Friday, April 20, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

On people you know are talking trash about you . . .

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On people you know are talking trash about you:

J.: When someone wants to share a third party's juicy/hurtful/critical comments about me, I like to reply, "Her opinion of me is none of my business." Stops 'em dead, and I love the expression on her face as she tries to sort out what I said.

On parents who accentuate the negative:

Older and Wiser: I struggled with a mother who was negative about everything I did. With therapy — and prayer — I learned to handle my anger, frustration and sadness at having a mother with whom I could share little. Over time, I realized that the "hurt" she showed when finding out at the last minute, or after the fact, about events in my life was a form of manipulation. Until her death, I remained a dutiful but distant daughter.

Some of the last words she said to me on her deathbed were, "I don't think I was a very good mother." At that instant, I saw that she had known all along of her shortcomings. Her insecurities and criticisms had kept us from having the close mother-daughter relationship we both wanted. Thank heavens, I had the presence of mind to squeeze her hand and say, "You were the best mother ever."

E.: My mother continually told my siblings and me to "not get your hopes up." She was so right. All that discouragement made us all afraid to try things, taught us to expect defeat and disaster when we did try, and set us up for a lifetime of anticipating troubles that sometimes occurred, but sometimes did not.

I realized eventually that she was passing along the way she was raised. I tried very hard not to follow her pattern, and have some capable, confident, productive children who weather life's ups and downs without whining or blaming others. Negative parents need to change their ways. It can be done.

On pouting over a birthday:

C.: I used to give my mother and sister flowers on my birthday. My mother gave me the life whose anniversary we were all noting, and my sister was a much-loved part of that life, so it seemed only fitting to thank them for this priceless gift.

Now that Mom is gone and my sister is too ill to celebrate, I take friends out to lunch on my dime. I don't tell them it's my birthday, just that I'd like to have them join me.

Without these people and their gift of friendship, my life would be dreary. Why not let them know that? If only people could accept that the world doesn't revolve around and because of them.

On "deadbeat dads":

P.: This phrase always makes me cringe. My husband and his kids were the victims of a campaign of parental alienation by his ex, wherein he was portrayed to the children as a "deadbeat dad," violent, alcoholic and on and on, none of which was true. He paid every penny of his enormous child-support obligation and tried desperately to stay close to the kids. Even adult kids need to be sure they have real proof or real memories of abuse or problems, not ideas planted by a disturbed and obsessed alienator.

Comments
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18

Tell Me About It: Family reconsiders taking group trips

Q: Should there be expectations about taking vacations/trips with other family members? We have two issues:(1) We have three kids, including teenagers, and my brother and wife have two kids. The younger is 6. My wife and I find it hard to plan someth...
Published: 04/20/18
On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

On its 20th anniversary, Disney's Animal Kingdom credits conservation with longevity

ORLANDO — When Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened 20 years ago, it was light on thrills and heavy on conservation. On April 22, 1998, Earth Day, the Orlando park had a single thrill ride, Countdown to Extinction, and a handful of shows like ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Tell Me About It: How to deal with conversation dominators

Q: We have a few relatives, including a sibling, who we don’t see or hear from often, as we are busy or live far away. We meet over a meal or for an hour or so, or at family gatherings requiring a drive, and I am so frustrated that they dominate the ...
Published: 04/19/18
Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

PURE NIRVANA: Foo FightersDave Grohl may be America’s last unquestioned rock god. He’s played with Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor and St. Vincent, and he also leads a pretty decent group — perhaps you’ve heard of them — called...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

Plan your weekend: Kenny Chesney, ‘The Producers’ in the park, Mainsail Art Fest, Sugar Sand Fest, Earth Day

The top things to do April 20 to 22 in Tampa, St. Petersburg and the whole Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18
The newest trend for Tampa date nights? Indoor ax throwing

The newest trend for Tampa date nights? Indoor ax throwing

Axe Throwing Tampa and Raider Axe Lodge are bringing the axe-throwing trend to the Tampa Bay area.
Published: 04/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay: Sugar Sand Festival, Record Store Day, ZooBrews, Beerfest

Top things to do in Tampa Bay: Sugar Sand Festival, Record Store Day, ZooBrews, Beerfest

BEER: ZooBrews and BeerfestAs if we needed any more proof of the craft beer craze, this weekend brings two events with a smorgasbord of samplings. • The newly renamed ZooTampa at Lowry Park is calling ZooBrews a new event that appears to be an awful ...
Published: 04/18/18
5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

1 Field of Dreams: Kick off baseball season with Tampa Bay Rays mascots and a movie that makes every baseball fan cry. Raymond and DJ Kitty will be at Tampa Theatre for photos and you can join in a Take Me Out to the Ballpark sing-along on the Mighty...
Published: 04/18/18

Tell Me About It: Don’t feel awkward about checking friend

Q: My husband and I adopted a dog that does not like strangers; he is in intensive training and part of that is having strangers over to our house to practice meeting people. I usually invite a friend over after explaining the situation and promising...
Published: 04/18/18