 2½-year-old daugh­ter (who is usu­ally a good girl) threw a tantrum and called me the same name twice. I try to dis­ci­pline her, but she doesn’t un­der­stand that she’s say­ing some­thing bad if Daddy can call me that. How can she? He blames me for her talk­ing that way, say­ing he hasn’t called me that in a month. (He called me that last week. I don’t use that lan­guage.)

I have sug­gested mar­riage coun­sel­ing in the past, but he re­fused. I can’t leave him be­cause I am seven months preg­nant with our sec­ond child. How do I get both of them to re­spect me?

Dis­re­spected in the East

Dear Dis­re­spected: You know that ap­point­ment you wanted to make for you and your hus­band with a li­censed mar­riage and fam­ily ther­a­pist? Make one for your­self, right now, be­cause what’s go­ing on isn’t healthy for you or your lit­tle girl.

Your hus­band de­means you be­cause from the mo­ment you mar­ried him you have al­lowed it. Your 2-year-old isn’t be­ing dis­re­spect­ful when she calls you what her fa­ther does. Chil­dren her age want at­ten­tion, and they are mim­ics. Giv­ing them at­ten­tion when they use bad lan­guage re­in­forces them to do it more.

Please do as I’m sug­gest­ing be­fore you con­ceive a third child. From your de­scrip­tion of your relationsh­ip with your hus­band, his ver­bal abuse and the dis­re­spect it con­veys WILL be an ex­am­ple for your chil­dren that will fol­low them into adult­hood.

Dear Abby: I am a 37-year-old mother of two (ages 9 and 11). My hus­band and I have built a beau­ti­ful life together. We live in close prox­im­ity to his fam­ily, whom I ab­so­lutely love.

My ques­tion in­volves my own fam­ily. My fa­ther passed away 2½ years ago. We were very close, so it is an on­go­ing strug­gle for me. My mother has since dis­owned me and my chil­dren. She’s a text­book nar­cis­sist who has said many very hurt­ful things and has a new man and new life. Our relationsh­ip was al­ways strained, and I knew it wouldn’t be the same with­out Dad be­cause he was the glue.

I have come to terms with this for my­self, but we haven’t talked to our chil­dren about it. How do I ex­plain to them that their grandma doesn’t want to be a part of their life? They love her and ask about her of­ten, so I keep mak­ing stuff up.

She won’t an­swer phone calls from me or my hus­band. I be­lieve she has us blocked. She has also blocked us on so­cial media along with other fam­ily mem­bers.

I want my kids to know the truth, but I don’t want to hurt them. How can I do this?

Motherless in Ohio

Dear Motherless: Stick as close to the truth as you can, with some edit­ing. If your chil­dren ask about their grand­mother, ex­plain that peo­ple deal with the death of a loved one in dif­fer­ent ways. In your mother’s case, “She needed to look for­ward and not look back. Be­cause your grand­fa­ther’s death was so painful, she is con­cen­trat­ing on things other than fam­ily, and al­though we might miss her, we should be com­forted that she has found a way to cope. It may not be what we would have wished, but it is her way, and we have to re­spect it and go on with our own lives.” Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

I TRY TO DIS­CI­PLINE HER, BUT SHE DOESN’T UN­DER­STAND THAT SHE’S SAY­ING SOME­THING BAD IF DADDY CAN CALL ME THAT. HOW CAN SHE? HE BLAMES ME FOR HER TALK­ING THAT WAY, SAY­ING HE HASN’T CALLED ME THAT IN A MONTH.

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