DEAR ABBY: My children think that “because their friends can” they should be able to get, buy or do something. I encounter this problem often, especially when it’s bedtime.
My children are 10 and 13, and they need to learn to appreciate the good parents they have because we don’t give in to all of their requests. Abby, any suggestions that may help us with this situation would be appreciated. — GOOD PARENTS IN WOODSTOCK, ILL.
DEAR GOOD PARENTS: At 10 and 13, your children are old enough to understand the concept that not all families are alike. Because a friend of theirs enjoys a privilege or has something they don’t have does not mean that your children must.
I wish you had been more specific about the problem that occurs at bedtime. If they are arguing about the hour, they need to understand that for them to perform well in school they need a solid night’s sleep. It is well-known that sleep-deprived kids can’t learn.
If your children are asking for “things,” then let me remind you that parents who grant a child’s every wish fail to teach that child one of life’s most important lessons: how to cope with disappointment. So please don’t feel guilty about drawing the line, or asking your children how they plan to earn whatever it is they’re asking for.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old college student who has found the man of my dreams. We have been dating for a year and a half and have been through a lot together. We both believe it is acceptable (and in our case, preferable) for a woman to be a stay-at-home mother and wife. I do not have a problem with having dinner on the table when he arrives home.
However, the number of people who have deemed our views “unacceptable” and “disgraceful” is astounding. I was actually spit on by a woman who accused me of being “the problem with women.” She called me “weak” and a disappointment to womanhood across the nation. I’m so offended by her attack.
Am I wrong in thinking it is fine for a woman to be taken care of by her husband? Should I feel the need to be a working mom and wife? Am I too traditional for modern times? Please help me to see the whole picture. — LUCKY LADY IN LARAMIE
DEAR LUCKY LADY: The personal attack on you was uncalled for, and the woman who spat on you was hardly a role model for liberated women across the nation. Whether you choose to try to juggle a marriage and a career is a personal decision. Not every woman is able to manage it successfully.
That said, many households in the U.S. are headed by single women, and it usually wasn’t a matter of choice. That’s why it’s so important for women to complete their education before being married and to be qualified for a career should the need arise. And it’s also why having a prenuptial agreement in place before heading for the altar is advisable.
While it isn’t wrong to think it is fine for a woman to be taken care of by her husband, the truth is it doesn’t always work out that way. And it couldn’t hurt you to have a few years of work experience before starting a family — just in case.