Thursday, June 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Readers give the advice

While I'm away, readers give the advice.

On severing the tie with the in-laws/grandparents because your spouse has died:

Not long after breaking the news to me that his girlfriend was pregnant, my 18-year-old son was murdered. One of the things that helped me maintain some normalcy in my life is that I had to help provide for my future granddaughter.

Seventeen years later, I have been permitted by her mother to play a great part in my granddaughter's life — so much so that my granddaughter thinks of me more as a father than her grandfather. Without her mother's devotion to and understanding of family connections, my life would not have been the same. To this day, when I see my precious baby girl, it's like I still have my son with me. My advice is to please let the grandparents maintain a connection with their grandkids.

J.

On that existential stumper, "Do I really have to?":

Many, many years ago, when I asked whether I had to turn in a problem set, my math teacher said to me: "The only thing you have to do in this world is die." I remind myself of that whenever I'm feeling put upon or forced into an uncomfortable position. It helps me realize that, in almost every situation in life, there is a choice to be made, and I'm the one making it. It's very empowering.

Anonymous

On being the only one making an effort to save the marriage:

If someone really is considering leaving the marriage, one technique is to go find a good divorce lawyer and have an initial consultation, which is usually free. Also find a good marriage counselor, have a session or two by yourself to be sure you feel you can work with him or her.

Then hand your spouse a business card from both, and ask which office s/he'd like to meet you at. I know people who have saved their marriages this way.

D.

On devout parents shocked to learn of a child's atheism:

As a teenage atheist daughter of Christian parents, I would like to respond to parents:

Don't panic. In all likelihood, your children will be well-adjusted members of society, just like you. Be glad they feel safe enough to trust you to not overreact to their decisions. By harassing them about Christianity, treating them like rebellious teenagers or undermining their ability to make decisions, you will only distance them from you.

Instead, mom-up, and tell them you are okay with it. (Remember that two-thirds of the world is not Christian.) Tell them you won't force them to go to church or participate in prayers. Would you appreciate being made to pray to a deity you don't believe in?

Do tell them you expect them to be decent human beings no matter who they pray or don't pray to. That is a universal value.

Hiding in Texas

Parents might consider that teenagers declaring atheism could be "playing" their parents to get out of getting up early on a Sunday morning, and to hang out at home in their jammies.

My unsolicited advice would be to tell these kids they are welcome to their beliefs, but instead of going to church, they will still have to get up with the rest of the family, dress nicely and volunteer at a hospital or nursing home during the time the family is away. Like religion, community service also builds character!

Wise Beyond My 62 Years!

Comments
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanItís been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But heís about to make up for lost time. On Saturday heíll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Published: 06/20/18
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you canít get anything to thrive in Floridaís brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18

Tell Me About It: Wife punished after being victimized

Q: At a work happy hour, a male co-worker groped me. He later "apologized" with the qualification that I had been sending him mixed signals.Iím married, he has met my husband, Iíve never led him on. And when it happened I was incredibly clear that it...
Published: 06/20/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Pride weekend kicks off in St. Petersburg Friday with a free concert hosted by a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, a parade along the downtown waterfront on Saturday and an expanded expo of vendors and art on Sunday in the Grand Central District that ga...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Mom/daughter dynamic feels controlling

Q: I am afraid I may be a controlling mom of my young adult daughter, but we have a dynamic in which she seeks me out often, solicits my advice, and makes me too important in her life. I admit to offering that advice because it is hard for me to draw...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Regretting staying too long in bad romance

Q: I recently broke up with someone after two years. Even though there were things that bothered me while we were together, I would convince myself I was overreacting, he didnít really mean it, etc.Now that itís over, I feel like a fool for not havin...
Published: 06/18/18

Tell Me About It: After years of depression, a diagnosis

Q: Iím 33 and have dealt with depression on and off since my adolescence. I grew up in a household with every kind of abuse you can think of, but I didnít start seeking help until my early 20s via talk therapy, and cut ties entirely with my abusers. ...
Published: 06/17/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

St. Pete Pride: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coco Montrese of RuPaul’s Drag Race...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Tell Me About It: Pregnancy news confirms estrangement

Q: I just found out my son and his wife are going to be parents. Iím very excited and somewhat confused and a little hurt: Sheís seven months along. I donít know why the long wait to tell me. They live in another state, and I havenít seen them in abo...
Updated one month ago