Dear Annie: I am 38 years old with three kids ages 18, 15 and 13. I just recently moved back home with my mom because I was in an abusive relationship. Well, my mom is treating me like a 15-year-old. I cannot come and go as I please, and I do not even go anywhere except to run basic errands. I do all the cooking, most of the cleaning and whatever else she asks me to do. I do not complain about anything; I just do it.
Last weekend, I wanted to go out with a friend for dinner. Well, you would have thought I slapped my mom in the face. She got so mad, stomping around, slamming doors and cabinets. And she is so mean and rude to all my friends. It's just pure silliness. What can I do to make her realize that I'm not a 15-year-old? -- Full-Grown Adult
Dear Full-Grown Adult: First of all, congratulations on getting you and your children out of an abusive environment. That was a brave and absolutely crucial decision.
Your mother was kind enough to let you -- and, presumably, your kids -- stay with her while you get back on your feet. But since it is her house, you're going to have to play by her rules.
If you want to be treated as the adult that you are, you've got to act like one -- and that includes paying your own rent.
You've already made progress for your family by bringing them to a safe environment. Keep looking forward, and find a place of your own to call home.
Dear Annie: I'm writing in response to the father who has been in "Toothy Turmoil" with his wife's concern for their children's ability to brush their teeth on their own.
As an orthodontist, I see children with various levels of tooth-brushing abilities every day. For those still struggling, we offer "disclosing tablets." These are little tablets which, when chewed and swished around the mouth, stain the bacteria (plaque) in the mouth a pinkish color. The child can plainly see this and is instructed to brush until the stains are gone.
This allows the patient to learn where they need better care, and in the case of "Toothy Turmoil," would allow Mom the confidence to let her children brush on their own while still giving her the ability to monitor their thoroughness without hovering. -- See It and Believe It
Dear See: You've posed a fun, interactive solution for kids and parents alike -- a win-win all around. Here's to healthy habits and happy brushing.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.