May 25, 2018

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Opinion

Children care for themselves while mother parties

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother is a silly, immature woman who thinks she’s still a teenager. I’m only 16, but I take care of the cooking, get the younger kids to school and now I drive. Meanwhile, my mother goes out to the bars, sleeps in, cleans other peoples’ houses in the afternoons and has boyfriends.

I don’t know how I’m going to get a life and a career with my mother being so irresponsible. I don’t want to lose the younger kids to an agency. My dad lives out of town. What can I do?

— Trapped Career Wise, Winnipeg

Dear Trapped Career Wise: It’s time to ally yourself more closely with your father and start trying to work out something with him for help at home and your education past high school.

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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother is a silly, immature woman who thinks she’s still a teenager. I’m only 16, but I take care of the cooking, get the younger kids to school and now I drive. Meanwhile, my mother goes out to the bars, sleeps in, cleans other peoples’ houses in the afternoons and has boyfriends.

I don’t know how I’m going to get a life and a career with my mother being so irresponsible. I don’t want to lose the younger kids to an agency. My dad lives out of town. What can I do?

— Trapped Career Wise, Winnipeg

Dear Trapped Career Wise: It’s time to ally yourself more closely with your father and start trying to work out something with him for help at home and your education past high school.

If he’s not close to the city, at least he can help you financially.

You need to ask your school guidance counsellors for testing for career possibilities and then start making a plan for schooling/ training for that career.

You must present your dad an idea this year of what you want and the different paths and schools to getting there. Then work hard at bringing your marks up as high as possible. There are also scholarships you can apply for and you often need to do some charity work to qualify. (Yes, I know you’re busy already, but scholarships are free money for school.)

As for you mother’s absenteeism, your dad might be able to help with a cleaning lady and a car for you to take the kids around.

Ask him to start coming to Winnipeg on a regular basis because you and the children need to see him more.

Don’t leave him in the dark and in the position of saying years later, "If only I had known what a struggle you were in, I would have helped you more."

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My parents are obsessed with plants and it’s like a crazy jungle in here. I brought a girlfriend home for the first time last week and she laughed when she saw the place. She said it was unusual but kind of nice and then she went and told all her girlfriends at school that I live in a jungle and laughed about it.

It’s true! My parents are both office workers, but would rather have owned a plant nursery. How do I talk to them? There’s no way they’re listening or changing. It’s no wonder I never bring anyone home!

There’s no one I can go to for a sympathetic ear except my grandmother, who calls my parents lovable weirdos.

Yesterday, she said there was always a bedroom for me if I wanted to come live with her. She only lives two blocks from our house I am thinking of taking her up on her invitation. What do you think?

— Pushed Out By Plants, Brandon

Dear Pushed Out By Plants: You’re in a bargaining position now you have an alternate place to live. How close are you to your parents emotionally? Would you miss them terribly once you moved into your grandmother’s house? You’re of dating age in school so I’m guessing you’re a teenager? Could you do this house move on a trial basis?

Say to your parents "I’m having a hard time living in a substitute nursery and I would like to try living at grandma’s house and visiting home until school’s out, and the plants move outdoors again. I don’t like the feeling of being crowded by plants."

That might be the wake-up call your parents they need either build a nursery on the back of house, or start a real business.

Then they could turn the home you share back to a reasonable environment, or not. If not, you’re off to Grandma’s.

Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6

Read more by Miss Lonelyhearts.

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