I don't know what to say and have to be very careful how I address the subject. Other than that, we get along well.
I do worry that her health is at risk, but I don't dare say a word about her being overweight.
All (or most) of her friends are also very large.
She resents my being smaller. I don't know what to do or say.
— At a Loss (for Words)
At a Loss (for Words): If you never discuss weight with your daughter, it’s not quite clear how you know that she resents you so deeply.
She is an adult, and she is free to make unhealthy choices — just as you are. What she does not get to do is to blame or shame you. The same goes for you, by the way.
The National Health Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health states the following: “Obesity is a serious medical condition that can cause complications such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancers and sleep disorders.
According to the CDC: From 1999 through 2018, U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 30.5 percent to 42.4 percent. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7 percent to 9.2 percent.
Yet, despite the risk factors presented by obesity, according to both of these sources, it is possible to be both obese and healthy.
You convey that you would somehow feel better if your daughter felt worse — that you might actually be happier if she was unhappy. She is your daughter. How would her unhappiness serve either of you?
My perspective is that unhappiness does not help a person lose weight; in fact, I believe that the opposite is true. Happiness is overall good for your health.
A person needs to draw on a reserve of strength and self-esteem to undertake a health journey.
You are not responsible for your daughter’s mood swings, nor should you let her manipulate you. Encourage her to get regular medical checkups.
Dear Amy: My 25-year-old stepdaughter is an absolute dream. Lovely, smart and thoughtful. She is working full time at her first professional job.
She has one habit I'm not sure about. When she is upset, she cries so hard that she can become hysterical. She will then seek comfort and, once receiving it, recovers quickly and well.
This is not a frequent occurrence, but I'm wondering if this is how an adult should process her feelings?
Unsure: Whether this is how an adult should process her feelings is almost immaterial; this is how your stepdaughter does process her feelings. I suspect that she does this mainly (or only) with family members.
My take is that as long as she doesn’t create or extend the drama beyond its limited shelf-life, and as long as she recovers fully, you should accept this as an emotional flare that she will likely learn to modulate as she continues to mature.
Many of us have had (gulp) embarrassing episodes of crying at work. Let’s hope she is spared this experience.
Dear Amy: "Desperate" was the grandmother of two very troubled teenage grandchildren and one grandchild who seemed to be stable.
Desperate's daughter was pressuring her to take one of these teenagers for the summer.
The suggestion you made to the grandmother to have her one grandchild who was NOT flunking stay with her for a while was spot on.
That teenager would do well to get away from the drama at home.
I was 17 years old when my sibling died.
My parents were consumed with grief that summer, and our home life was a mess.
I was a temperamental teenager and didn't need to deal with a crisis day after day.
I am eternally grateful to a woman who offered me a summer job babysitting her children.
I needed to get away from home as much as possible.
I will always be grateful to that lady. Her children, now grown, still remember the fun we had that summer.
It was a bright spot in an otherwise miserable situation.
Grateful: This is a profound tribute to the healing power offered by the duties and distractions of taking care of children.
2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency