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Annie’s Mailbox: Daughter too old to sit on dad’s lap

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I have been married to “Vic” for 22 years. Our marriage is solid. We have an 18-year-old daughter, “Kara,” who is totally in love with her father. Vic is, in turn, greatly attached to her. He has always been a nurturing and loving man, and their relationship has never bothered me, although it strains our relationship when the two of them occasionally team up against me.

Here’s the problem. This past weekend, we went on a vacation with my sister. Sis was disturbed when Kara sat on her father’s lap while having a conversation with him. She also disapproved of their playfulness, with the two of them tickling and wrestling. My sister seems to believe their relationship is strange and the attention Kara gets from her father ought to belong to me.

I do sometimes feel left out, but I have always been an independent person and run my life accordingly. My husband knows that. I truly don’t see anything wrong here. I see a father who admires and loves his daughter and a daughter who would do anything for him. I don’t want to worry about this. If I bring it to Vic’s attention, he’ll ask me what I think, and I’m not sure. What is your opinion? – Ohio Mom

Dear Ohio: It doesn’t sound like anything seriously improper is going on, but you should discourage the wrestling, tickling and lap sitting. Tell Vic that Kara is too old to be so physical with him and he needs to find other ways to maintain a playful, loving relationship with his daughter. It will also help for Kara to become more interested in boys her own age.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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