Originally Published: June 23, 2016 5:59 a.m.
Dear Annie: How do I tell my 91-year-old mother to stop posting political messages on my 16-year-old daughter’s Facebook page, especially when Mom supports Donald Trump and knows that my daughter supports Bernie Sanders?
My daughter just turned 16, and is very shy and introverted. She’s only just starting to find her voice online and has taken an interest in politics only recently. She is a big supporter of Sanders and advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ community on her Facebook page (along with cute dog and cat videos). But my mother comments on her page with support for Trump. It has turned my daughter off so much that she is reluctant to visit Grandma. And when we do go, she keeps her distance.
Time is short. What do you advise to bring these two together again and to respectfully avoid discussing politics? – Neutral Observer
Dear Neutral: First of all, your daughter can block Grandma’s posts on her Facebook page and we recommend doing that immediately. Then, consider this an excellent opportunity to teach your child that disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you cannot love and tolerate them – especially a 91-year-old grandparent. She doesn’t need to talk about the election with Grandma, and if the subject comes up, she can say that she’d prefer to discuss more pleasant things. It’s OK to agree to disagree, especially about politics, without becoming angry and disrespectful. Frankly, we wish more people would take this lesson to heart.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Can’t Win in Tennessee,” whose wife uses foul language and constantly berates him. I recognized some of my own qualities in his description, and I called my husband to apologize to him.
Please let “Tennessee” know that his wife may be overwhelmed and depressed. While he is working outside the house, she is at home working with two small children. This can be very stressful. Does she ever get any adult interaction?
He mentions all of the things he does around the house, but does he help with the kids, so she has time for herself? He makes it sound as if there is an unfair division of labor and he is doing most of it, but if she is the children’s caregiver 100 percent of the time, it will wear her down.
There are two sides to every story. – Seeing Myself in Alabama
Dear Alabama: We appreciate your take on the situation, and more importantly, your willingness to reflect on your own behavior and recognize the negative aspects. Depressed people often take out their frustrations on their loved ones, who might see only the anger and not the unhappiness underneath.
Apologizing to your husband is lovely. But it’s also necessary to address your unhappiness and work on it. Staying home with little children can be both stressful and isolating, but there are ways to alleviate those things and, if necessary, a doctor can treat depression. Remember that kids grow up, but the damage to your marriage may be permanent.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.