Life Advice



Ask Amy: Household needs a recycling czar

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Even very young children can enjoy the job of safely sorting (clean) plastics (no sharp metal edges, please). You should delineate a color-coded bin for the recyclables, teach your kids the basics, explain to them why you are doing this, place the clean plastics and paper goods on the floor, and ask them to put these things into the appropriate bin (there are some fun videos on YouTube illustrating the process). Then they can help you take the bin to the curb and watch the big truck take the discarded items away.

If you do this, quite soon your children will start to police your wife, reminding her which bin to use. This might inspire her to get on board.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your wise response to “Frustrated in the Kitchen,” who was so upset that her two stepsons (both addicts) were so often extremely late for her special home-cooked meals.

As a mother who lost a son to addiction, I can tell you that I never stop wishing there was one more birthday or holiday meal with my son.

Establishing a “home” for those suffering with addiction is the kindest act a parent can do.

Yes, they can be late and unreliable and maybe they won’t stay long. But coming home for holiday meals can be a great blessing for troubled souls.


A family group like AA or NA could be of great help to these parents.

At the end of a meeting, they always say, “Keep coming back...” And that’s what parents should always say to their children.

Simpler food could be ordered to save work in the kitchen, and still feel like home-cooked meals. The important part is opening up your home and making the family feel welcome.

I would give anything to see my son at my front door. Frustrated and her husband can work out the kitchen problems. Time with family is so much more important.


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