Guardian dreads bratty kids

Several years ago, my younger brother, “Ben,” and his wife asked my husband and me to be the guardians of their new baby and any future children.

Dear Annie: Several years ago, my younger brother, “Ben,” and his wife asked my husband and me to be the guardians of their new baby and any future children.

They liked the way we were raising our own kids and felt comfortable having us raise theirs if something were to happen to them. We happily agreed.

It is now eight years later, and I have two wonderful teenagers who will soon be leaving the nest. Ben’s two children are ill-behaved, and we do not enjoy being around them.

Their parents are very permissive, and as a result, the kids are bratty. I find that I enjoy the freedom that has come with our boys getting older, and neither my husband nor I want to take care of these young children if my brother and his wife were to pass away. I don’t want to be parenting teenagers when I am 60.

Should I tell my brother I no longer want to be a guardian or just hope that nothing ever happens to them? I worry it would cause hard feelings with his wife since she doesn’t get along with members of her own family, and I don’t know who else they would ask. My husband thinks I should let it go because the chances of something tragic happening are slim. What do you say? — Soon-To-Be Empty Nester

Dear Soon: You should tell them. Simply say, “We have been honored to be your children’s guardians, but we are not sure it’s the best choice now. Our children are nearly grown, and we don’t think we’d do such a great job raising youngsters anymore. You might want to ask someone else — if not a family member, perhaps a friend with children the same age.” Of course, if they don’t want to change guardians, please reconsider your objections. If the worst happens, those children will need someone like you.

Dear Annie: I’ve been married 10 years, have two wonderful children and love my husband very much. He is a good man. However, he never compliments me. I am told often by other people how beautiful I am inside and out, and that I am in great shape, but I will never hear those sweet words from my husband.

I have asked him why he can’t compliment me, and he doesn’t respond. I often tell him how good he looks. I wish he would do the same. — Tired of Waiting for Kind Words

Dear Tired: Some men simply don’t know how to do this. You could help by adding some humour — next time you are dressed up, say emphatically, “My goodness, Mary, you look wonderful!” and then thank him for the sweet compliment. After a few of those, he may feel more comfortable saying the same words.

But even if he doesn’t, remembesr that actions speak louder. If he shows you he loves you, compliments are nice, but irrelevant. Don’t invite resentment into your marriage.

Dear Annie: I just started reading your column since I only recently began receiving the newspaper. I feel compelled to respond to “Concerned Grandpa in Indy,” whose grandchildren are encouraged to climb on the kitchen counters.

My two older children (ages five and three) have been permitted to sit on my island countertop to “help” prepare meals. Both my husband and my mother warned me that someone was going to fall — and someone did. My three-year-old toppled backward off the counter.

We are lucky she only broke her arm, but we spent six hours in the emergency room and had to return the next day for surgery.

All the pain and suffering my precious daughter experienced (not to mention the worry and a big fat hospital bill since we are uninsured) could easily have been prevented.

Indy Grandpa, please stick to your guns! — Sarasota Mom

Dear Mom: We’re glad your daughter is OK, and we appreciate the warning from someone who understands the problem. (And thank you, by the way, for subscribing to your local newspaper.)

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read