Q: My 7-year-old daughter, “Rosie,” recently came home in tears because a classmate, “Emily,” told her I was a liar and she was an idiot for believing my lies. Then Rosie asked me if I had been the one putting money under her pillow and presents under the tree all along. Ultimately, I told her that, yes, I had. But I stressed how important it was that she not ruin other kids’ belief in the tooth fairy, etc.
The cat is out of the bag for my child, but do you think I should mention this to Emily’s mother? We are friendly but not close. She lives near me, so I run into her often. I’m not just upset that Emily told Rosie, but also that she was so rude. I don’t want that girl to do this to more kids.
It’s not about criticizing the mother’s parenting skills. My kids need correction sometimes, too. I just believe it takes a village, and we should all work together as parents. What are your thoughts? — Cat’s out of the Bag in Maryland
A: It’s a shame that your daughter got the news the way she did. But in situations like this, when one child knows something the others don’t, it’s not unusual for the child to share the “news.”
Emily was out of line to have said what she did to your daughter, particularly in saying that she couldn’t trust you, because it could have far-reaching implications. By all means have a word with Emily’s mother.
Q: I have an extreme aversion to alcohol and those who consume it. I suspect that it comes from having a father who was a violent, emotionally abusive alcoholic. Alcohol has zero appeal for me and, as I’m in my mid-20s, it’s difficult for me to go on outings with friends without having to go to a bar. I become that grumpy, silent person in the corner.
Because of this, my fiancee has begun socializing with her family and our friends without me. Most recently, they celebrated a sibling’s 21st birthday and left me home across the country. Talking to her and knowing she’s at a bar and drinking makes me extremely angry, and we almost always end up in a fight about it.
I know this is MY problem. Do you have any advice on getting over it? — Doesn’t Touch the Stuff in Las Vegas
A: Yes. Either get counseling for your issues and to help you recognize that not everyone who enjoys an alcoholic beverage is an alcoholic, or find a woman to marry whose views more closely match your own. There is a support group called Adult Children of Alcoholics that might be helpful to you if you attend some meetings. You can find a group near you by going to AdultChildren.org.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.