Tell Me About It: Mom abetted immature move

Posted: July 07, 2013

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On informing young people they won't be in a family member's wedding party:

Fifty years ago, as a teenager, I was not included in a cousin's wedding party, but another cousin was. My mother was furious at her brother, the bride's father, and she communicated to me that my appearance at the wedding would be a humiliation for me.

I foolishly RSVP'd that I would "definitely not" be attending the wedding.

The result was a lasting rift in already strained relations in the family. I have always regretted such an unwise and immature reaction. Parents need to understand that it is their job to foster love and understanding, not bitterness and hate within their children. Children who find love in the world grow up with self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. Those who do not, spend their lives looking for slights wherever they go.

On helping boys choose better mates:

Even when boys grow up, they tend to get "struck dumb by the pretty" and fail to notice not only all the nonphysical traits a woman has, but also the red-flag character traits. So I've told my nephews I don't want to hear about any new girlfriend unless they can name at least five things they like about her that don't include "she's really pretty." This aunt is going to knock the caveman out of them if it's the last thing I do.

On struggles with Mother's Day baggage (or other-day baggage, if you extrapolate):

You have a difficult relationship with your mother. Also, you are right that being a mother may not make you any more important than women who are childless. But what kind of a mother are you - opposite of your mother? If so, then celebrate this. You broke the mold.

What is your relationship with your children? Is it good? Celebrate this.

Is your husband good to you, is he a good father, someone you are proud of? If so, celebrate with your husband's family and thank your mother-in-law for how well she raised her son.

Stop dwelling on your past and celebrate all you have to be thankful for.


E-mail Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com.

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