Daughter doesn’t prioritize parent during visit
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DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter came home from college to visit for spring break. I was so glad she came to be with me, but she slept almost the whole time. She would get up after 1 p.m. and soon after would go to hang out with her friends. I ended up spending only a few precious hours being able to sit and talk with her. I know she’s gaining her independence, but it was hard for me to have so little time with her. I don’t want to badger her, but how can I get the point across that I wish she would prioritize making time for us? — Me, Too
DEAR ME, TOO: Your daughter feels safe being at home and not on a schedule. She probably relishes the fact that she can sleep in for a change, even if she isn’t expressing that directly to you. I totally understand that you want time alone with her when she is at home. I recommend that you schedule that time in the future. What do you two like to do together? Plan that. It could be taking a walk, getting your nails done, going to a movie or baking a cake. Whatever has interested you in the past, suggest it now and ask your daughter to put it on her calendar. In that way, just as she makes time to visit friends, she can make time to be with you.
Be careful not to chastise her for how she spends her time. You want to make it a fun choice for her to spend time with you, not a burden. As your daughter transitions into adulthood and full independence, create space for the two of you to build an adult relationship that is comfortable for you both.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is the king of double standards. He is constantly preaching about the way that things should be done. Never mind that he regularly does things any old way. For example, he talks about the importance of not leaving food out in the kitchen because it will attract mice and roaches. Good point. And yet, at least once or twice a week, he eats nuts and leaves the shells all over the kitchen floor. Whenever I say something to him about his behavior, he chews me out. How is it that he gets to have it both ways? — Sick of Him
DEAR SICK OF HIM: Get ready for a fight of sorts. Sounds like you have to stand up to your husband with examples. The next time he goes off on you about what you are doing wrong, stop him in his tracks. First, admit to whatever he has addressed. If you should have handled it differently, own up to that. But then pivot to his behavior. Tell him that it irritates you to no end that he constantly berates you about your shortcomings but then ignores how frequently he breaks his own rules. Give him examples to back up your complaint. Ask him to be less judgmental of you. Instead, you can both agree to be more conscious of handling your responsibilities in a timely manner.