SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

January 2, 2014

Dear Abby: Family feuds over child of sister facing jail time

(Continued)

Your sister may have always dreamed of motherhood, but the most important part of being a parent — aside from loving a child — is being PRESENT. If your sister is found guilty, she will be absent long after her child’s primary attachments will have formed.

If this doesn’t convince your mother to change her mind, you will have no choice but to accept her decision and consider adopting another child.

P.S. Perhaps your father will understand that what you’re proposing makes sense and will speak on your behalf.

Dear Abby: I’m in my late 20s, single and have no children. I have lived on my own since I was 18. I own my home, my car and have no credit card debt, but my mother refuses to acknowledge me as an adult.

When I do simple chores or cook meals, she acts surprised. She constantly pleads with me to move back home because she insists I can’t take care of myself and refuses to discuss it any further than belittling me.

My friends say what she’s doing constitutes abuse. I’m not sure I agree, but I do think it is rude and manipulative. How can I deal with her condescending attitude when I’m with her?

At My Wit’s End

Dear Wit’s End: Most parents strive to make their children independent. Your mother may want you home not because you can’t take care of yourself but because she doesn’t want to live alone. I wouldn’t call that abuse but I do consider it to be selfish and self-serving.

You should not sacrifice your lifestyle to live with someone as manipulative as your mother. When she attacks, laugh and deflect her with humor. Assure her that as incompetent as she thinks you are, you’re “muddling through.” And if she persists, point out that if she doesn’t ease up, she’ll be seeing less of you.

■■■

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

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