Dear Annie 2/27
Mon., Feb. 27, 2023
Dear Annie: I don’t have a question for you so much as a comment and suggestion for many of your readers with grown kids who don’t visit them. I read your column, and often there is some form of “I’m hurt that my adult children don’t call me or visit me.” But never in any of them do I see that they’ve had an open talk with their kids, human to human rather than parent to child. They seem to just expect it of them but never request or let their kids know that they miss them.
I just want to let them know that it’s OK to tell your kids, “I’d really like it if you tried to visit more because I miss seeing you.” Or even let their guard down and flat out say, “You know, I’m actually kind of lonely; can we try to arrange a regular visit every other week?”
We all get caught up in just making it through each day, which quickly becomes making it through each week, and, before we know it, it’s already the middle of the month! I don’t personally lead a very busy life compared to others my age (older millennial), but even I find time slipping through my hands. Most don’t mean to ignore their parents (or siblings or anyone who isn’t in their daily path).
Remember that communication goes both ways. Call them, ask if they’d be up to have dinner next Thursday. My generation isn’t fond of drop-in visits, I’ll admit.
Be open, be direct, be vulnerable. It’s OK! I know it can be difficult for some, but it’s better than waiting by a quiet phone. – I’m the Daughter
Dear Daughter: Honesty is always a great way to strengthen a relationship. And as an adult, asking your parent to put you on an equal footing makes sense – to see you as an adult and not as a little girl. Remember that might be difficult for them, but being honest and vulnerable with them is a great way to deepen your relationship.
Dear Annie: I want to address the person who is “missing the old days” before cellphones and complaining of parents not giving their kids their undivided attention.
Parents NEVER did. And that’s OK. When I was a kid (long before the internet and cellphones), my parents (who were fantastic parents), were not paying attention to us 100% of the time. Dad would be reading the newspaper or watching golf on TV. Mom would be reading a book or watching a movie. As a small child, I might be coloring nearby. As an older child, I was often in my room reading a book. In the “old days,” people found plenty of ways to divide their attention. And that’s OK. Parents need an outlet, too. – Let Them Parent as They See Fit
Dear See Fit: Thank you for your letter. I hope it allows more parents who are busy to feel less pressure to always be “on” for their kids.
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