Dear Lily
Dear Lily: July 2003
By Lily O'Hara
Jul 1, 2003 - 11:02:00 PM

Dear Lily:
I have been married for over 15 years and have five children, ranging from ages four to 13. Three boys and two girls. I was an only child, so I had no experience in raising children. I am nonplus as to how I should punish them. Telling them they are grounded only makes them behave worse. Several times I have tried to make them follow simple rules, such as cleaning their rooms, or taking the garbage out, or mowing the lawn, but they will not listen. They know their dad is never home, he works hard trying to make a living for us and comes home tired and worn out, so I don't like tattling on the children. Last night I came into my daughter's bedroom and found she had put pillows in her bed to make it look like she was sleeping, so when I went to kiss her good night, I was shocked. I waited in her bedroom for five hours and when she was tip-toeing into the room, she was shocked to find me sitting in her chair when she turned the light on. She told me that she was out with friends, but there was liquor on her breath. I screamed at her after she told me it was none of my business where she went. I don't know what to do with her. I wish the government had kept their noses out of our lives, because I remember getting spanked for doing less than she had done, but when I threatened her that I would spank her the next time she did something so dangerous, she said, "You touch me and the police will have you in jail so fast your head will spin." She has hit me on more than one occasion, and never said that she was sorry. I am so confused and miserable. Please advise me.

A Hopeless Mom,

Dearest Rosie;
This sounds like your daughter knows she can defy you and get a way with it. Let's start at the beginning.
How does she get around her dad. Is she daddy's girl? If you don't let your husband in on her actions, sooner or later, he will learn about them when it is too late to correct her behavior. These days, children know they can get away with murder because the courts tell parents what they may do and what they may not do. I do not agree with the government about abuse, though there are a lot of parents who should not have children the way they abuse them, but regular parents have a hard way to go these days. I suggest you take your daughter to a psychologist or a priest, minister and rabbi, after visiting them first yourself. Your daughter is out of line. Before you do this, talk to your husband; he should know what is going on. You cannot handle all the problems alone. It takes two to make parents. Your husband might be able to control her, because she is not afraid of you, but she knows you don't tell her dad on her. If you give your daughter money or allowance, cut it off. Don't buy her new clothes, or anything for her birthday or holidays take most of her clothes and hide them until she can behave herself. AND nail her bedroom window shut, and don't let her keep house keys. She will pass on her disobedience to her siblings if she continues to get away with her misconduct.

I wish you luck and success.

Dear Lily:
Next week is my birthday, and my husband forgot my birthday five times already. He keeps telling me he is sorry, but he never takes me out or buys me flowers or candy. How can I make him more caring?

Neglected Wife,

Dear Terri:
If I were you, I would tell him a week ahead of time. "Darling don't go to any great expense for my birthday next week, just having dinner out with you will make me happy." If that doesn't work, two days before your birthday, tell him that you will not be around because your parents want to celebrate with you and ask him if he wants to come along. If that doesn't work, go out and buy yourself an expensive present, and tell him thanks for the thought. <Smile> Men just have lousy memories and sometimes they forget they are married, but they need a little shove to revive their memory.

Sock it to him,

Dear Lily:
My husband has cancer, but he doesn't want to follow the doctors' orders. He hated the treatment of chemo-therapy. I want him to live longer and to listen to the doctor. I love him so much. He spends most of his days in church, preparing for the end of his existence and he is making me feel so miserable and sad. What can I do to help him survive his illness? I feel deprived of his love and life and I am too young to be a widow.

Future widow,

Dear Wendy:
Don't hide your feelings from your husband. Tell him that you don't want to lose him and that he means the world to you. Tell him that the doctors know he is treatable, and he is being selfish neglecting his health or a possible cure. Sit and be honest with him. Tell him you need him so much that you would die if he doesn't make an effort to get better. I know this is the hardest time of your lives, but don't give up trying to get him to get help. Try the pastor he goes to. He must be able to help him decide his future.

May luck smile upon you both,

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