Dear Annie: My 4-year-old granddaughter, "Jill," visited recently and declared, "My mommy told me to watch what I eat because she doesn't want me get heavy." Jill is certainly not heavy, and I was appalled that she was being told such a thing. I assured her that she is perfect.
My son is divorced from Jill's mother. He informed me that his ex...Read more
Dear Annie: When I was 11 years old, I made an insulting remark to one of my older sister's teenage friends, teasing her about her acne. The next day, my mother loudly confronted me about it, and my grandmother and sister joined in. For the next several months, if I said anything my mother didn't like, she'd angrily remind me of the horrible ...Read more
Dear Annie: Did you know that an estimated 16 million youth participate in volunteer activities in the U.S. every year, and that by volunteering, these young people will perform better in school? These amazing kids do everything from collecting stuffed animals for children who are victims of tragedy to creating sustainable gardens in urban ...Read more
Dear Annie: My friend "Nina" just broke up with her boyfriend of five years. We are here for her, trying to help in any way we can, even though we think she is out of her mind for doing this.
One of our friends has been telling Nina lies about the guy, saying he has been talking about her behind her back. I have never heard him do this. All ...Read more
Dear Annie: Our 31-year-old son is bipolar. We did not realize how severe it was until a few years ago. He is a bright, gentle and articulate college graduate who can also be mean, self-centered and highly opinionated. When he takes his medication, he is cooperative and easy to live with. The problem is he won't take his medicine consistently....Read more
Dear Annie: I'm a 70-year-old woman, still attractive and athletic. I have been dating "Sam," age 74, for nearly three years. When we met online, I clearly stated that I wanted to get married in the near future and that I had three cats and wanted a man who loves animals.
Sam is a nice, educated man. He treats me well, and we do a lot of ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have grown children from my first marriage. I now have a 7-year-old son from my second marriage, and we are home-schooling him.
My older children, who all attended public school, aren't terribly keen on this. One of them, "Jenny," criticizes home-schooling and then gets into what she considers insufficient socialization. She ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband's parents are in their mid-70s. They are both in good health and financially stable. The problem is, my mother-in-law has a bit of hypochondria along with some anxiety. She has self-diagnosed herself with many "syndromes" (such as fibromyalgia, restless leg, irritable bowel), and she refuses to exercise. Her syndromes, ...Read more
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Dear Annie: We are the future. It may sound cheesy, but that's the motto I live by, and it's one of the reasons I believe so strongly in the need to prevent and reduce tobacco use among teens and kids. My passion for tobacco-use prevention started when I saw the harm that tobacco use caused my older sister. She started smoking at age 13 and ...Read more
Dear Annie: I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family. I have an older sibling who has hated the rest of us for the past 45 years. Family gatherings are extremely uncomfortable events. Inappropriate barbs lead to physical fights, young children cry while the adults pretend nothing is amiss, family members spy on one another, there is lots...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been friends with "Missy" for a long time. She hates her husband's sister and hasn't allowed them to speak to each other for years. The sister is not allowed to come anywhere near Missy's house. Last year, things got worse.
Missy has five grown children. Four of them remain in touch with "Aunt Martha." As a result, three ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm a sophomore in high school. I never had much social stability as a child because my family moved around a lot and I was often in a different school every semester. I've always been that pretty girl who becomes an outcast as soon as she speaks or says something stupid.
I thought high school would be different, but it's not. As ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 17-year-old son has his beginner's driver permit and thinks he knows it all. If I mention something he did wrong behind the wheel, I'm being "mean." I can't seem to get through to him the dangers that can happen in a split second. Can you please run the essay ''Please, God, I'm Only 17'' again? Maybe it will open his eyes. -- ...Read more
Dear Annie: My sister, "Suzie," has always been a bit of a flower child, and my parents think it's funny. Suzie dropped out of high school to pursue her "career" in something -- art, music, dance, yoga, whatever. I usually gave her a place to stay when she got evicted and didn't want our parents to know, which was pretty often.
Suzie and her ...Read more
Dear Annie: I work for a small family-owned company, and there are fewer than 10 employees. There is no office cleaning service. For years, one of the employees has been compensated for cleaning the building after hours. This person was recently promoted, but continues to be in charge of the cleaning. That's the problem. For months now, the ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been married to "Dennis" for eight years. Early on, Dennis couldn't do enough for me. Now, if my car won't start, he yells at me and says to call a tow truck. If I ask him to spend time with me, he always has other things to do. On the rare occasion when we attend a social event together, he abandons me so he can "work the ...Read more
Dear Annie: I wanted to share a bit of what it's like to be the family member of a person who drinks too much. I know. I had more than 40 years of experience by the time I finally sought answers. I studied brain- and addiction-related research to assess my loved one's drinking patterns in order to protect myself from secondhand drinking. ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a 44-year-old guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. I met "Lisa" two years ago. I was fresh out of a divorce. Lisa was in terrible shape. Her mother had just died, and shortly after, she lost her fiance in a traffic accident. Then she moved back home to take care of her ailing father.
It was love at first sight for me. But ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 17-year-old daughter, "Kylie," has had behavioral problems since she was 14. I am a single mother. I work full time and also have two sons, one of whom lives with his dad. Kylie was in a hospital for three months for various evaluations and recently lived in a residential home. She was released last October on the condition that...Read more
Dear Annie: I've always had a problem with my mother and sister. When I was a child, I often stayed with my grandfather. I loved this man fiercely. He died recently, and the last 10 years of his life were terrible. My mother and aunts rescinded his DNR and disregarded his wishes about life support, forcing him to remain in a partially ...Read more