Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Resenting Parent

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: When can we stop giving our children money? When is enough enough?

My daughter and her husband are in their mid-30s. They bought a house they could not afford. On top of that, they are in the middle of filing for bankruptcy, as they have been overspending for years. My daughter works two jobs that provide neither a consistent paycheck nor benefits. Her husband's job is more stable, but his salary is low.

At one point, we gave her one of our used cars, which she was able to keep running for a couple of years. When that car died, I took money out of my retirement fund to buy her a used car. My son-in-law's mother just bought them a new oven.

My question is: When does all this stop? I worked for 30 years and never once asked my mother for money. I'm tired of doing and doing for them. At what point can a parent stop taking on the problems of their children? -- Resenting Parent

Dear Parent: Whenever you are willing to let them sink or swim on their own.

When an adult child is having temporary financial difficulties, it is a kindness for a parent to offer to help, provided the parent can afford it and the child uses the assistance to get out from under. But if a parent is constantly bailing out an irresponsible spendthrift, the handouts must stop before parents become impoverished and resentful in a misguided attempt to "save" their children. And these children never learn to stand on their own two feet. Consider whether you are helping or simply prolonging your daughter's financial dependence, and act accordingly.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Wigged Out," who has a condition that makes her hair fall out. People constantly ask about her "perfect" hair, and some attempt to pull at her wig.

I have thin hair and wear a weave method called a cap, done by a local hairdresser. It's a process of braiding or molding one's hair and putting a stocking cap or mesh on the hair (this allows the hair to breathe). Then the woven hair is sewn or glued on top. It allows you to wear your hair however you want -- long, medium or short -- and is not noticeably different from regular hair. Hope this helps. -- F.


Dear F.: Readers offered many suggestions. Here are more:

From Boston: I, too, take medication that contributes to hair loss. My husband encouraged me to order some beautiful synthetic wigs, which I have worn for years. At one event, a woman said she wished her hair could always look as nice as mine. I replied, "It can," and lifted off my wig. It turned the party upside down, and everyone had a ball trying on my wig and getting info. A wig is no different from a hat, scarf or barrette. It is an accessory to enhance the beauty of the head.

Wisconsin: She should consider hair extensions or a hairpiece that is bonded to her scalp and stays on for weeks at a time. Either of these would be more natural looking and cooler than a wig. I have been wearing lightweight bonded hairpieces for 10 years. I can swim, play golf, exercise, sleep and anything else without removing my hair. No one can tell, and I am never "wigged out."

Florida: Some people can't stand it if they don't know absolutely everything about you. I wear hearing aids, but I was sensitive about them, even though my hair did a nice job of covering them up. One "friend" took it upon herself to reach up and pull my hair back so she could see for herself whether I had hearing aids. I resisted the urge to slap her, but have avoided her ever since. I do not consider a person a friend if she does such a thing.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




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