Dear Abby: I was laid off from work, but my husband, “Keith,” works full time in a factory. We live with his parents. By the time Keith gets home from work and gets cleaned up, it’s time to eat dinner. Immediately afterward, we always follow the same routine: We go in our bedroom and he goes on the computer to play video games, while I sit and watch TV and play on my phone.
We love each other and rarely disagree about things, but this isn’t fun for me. I have told Keith I feel ignored and I’d love to do something WITH him. He says because our town is smallish, there’s not a lot to do that doesn’t cost money. Keith is into the video games, so much so that when we first met, he’d sit in his bedroom and play for hours on end. We’re planning a vacation in the next month or so, so it’s not like we do nothing at all. But I don’t know how to improve our situation.
– Calling For Help in Kokomo, Ind.
Dear Calling For Help: After a hard day’s work, your husband may just want to sit down and relax. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t schedule some activity together on a weekend. You could also make a date with other young married couples, or occasionally schedule a girls’ night out with some of your female friends.
I agree that it’s important for you and your husband not to get into a rut. That’s why you need to budget so you CAN get out and have some fun together a few times a month.
Wise head, caring heart
Dear Abby: As a teacher, I open my doors every year to at least one student who has low self-esteem. I spend the school year searching for ways to show that child he or she has value. I feel there is no more important lesson for me to teach.
These children’s parents don’t mean for this to happen. They want their children to be “perfect.” The children, though, know they aren’t perfect and feel that who they are isn’t enough.
Parents, does this sound familiar? If so, then love your children as you did when they first learned to walk. Love them unconditionally when they fail and encourage them to try again. When they make a mistake, celebrate the strength it took to try. When they mess up, let them know you love them even when they aren’t at their best. Remember, feelings stay with children forever.
When things get hard, allow your children to fail and to fix it themselves. Celebrate who your children are. Unconditional love is the greatest gift parents can give their children.
– Kathy in Elk Grove, Calif.
Dear Kathy: You have a wise head and a caring heart, which is an unbeatable combination in an educator. The lessons your students are learning in your classroom will influence their lives long after they are out of school.