Life Advice



Ask Amy: Mom wants to keep news of first child a secret

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I have shared some time with them over the weekends and sadly my niece is not exaggerating.

I really don’t want to get involved, but I would like my brother to realize that my niece is missing their father-daughter time with him.

I would also like for her to understand that is nice for him to be in a relationship.

How can I help them? Do you have any suggestions?

Concerned Auntie

Dear Concerned: You should talk to your brother about this. Ask him to be more aware of the amount of time he is devoting to this new relationship. Given that they are conducting the relationship remotely, hours spent on the phone would be very alienating to his daughter. He needs to be present for his daughter – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

You should also offer to spend as much time as possible with your niece. Yes, you can explain to her that it’s a positive thing for her father to embark on another relationship, but no grieving nine-year-old is going to embrace this concept.

Dear Amy: “Nervous”[CQ] wrote about how his mother-in-law interferes with their parenting – over FaceTime!


The woman isn’t even in the room with them and they allow her to control them!

Scratching my Head

Dear Scratching: An overwhelming person doesn’t need to be physically present to make themselves heard. I hope these new parents draw some very firm boundaries.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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