Ask chil­dren about es­trange­ment

Albany Times Union - - ADVICE / GAMES - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I raised two chil­dren — a son who is a suc­cess­ful doc­tor and a daugh­ter who is a mul­ti­post-grad botanist.

We are 72 now, in mod­er­ately fail­ing health and very suc­cess­ful our­selves.

Our chil­dren were raised prop­erly. We gave them all they would ever need to suc­ceed and be happy. How­ever, nei­ther one is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with us. Hol­i­days to­gether are strained.

Frankly, I’m quite sick of both of them. They are in­con­sid­er­ate, in­sen­si­tive and stand­off­ish. We make no de­mands on ei­ther of them and never im­pose our­selves in any way. They never in­vite us to any­thing. We want to move away and dis­ap­pear. What do you think? — Enough al­ready, in Cal­i­for­nia

DEAR ENOUGH: Peo­ple can dis­ap­pear with­out phys­i­cally mov­ing away, as your chil­dren have al­ready demon­strated. Have you tried ask­ing them why they are so dis­tant? Un­less you do, noth­ing will change. Be­cause hol­i­days are strained, cel­e­brate with those who ap­pre­ci­ate you and whose com­pany you en­joy.

DEAR ABBY: I in­vited a cou­ple out for the hus­band’s 60th birth­day. We sat at the “chef’s ta­ble” (in the front of the kitchen) and had amaz­ing food and ser­vice. We all agreed it was a per­fect evening.

I paid the bill and left a 25 per­cent tip on a $400 bill (for three peo­ple). The cou­ple then pro­ceeded to hand cash to the staff in spite of the fact that I had told them I had al­ready tipped 25 per­cent, and they ac­knowl­edged that they knew it.

It was never my in­ten­tion that they pay any­thing, and I was em­bar­rassed. I felt like creep­ing out of the restau­rant and never go­ing back. Am I wrong to feel this way? Why wasn’t my gift enough? — Em­bar­rassed in Florida DEAR EM­BAR­RASSED: Your gift was enough, and ob­vi­ously the birth­day cel­e­bra­tion was a suc­cess. Your guests were so im­pressed that they shared their plea­sure with the staff. What they did was no re­flec­tion on you, and you should not al­low it to dis­cour­age you from go­ing back. In fact, I’m sure the es­tab­lish­ment will wel­come you with open arms.

DEAR ABBY: My six­th­grade grand­son is in a 2 1/2-hour social stud­ies class. He told me that dur­ing that time the teacher texts at least six times. I think this de­prives the stu­dents of valu­able in­struc­tional time. My daugh­ter hasn’t spo­ken to the prin­ci­pal about it — yet. I won­der when this con­cern will be ex­pressed by other par­ents and dis­cussed in your col­umn. — Time to learn in Texas DEAR TIME TO LEARN: Has your daugh­ter dis­cussed this with the par­ents of the other stu­dents? If she hasn’t, she should, be­cause they may not be aware of what the teacher is do­ing. If they find it as con­cern­ing as you and your daugh­ter do, they should ap­proach the prin­ci­pal as a group.

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