DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I constantly search Facebook for a name that matches my 12-year-old daughter whom I have not seen since she was four. I knew one day she would open up a Facebook account since all my nieces and nephews have done so already. I finally came across her name and I am sure it is her because her name is spelled uniquely and she looks very similar to my other daughter. I requested her as a friend and sent her a message only to say that I believe I am her bio father and when she is ready to meet me and let me be in her life or have any questions, she can contact me. I left my email, and phone number. In turn, she blocked me on Facebook. I do not want to contact her mother even if I knew how! She has been nothing but trouble in the past since we split, because I married and started my own family. She moved to another province with my daughter shortly after and never gave a forwarding address. Now I wonder what my daughter has been told about me for her to block me. I would love for my daughter to be part of my family and grow up with my other kids who I have with my wife. I've always wanted a chance to tell her my side of the story on why I left her crazy mother. Should I just let it be and wait until she's ready to let me be in her life or should I pursue trying to find her since her account said she's back living in the city. -- Blocked Dad
Dear Blocked: Let me guess why she and her mom might block you. In your letter, your desire appears to be to take your daughter away from her mother and raise her in the new family with your new wife. Is that what you mean, or do you just want her to be a visiting part of the family? Please write back and clarify. Your ex may have told her bad things about you, her father, or she may have forbidden contact or she may have good reason to fear you. In another few years, this daughter will feel old enough to do as she wishes in regards to you. For now, she lives with her mother and probably doesn't want to cause a war with her. When she's 18, she may move out and defy her mother totally and come to see you, or even come to live with you for a bit. At any rate she will be an adult of sorts, and her mother can't interfere if she's earning her own money and independent.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 14, and I steal from my brother every chance I get. He's older and makes lots of money and I think I am too young to work legally, but I have things I need to buy, too. My brother is mean to me, but he thinks I'm a useless kid and doesn't suspect I take little bits of money from him, like three to five bucks at a time. He's so careless about his money he wouldn't even know. My parents don't give me much money because they're afraid I will buy drugs. "Kids who get too much money they didn't earn from hard work, will always waste it," says my mother. What should I do? -- Secret Thief, Winnipeg
Dear Secret: You're not a happy thief. The tone of your letter tells me you aren't feeling good about yourself now, and it's costing you in self-esteem, which no one can afford to lose at any age. If you start earning your own money you will start feeling good about yourself right after your first cheque. Your parents will have more respect for you, too. Ask for permission from your parents to work, and get a part-time job with on-the-job training at a fast food outlet. You and your parents can fill in the application to work at 14, available online at www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6