Life Advice



Ask Amy: In-laws’ unkindness leaves family divided

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

The thing is, I don’t like this kid. He is a combination of sullen and entitled, though he and his dad seem to get along well. I tend to avoid them during his weekends.

Looking forward to marriage, I’m wondering how to handle the weekends when his son is around?

– Wondering

Dear Wondering: I wonder if you’ve met many 13-year-olds. I’d say that “entitled and sullen” is within the norm for many kids that age.

This boy will be in his father’s life for the rest of his life, and not only on every other weekend.

You should absolutely not get married until you develop an understanding and at least a friendly relationship with this boy.

You don’t seem to have made much of an effort, here. Stepparenting is an extremely challenging role to undertake; if you can’t accept this boy as a member of your family, then you’re not ready to take this on. You don’t have to always like this boy, but you should be willing to love him, anyway.

Dear Amy: I was gobsmacked by the “Unappreciated Tipper,” who wanted to be thanked for his generous tip. The tip should be quietly left on the table, and you should be long gone before it is discovered.


I'd be embarrassed if anyone had made a big deal out of my having good manners. I'm supposed to have good manners.

– Mike in NH

Dear Mike: Bingo!


(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.)

©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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