March 15, 2010
Dear Amy: A 16-month-old toddler relative has screaming tantrums when she cannot get her way. When this happens at home, the girl's parents call a "timeout." Being in a public place poses more challenges. Someone suggested that the person who was with the toddler should strap her into her car seat and wait outside in the car until she was done screaming. However, this little girl is strong and stiffened her body to avoid sitting in the seat. Any ideas? Wondering Dear Wondering: As much as I dislike the idea of one person physically controlling another, there are times when adults do need to restrain or simply force a young child to yield -- when their basic safety or well being is at stake.
April 6, 2010
Dear Amy: "Steve" and I dated for a year when we were in high school -- 33 years ago. It was an intense romantic relationship, but I eventually ended it because Steve's reckless and impulsive behavior scared me. I moved away after high school and have not been back. Recently, Steve and other high school friends contacted me on Facebook. They hang out together frequently in my hometown, and it has been nice catching up with them. I'd like to go back for a visit, but I have a dilemma: I'm happily married, and Steve is married too, apparently not so happily.
April 9, 2010
Dear Amy: I am 34 and in a relationship. We've been together for about a year. He has two children from a previous relationship. The other day I brought up the subject of having a child with him, because I would love to be a mother soon. He flat-out told me he did not want to have any more children. I'm not sure what to do. I am in love with him and he says he loves me. What should I do? Worried Woman Dear Worried: This may be the single most challenging issue that couples face as they contemplate their future.
March 17, 2010
Dear Amy: When we sat down to dinner with my kids and some of their friends -- all 9- and 10-year-olds -- one of the boys mentioned that he had seen "The Hangover" multiple times at home. What do you think of parents who allow their kids to watch very inappropriate movies? My only thought is that they are actually tired of parenting and just don't bother to try. Toni Dear Toni: This presents a "teachable moment" for your kids and their friends. When other kids mention that they've been allowed to see or do something you don't allow in your family, you can say, "Well, that's an R-rated movie.
December 1, 2009
Dear Amy: My boss is away from the office for surgery related to cancer. What is an appropriate response to people who ask where he is? Wondering Assistant Dear Assistant: I'm going to suggest a script that tips toward discretion. Inquirer: "Where's Dan?" You: "He's out of the office until the 15th. Can I take a message for him or help you with something?" Inquirer: "Well, where is he?" You: "He'll be gone for about two weeks, but I expect him to check in for messages, so I'd be happy to let him know you called."
December 11, 2009
Dear Amy: My ex-husband and I divorced more than a year ago. We had a pretty clean break because we both felt the need to move on. I asked if I could have my Christmas ornaments back. He said yes but asked if we could do it the next year, when he would be back in the attic. The only reason I want these ornaments is that they are personalized and from my grandmother, who died shortly before the divorce proceedings. None of this is included in our divorce decree. I've contacted him three times -- twice via text and once via e-mail -- but he hasn't replied.
March 16, 2010
Dear Amy: With the wedding season fast approaching, I wanted to drop a little advice to brides-to-be when choosing their wedding parties. I was married a few years ago and chose my best friend to be my matron of honor. I was totally deflated when she informed me that she didn't want to participate but only be a guest. Our friendship spanned 20 years. It would have been more acceptable had she been sick, had money or family issues, etc. Unfortunately, being in my wedding simply wasn't a priority in her busy life.
November 30, 2009
Dear Amy: I am a 53-year-old physician, and my weight bounces up and down about 15 pounds. I am not happy about it, but I also do not want to hear about it from anyone. I see many people during my day who are, for the most part, strangers to me. I think it is extremely rude to comment on anyone's weight, whether there is a weight gain or loss. I usually laugh it off, but it really upsets me. Ironically, these comments usually come from people who are grossly overweight. Am I being too sensitive?
February 1, 2010
Dear Amy: I am a 32-year-old single woman with many married friends. A few months ago, I went to a concert with a few couples and a married man who didn't bring his wife. In the back seat of a car on the way home, he tried to kiss me. I pulled away, and the next day when he sent me an e-mail saying he had a good time, I didn't respond. I saw this same man and his wife and kids at a recent dinner party. Before I left, he said he wanted to have coffee sometime and that he'd like to get to know me better.
February 11, 2010
Dear Amy: I have a 30-year-old daughter who just finished a brief marriage to a useless alcoholic. Within days of the ink drying, she announced she is engaged to a really nice guy (he is). She wants me to provide the food and drink for this wedding. (I also paid for her first wedding.) It will be a small affair, around 100 people. She asked how much I was putting into the budget, and I told her $5,000. She was upset because she found a venue she liked that rents for $1,200, leaving her less for the food and beverages.