Life Advice



Ask Amy: Brother loses sleep over mother’s behavior

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Mother: First of all, for many people around the world, Easter is not an “in-between” occasion but an important religious holiday, and I think that some prudent, low-key education about what these holidays are supposed to celebrate might be helpful and interesting for your daughter.

Canceling a gift-giving holiday several months in advance will not mean much to a child your daughter’s age; it is best to respond in the moment to behavior you don’t like.

For instance, if you presented an Easter basket loaded with goodies and your daughter tore through them (common behavior for a child her age), and immediately started complaining that there weren’t more, you and your husband should express your own disappointment – calmly and decisively.

“Wow – you seem very unhappy. You have a lot of treats there, and if you don’t enjoy them, we will take them away until you can figure out how to enjoy the things that are right in front of you.”

Seven-year-olds are impulsive; that’s a characteristic that can make kids this age really fun to be with. The downside to this is that they are still learning how to modulate their behavior.

Right after disciplining your daughter, once she calms down you should ask her if she understands how her behavior led to the consequence.


At Eastertime, you could also transition from giving a basket full of sweets, treats and trinkets to coloring and hunting for eggs and jellybeans, and giving flower seeds, small pots and soil for planting a window garden.

I agree to cut way down.

In advance of any holiday you should read stories associated with it, work on a craft project related to it, and review the guidelines for receiving gifts or treats, enjoying what you receive, and expressing joy and gratitude.

Dear Amy: You ran a question from “The Enforcer” about a bridesmaid’s brother trying to use his sister’s online RSVP to come to a wedding uninvited, after the sister said she couldn’t attend.


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