Cou­ple feels ig­nored by par­ents tend­ing to way­ward sib­lings

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band and I are in our 30s. We both have sib­lings who have var­i­ous prob­lems — drug abuse, emo­tional is­sues, bro­ken re­la­tion­ships. Our par­ents pick up and travel to sup­port them dur­ing their dra­mas, but visit my hus­band and me only if they need a place to stay.

My par­ents have cited fear of fly­ing as a rea­son they don’t visit, and my hus­band’s par­ents claim they don’t have the money. How­ever, their travel itin­er­ar­ies to visit our sib­lings sug­gest oth­er­wise.

I haven’t asked my hus­band’s par­ents about this, but I did ask mine. My mother said that be­cause we’re “on a good path,” they don’t need to see us as of­ten or put as much ef­fort into us. I was shocked. How do we deal with know­ing that we’re less fa­vored be­cause we have our act to­gether? — THE GOOD KIDS

DEAR GOOD KIDS: You are not the only peo­ple with this prob­lem. The same thing tends to hap­pen in fam­i­lies in which there is a child with spe­cial needs. The par­ents ex­pend their en­ergy where they think it is needed most, which of­ten re­sults in hurt and re­sent­ment on the part of the stronger sib­lings.

Per­haps if you view what your mother told you less as a pun­ish­ment for your suc­cess and more as a val­i­da­tion, it will be less hurt­ful and you will un­der­stand the logic. And if you feel you need more time with your par­ents, go visit THEM.

DEAR ABBY: “Emo­tional Dad in Cal­i­for­nia” (July 23), whose wife was plan­ning to de­liver their child early, was cor­rect. No baby should be elec­tively de­liv­ered be­fore 39 weeks. While term ges­ta­tion is de­fined as 37 weeks, ter­mi­nol­ogy dis­tin­guishes early term (37 to 38 weeks), from term (39 to 40 weeks). Data show that not only is the rate of acute com­pli­ca­tions higher for babies born even at 36 weeks, but each week less than 39 is as­so­ci­ated with lower de­vel­op­men­tal scores.

In a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort, or­ga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to chil­dren’s health have spent the last decade try­ing to re­duce the rate of late preterm births, those from 34 to 37 weeks. Ev­ery baby should have the health­i­est start pos­si­ble, and in the ab­sence of preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions, that means wait­ing un­til 39 weeks. — DAVID H. LEVINE, M.D., COLUM­BUS, GA.

DEAR DR. LEVINE: Thank you for this in­for­ma­tion. I heard from many read­ers, in­clud­ing neona­tol­o­gists, la­bor/de­liv­ery nurses, and other pro­fes­sion­als cer­ti­fied in ma­ter­nal and new­born care. They all cited the cur­rent po­si­tion of the Amer­i­can Congress of Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gyne­col­o­gists (ACOG) ad­vo­cat­ing for full-term de­liv­ery.

All stated that the fi­nal few weeks are im­por­tant for brain, lung and liver de­vel­op­ment, vi­sion and hear­ing, blood sugar reg­u­la­tion, and at­tain­ing a healthy birth weight so the baby can stay warm, suck and swal­low, and re­main awake long enough to be fed. Ex­pec­tant moms should do as much re­search as they can in or­der to give their babies the best chance for the health­i­est life.

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