I work in an office of all women and always get invited to their children's birthday parties. The only problem is the fact that I don't have any children. My gift giving ideas are slim so I buy gift certificates to local book stores. Can you believe one of the mothers got mad and called me cheap! Now I'm ready to stop participating all together.
Glenda, New York, NY Dear Glenda:
The materialistic and ungrateful mother doesn't recognize the value of your simple but thoughtful gifts. She needs to play around with hooked on phonics to learn a few lessons in courtesy and gratitude. If you enjoy giving gifts to the kids, don't let one person spoil it for the others. It's your hard earned money and you're entitled to give whatever gift you want. Continue with the books and if the parents and children don't like it, then they should stop inviting you.
My dad's a kind hearted man always looking for ways to help people. However, he's prejudiced but claims that he's not when it comes to race issues. When I date outside the race I have to do it behind his back because he gives me a hard time. How do I tell him we're one world and can't go forward with racist attitudes? I love everyone. Shouldn't we all get along?
Deidra, On-Line Reader
It's a new millennium and your dad needs to quit tripping over the color thing. You're a well rounded person and he's taught you well. You should feel comfortable enough to point out his racist behaviors at the moment he's acting this way. The world will always have a rainbow of people and if he can't accept it, then he needs to get over it. This process is a continued work and will only get better one day and one person at a time.
My 17-year old step-daughter is a mess. My husband pays child support but the mother spends it. She lives with the grandmother who won't let him talk to her or visit. She told the court he was an abusive stranger. They blocked him from school visits but he has been allowed to attend a few basketball games. This young girl has cursed at everyone, ran away from home a few times, steals, and can't get along with her mother but my husband still wants a relationship with her. How can I help in this situation.
Concerned, Los Angeles, CA
It sounds as if your step daughter has deep family love but is lacking rules, attention and discipline. She's been severely neglected, brainwashed and manipulated by her mother and grandmother. Regardless of her age, your husband's right by not giving up on her. Once she turns 18, she can operate of her own free will. That may be the time you and your husband can help her get counseling to improve her self-esteem and identify her self-worth and prevent a rocky adulthood.