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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dad’s girlfriend hates his teenager

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: I am a 17-year-old girl with divorced parents. My dad lives with “Heather.” She is young, has three kids and is very irritating.

Heather seems to think she has to make fun of people. Her favorite targets are my mom and my father’s family members. She’s always touching my dad and constantly picks fights with my sister and me, and sometimes Dad, too. She is always checking the numbers he calls and texts, because she is afraid he’s cheating on her.

Once, Heather told me I was no longer welcome in her house. She told my father she hates me.

How can I tell her I don’t like it when she makes fun of the people I love, and that I’d prefer it if she’d simply ignore me rather than be all nice one minute and a wicked stepmother the next? – Confused Teenager

Dear Confused: Heather sounds a little insecure about her relationship with your father, and it’s unfortunate that you are on the receiving end. Right now, if you want to see your father, you’ll have to put up with Heather. But you should talk to Dad about how unwelcome she makes you feel, and say you’d appreciate it if he’d ask her to keep her snarky comments about the family to herself. Such remarks are inappropriate and damaging.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Need School Assistance,” whose second-grader was molested by a disruptive boy at his school.

As a retired school social worker, all my red flags went up when I read this. “Boyd’s” behaviors are indicators of possible sexual abuse in his own home. For this young child to be suspended twice in a single semester perhaps to spend more time in a potentially abusive environment is heartbreaking. You said you hoped the school had called child welfare services to look into his home life, and I would say a call is certainly in order. – Concerned in the Midwest