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Thu, Feb. 27

Dear Abby | Mom protests when her ex leaves her out of the picture

DEAR ABBY: At 18, I married my high school sweetheart. After 20 years of marriage and four wonderful children, my husband decided the grass was greener elsewhere, and we divorced. He paid no attention to my children or my grandchildren when they were young.

He has since remarried, has a child with his current wife and acts like he’s Father of the Year. Last weekend one of my grandchildren got married. My blowhard of an ex brought a picture of himself, my son, my grandson and my great-granddaughter saying he’d had this picture taken of four generations of the family. He never mentioned that if it hadn’t been for ME giving birth to our children, none of them would have even been there.

Am I overly sensitive to feel like a second-class citizen when we attend a family function? Must I continue to say nothing, or speak up? How do others handle this situation? – CLUELESS IN THE EAST

DEAR CLUELESS: I think it’s important that you ask yourself why anything your ex says would make you feel like a second-class citizen. He appears to have moved on with his life more quickly than you have moved on with yours. Concentrate your efforts on expanding your horizons – your interests and friendships – and you will find anything he might say will be far less important to you. Trust me on that.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a public school teacher with a word of advice to parents who wonder why their children misbehave, argue with them and act out with attention-getting behaviors: PUT DOWN YOUR CELLPHONES AND PAY ATTENTION TO THEM!

I just finished a parent-teacher conference with a mother whose children argue, pout and scream when she tells them to do something at home. Her children are not disabled, nor do they demonstrate these behaviors in my classroom. Abby, during the entire meeting, that woman texted on her phone. How rude!

Maybe the parent needs to realize how inappropriate texting or talking on the phone is when she (or he) is face-to-face with another person unless the other person says it’s OK. – HAS TO VENT

DEAR VENT: I agree that what the mother did was disrespectful. It prevented you from effectively giving her information about her child that she needed to know.

As great a benefit as technology has been to society, it appears to also be a double-edged sword. I hope your letter will serve as a wake-up call to someone who needs a reminder.

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