Life Advice



Ask Amy: Toxic daughter poses danger to family

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

The strategies that are NOT effective include, tiptoeing around, agreeing – (thereby fueling the rage), apologizing (which justifies her feeling offended), trying to provide insight into the insignificance of the problem, trying to be understanding, or trying to ignore it.

Have any ideas?

– Mother

Dear Mother: Yes, your daughter needs help. I could speculate about what is going on with her, but she should be seen by a physician and a mental health professional for an assessment. Will she submit to this? Probably not, because one aspect of her malady, temperament, and personality is that she cannot admit that she has a problem, or that she IS a problem.

However, I’m most concerned about you and your 94-year-old mother, and in my opinion, you should be concerned, too.

If your daughter ever threatens or physically harms you or anyone else in the household, you should call the police and she should leave the household immediately.


She has a history of initiating arguments and then declaring estrangements.

This tendency could ultimately protect you, but if this escalates and she won’t keep her distance, you should file a restraining order.

You may have to love her from a distance.

Unfortunately, you cannot protect her husband, but you can hope that he will find ways to protect himself.


swipe to next page



For Better or For Worse Hi and Lois The Barn Blondie Diamond Lil Phil Hands