DEAR AMY: I have an 18-year-old daughter. I believe she struggled with learning disabilities (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and test anxiety) throughout grade school, but these problems went undiagnosed.
During high school, she was tutored three times a week for two hours each time. Despite this help, she got an extremely low score on her ACT test and was unable to get into a college. We tried to get her to retake the test, but she refused.
She went to community college, taking remedial classes for one semester, but has now dropped out because “it’s a waste of time and money” since she can’t transfer the credits to a university.
She has finally agreed to retake the ACT, but she refuses to take a refresher class. She needs to raise her score significantly to be accepted by universities. She can’t do this on her own. I’ve seen her take exams, and she absolutely comes unglued.
I have two sons who were easily accepted to their colleges of choice.
My daughter has a part-time (20 hours per week) job, but other than that does nothing from one end of the day to the next. Do you have any suggestions? I’m afraid she will waste her life. -- A Worried Mom
DEAR MOM: A university education is not for everyone, even if it is the standard in your family. Your daughter should start thinking seriously about a profession.
One of the advantages of community college, aside from the cost and convenience, is the access to practical professional training.
You should stop pressuring your daughter with intensive tutoring and college-entrance testing and instead pursue an accurate evaluation and assessment.
This will be helpful, but she still will have to take responsibility for her own life, including coping with her particular challenges.
If she balks at community college right now or can’t commit to any particular path, she’ll have to increase her work hours. Working hard and making money will help her to feel (and actually be) successful.
DEAR AMY: My parents’ relationship always has been strained, and I became accustomed to growing up in a house divided.
About a year ago my father left home and moved to a different state. Surprisingly, he opened up about it and told me that he was living with another woman. I appreciate his honesty, but I have never met this woman, nor do I particularly want to. Whenever he talks of living with her it is uncomfortable, to say the least.
Recently, he has been pushing me to come out and stay with them and meet his new partner because I’m headed to college in the fall. He even has had his new woman call me and ask me to come for a visit. She seems nice, but I do not want to visit them, nor do I want to meet her. My father and I aren’t close, but I tolerate him and have given him the benefit of the doubt numerous times.
Am I being immature? Should I tell him that I have no interest in meeting her, or is that rude? -- Confused and College-bound
DEAR CONFUSED: Your father is being honest with you. Treat him the same way. It’s okay to say, “Dad, this makes me uncomfortable, and I’m just not ready.”
Your father has no right to pressure you, and if you feel pressured you need to say so.
A meeting will take away some of the uncertainty surrounding this, but your father should offer to bring her to visit with you, rather than trap you for a visit in their home before you are ready.
DEAR AMY: Like the letter from “Soon to Be Cohabiting,” my son was moving in with his girlfriend and chose to tell us in a public place. We were having dinner in a restaurant when he sprung the news on us.
We said what he did in his home was his business, but when they visited our home it was our business, and they would not be sleeping together. Six months later they were married. -- No Regrets
DEAR REGRETS: It sounds like everybody got what they wanted.
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