Dear Annie: My younger brother and sister are twins, and they just turned 17. I am writing to you because they have three kittens but leave all the care and feeding of them to our father, who is 66.
They really wanted these kittens, but they didn’t want the responsibility that comes with them. Dad even cleans their room, and I feel they are walking all over him.
I suggested that he give them chores, which will help them become more responsible. But he doesn’t want to do that. He said everything is fine the way it is. I said to him, “No more animals after this because you’re the only one taking care of them.”
What should I do? They listen to me. — Older Brother
Dear Older Brother: Since they listen to you, why not have a family sit-down in which you present a list of chores for each of them? If you are living at home, then you might include a few chores of your own.
It sounds like your dad feels a lot of love for all of his children, so I would start the meeting by listing the many things he does around the house, and then talk about the importance of developing responsibility. Those kittens will soon become three adult cats, and you are wise to use that as an example — taking seriously the ownership of an animal — as an important step in becoming a responsible adult.
Dear Annie: In your response to “Paying Tribute,” I wanted to share what I did at my father’s memorial. I handed out a tulip bulb with an attached note, “in honor of” my dad’s name, and a short poem he always liked. On the reverse was the bulb type — yellow tulip — and planting instructions.
Dad passed away in September, so tulips were due to be planted, but the bulb could change with the seasons. I received many compliments that day, but the ones I treasure most are those that came in the following spring when people reached out to me about the yellow tulip they’d forgotten they’d planted and how it reminded them of Dad again. — Another Suggestion
Dear Another Suggestion: What a beautiful tribute. Flowers are so special, and that is a special way to honor your father. Thank you for sharing.
Dear Annie: Could the wife of “Anxious in Portland,” the woman who keeps forgetting to lock the doors, be suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Both my husband I suffer from this syndrome, as do our sons. Also, over the years, I taught many students who had this neurologic condition.
“Anxious'” wife might truly not remember to shut and lock the doors. However, people with ADHD can learn coping strategies that help tremendously. I would have her medically tested. — Coping with ADHD
Dear Coping: Thank you for your excellent suggestion, which was seconded by quite a number of other readers of this column. Whether the problem is caused by ADHD or something else, it is definitely worth having it checked out by a medical professional.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]