Dear Abby: We have a daughter with severe developmental disabilities. Thankfully, she receives 40-plus hours of in-home therapy a week, which is covered by insurance.
Her first therapist arrives at 7:30 a.m. and leaves at 11:30 a.m. Some days, she will pick up something to eat on the way. Most days, I suspect she hasn’t eaten breakfast.
About once a week she'll call out for me, asking for a snack — usually a breakfast sandwich — which I make for her. Last week, she asked for some chocolate-covered nuts I had offered her once. I told her we had eaten them. I finally put out a bowl of old hard candy to stop her from asking. She has been eating it for a while now and joking that I’m making her gain weight.
Must I continue providing her snacks or say something about her bringing her own? I am grateful for the work she does for our daughter and hope I’m not sounding petty.
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You should not be responsible for feeding your daughter’s therapist. Have a talk with the therapist and suggest that if she’s “out of fuel” at the end of your daughter’s session that she bring some individually wrapped cheese sticks or fruit with her. It would be a lot healthier than what you’re giving her and probably better for her.
Dear Abby: My 18-year-old son and his fiancee have been kicked out of a few apartments and have asked to live with me. Wanting to help him, I agreed.
When they moved in, I gave them four rules to follow: No drugs in the house, no sex, no coming upstairs after 10 p.m., and the dishes must be done every night or they will pay $400 a month rent.
Well, a week ago I caught them doing drugs, so I called the cops. They were arrested that night. They are now asking to come back. I refuse to allow it because I have an 11-year-old at home with me and another 18-year-old who I want to keep away from this kind of influence.
My son keeps texting me and trying to guilt me into changing my mind because he got his fiancee pregnant. Where I live it gets very cold, but I need to show my other children it’s not OK to do drugs.
Am I doing the right thing by not letting them come back, or am I a heartless mother like he says?
Mom of Tough Love
Regardless of what your son says, you are not heartless. You took him in with certain conditions. He and his girlfriend abused your trust, and you handled the situation wisely.
If the girl is really pregnant, she should not be using drugs. If she’s hooked on something, she needs to get into a rehabilitation program ASAP. If she has parents, perhaps they will take her in. But you have done your part, and if you allow your son and his girlfriend to stay with you, they will continue to break your rules and you'll wind up responsible for them and the baby – or two or three. I advise against it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.