Par­ents can­cel hol­i­day din­ners when kids won't bury hatchet

The Progress-Index - - AMUSEMENTS -

DEAR ABBY: The hol­i­day sea­son is here, with the tra­di­tional fam­ily din­ner get-to­geth­ers. Our prob­lem is, our two chil­dren (ages 27 and 29) don't like each other and rarely have con­tact dur­ing the year.

This cre­ates such stress­ful hol­i­day meals that my wife and I would pre­fer to sim­ply not have them.

What words should we use to ex­plain to both of them that we will no longer host hol­i­day fam­ily din­ners in the fu­ture? The co­nun­drum arises if one of them says, "Well, I can come for Thanks­giv­ing, so 'Jesse' can come for Christ­mas," which di­vides us in a way that is un­ac­cept­able. Although we have asked them to work out their is­sues, they have made no progress. Your ad­vice? -- DAD STRESSED BY THE HOL­I­DAYS

DEAR DAD: Your "chil­dren" are adults and should be able to bury their dif­fer­ences two nights out of the year for your sake. If one makes that sug­ges­tion, your re­sponse should be: "No. It would only re­mind us that half our fam­ily is miss­ing, which would sad­den us on what's sup­posed to be a happy oc­ca­sion. That's why your mother and I have de­cided to make other plans in­stead."

DEAR ABBY: I was vis­it­ing a neigh­bor whose son and daugh­ter-in-law were also vis­it­ing. They have two daugh­ters, ages 9 and 7. While I was there her son took the girls into the bath­room and gave them baths.

I was shocked. The mom said, "That's HIS job!"

Abby, I could un­der­stand if they were tod­dlers, but by that age, they should be able to bathe them­selves. When I asked her why, she said, "They play too much." Is this un­usual? The grand­mother -- my neigh­bor -- con­fided later that it made her un­com­fort­able, too, and said she has hinted to them both that the girls need pri­vacy. What should we do or say, or is it none of our busi­ness? -- CON­FUSED IN ALABAMA DEAR CON­FUSED: By the ages of 7 and 9, the girls should not only be ca­pa­ble of bathing them­selves, but also be able to com­pre­hend when ei­ther par­ent says, "You're splash­ing around too much. Cut out the funny busi­ness!" The par­ents should act only as mon­i­tors. While I don't think it's your place to say any­thing, I do think the grand­mother should.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 64-year-old man who has de­cided to donate my body to sci­ence af­ter I pass. Would it be help­ful to write/ have a bio that in­cludes some of my med­i­cal his­tory? I have bro­ken my left arm twice and my lit­tle fin­ger, which re­quired surgery. Also, I broke my right wrist, which re­quired surgery, in­clud­ing five tem­po­rary metal pins.

I am a Type 2 di­a­betic and have scars on my face from in­juries from when I was a kid to adult­hood. I'm not in­ter­ested in writ­ing a book but thought it might be help­ful af­ter I die for the med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion. What do you think? -- CU­RI­OUS IN FORT WORTH

DEAR CU­RI­OUS: You are very thought­ful. How­ever, it might be more fun for the med­i­cal stu­dents to dis­cover these "sur­prises" for them­selves.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Jeanne Phillips

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