Mom’s wild life­style puts daugh­ter’s well-be­ing at risk

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: My 23-year- old daugh­ter is out of con­trol and has been since she was 16. She has a 2-year- old daugh­ter, but she lives her life on the edge. She spends her days on the In­ter­net meet­ing strange men and go­ing out with them in pri­vate places. On the week­ends, she drops her daugh­ter here and takes off.

She has a his­tory of drug and al­co­hol abuse and prostitution, but swears she only drinks al­co­hol now. I get so wor­ried and up­set I find my­self yelling at her and try­ing to pre­vent her from leav­ing with th­ese strange men. She thinks I’m try­ing to con­trol her life when I’m ac­tu­ally try­ing to save her.

What should I do? I’m get­ting too old to be stress­ing out about what she’s do­ing and who she’s with. -- STRESSED- OUT IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

DEAR STRESSED- OUT: You can’t “save” your daugh­ter. Un­til she re­al­izes she needs help, and is will­ing to ac­cept it and change her life, she is un­reach­able. You can, how­ever, talk to an at­tor­ney about gain­ing le­gal cus­tody of your grand­child.

Ter­ri­ble things can hap­pen to women who do what your daugh­ter is do­ing. That lit­tle girl needs safety, con­sis­tency and sta­bil­ity, and it ap­pears you are the only rel­a­tive she has who is ca­pa­ble of giv­ing it to her. Please don’t wait.

DEAR ABBY: I read the obit­u­ar­ies in our lo­cal news­pa­per ev­ery day to see if some­one I know has died. But when I don’t see any fa­mil­iar name, I feel let down and dis­ap­pointed. Is that weird? -- STILL ALIVE IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR STILL ALIVE: Peo­ple read the obituary sec­tion for var­i­ous rea­sons, in­clud­ing the fact that some of the de­ceased have lived very in­ter­est­ing lives. Some do it hop­ing they won’t find their own name listed.

If they see the name of an ac­quain­tance, they may feel sad­ness at the loss or sym­pa­thy for the fam­ily, know­ing each death leaves a hole in some­one’s heart. But to feel “let down” seems to me like a lack of em­pa­thy, and in my opin­ion, it IS weird.

DEAR ABBY: PLEASE re­mind your read­ers that it is the job of re­tail work­ers to help cus­tomers. We are not “liars” or “stupid” be­cause our store hap­pens to be out of a toy that an an­gry par­ent “must” have this hol­i­day sea­son.

It is amaz­ing how this year’s hot toy item can turn par­ents into mon­sters.

I had one par­ent ask me af­ter find­ing out that we were out of stock on a cer­tain toy, “What am I sup­posed to do now?”

I sug­gested look­ing online, but what I re­ally wanted to say was, “Take your kids to help out at a home­less shel­ter so they can count their bless­ings!” -- SANTA’S HELPER IN IOWA CITY

DEAR SANTA’S HELPER: I’ll re­mind them, but the par­ents you de­scribe are un­der pres­sure be­cause they don’t want to dis­ap­point their kids.

To the pan­icked par­ent who asks, “What am I sup­posed to do now?” you could re­spond by say­ing, “Now you go to Plan B.” Then sug­gest some other toy the child would like -- even though it’s not his or her No. 1 choice.

While I think the com­ment you would like to make (but keep sup­press­ing) is an ex­cel­lent sug­ges­tion, it would not be an ap­pro­pri­ate one to make in a sit­u­a­tion like this.

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