SENIOR SOLUTIONS JULY 2012
July 1, 2012
Dear Solutions: A friend of mine sent me a self-help book about problem solving. I find it a little insulting because she says she’s always noticed that I always have a problem making a decision. I don’t need her to help me “solve” my faults. I never told her I have difficulty making decisions so do you think she’s kind of sneering at me and acting superior? I haven’t read the book yet but I know she’s going to ask me if I’ve read it. I don’t know how to answer her so could you give me an example of what to say? -Brenda-
Dear Brenda: Just tell her you have a problem reading about your problems but as soon as you get over that problem you’ll read this self-help book about problem solving but you can’t read it immediately. You hope she doesn’t have a problem with that. On the other hand if you want to give her the benefit of the doubt (which I doubt) just thank her and assume she sent it with good intentions.
Dear Solutions: My daughter-in-law works three days a week. Since I’m retired I baby-sit my three year old granddaughter, Andrea on those days. I adore her and we have lots of fun together but now she doesn’t want to stay with her mother on the other days. I have other things to do and I don’t want my daughter-in-law angry at me. I’ve told Andréa that we shouldn’t hurt her mommy’s feelings – we don’t want her mommy to feel bad but it doesn’t help. How should I handle this? -Flattered but Cautious-
Dear Flattered: You’re right to be cautious. By saying “we” you are joining the child in a collusion – you and she becoming a unit (for or against, it doesn’t matter) – her mother on the outside. Don’t make your daughter-in –law the reason Andrea can’t stay with you or she’ll become angry at her mother for keeping her from you. Make it clear that you love the time you spend with her but you, too, like her mommy have other interests, work, commitments, etc. This will also give her an important message for her future: Yes, Andrea, there is life after children – even after grandchildren!
Dear Solutions: My daughter met a man recently and is all excited saying everything is moving rapidly and he already says he wants to marry her. She only knows him a couple of months and he’s been married three times before. I would like to slow her down but she just says I don’t know him and I’m rushing to judgment. She’s the one who’s rushing. I would like to at least give her some advice that might make her wait a while. How? What? -Anxious Mother-
Dear Anxious: Tell her to go have lunch with a couple of his ex-wives before he becomes her future ex-husband.
Dear Solutions: There is a lovely couple who I want to invite to a dinner party at my house. I’ve been told that the husband is a gourmet cook and my food, well, -- it’s edible. So, I feel intimidated. The other people I’m inviting are all interesting people who have lively discussions at every gathering and I believe that this couple would fit in very well. Should I say something first so they won’t expect some fabulous food? -Anna –
Dear Anna: Tell them that the main course of this lively dinner will be food for thought and you’re sure everyone would enjoy each others’ company. Don’t apologize for your cooking Anna. “Edible” is not regrettable.
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