Dear Abby: My daughter, who recently turned 21, sent me a two-word text message, “I’m pregnant.” She has been dating a marijuana-smoking young man for less than a year, and I’m disappointed by this outcome.
Her sister, who is a year older, already has two children by two men. No, they weren’t raised by a harlot. I adopted them when they were early elementary-aged children. It’s not my fault. I’m disgusted by their choices.
I haven’t talked with her yet. I won’t try to lecture her or tell her how she should live her life. The time for that is over. I feel it would be best to say nothing if I can’t be positive. Suggestions?
– Disgusted in the South
Dear Disgusted: It would be better if you said nothing to your daughter while you are angry, or you may say something you will regret. It would not be out of line, however, to text her back and ask, “How do you and ‘John’ plan to support the baby?” If you don’t plan to help her in any way, you should let her know NOW that she’ll be on her own.
They’ve created a monster
Dear Abby: Our 13-year-old is addicted to her phone. She stays on it for hours, and it’s affecting the time she goes to bed. She’s now starting to oversleep the alarm in the morning before school.
She’s spoiled, and I’m afraid that removing or limiting privileges will lead to major problems with her protesting it.
How do you handle a spoiled brat without involving outside agencies? She’s nice to people in school, but is lazy at home and totally self-centered.
– Frustrated, Exhausted Dad
Dear Dad: You and your wife created this “monster,” and now it’s your job to make things right. Of course your daughter won’t like it when you set rules, but you must establish some for her before your lack of parenting causes even more serious problems.
Set the rules and stick with them. If she won’t follow them, there should be penalties for not doing so.