Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Reaching out to a friend

AnniesMailbox

Dear Annie: I am in middle school, and a girl on my softball team was the victim of a terrible incident. Her dad was killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. She has been heartbroken ever since.

I constantly wonder if I can do anything to help her. I hate it when people are sad. Should I do anything besides comfort her with words? Should I give her some kind of gift? Everyone else seems to be doing just that. Or should I just not do anything?

— Bewildered Eighth Grader

Dear Bewildered: You are a kind and sympathetic soul. Please don’t buy her a gift. It would seem like some kind of consolation prize and would not ease her pain. It’s important not to minimize her grief by trying to prevent her from being unhappy. She is going to be sad for a long time, and this is normal. Her family also is likely going through many adjustments.

Just let her know that you are sorry about her father, and if she wants to talk about anything, you will listen. If she confides in you, it’s OK to cry with her. She may behave differently for a while — she could be sad or angry, or want to be alone or surround herself with friends. Try to treat her as normally as possible. You don’t want her to feel as if people are overly focused on her grief. In time, she will learn to cope.

————

Dear Annie: My friends and I received a text message from “Carrie” inviting us to a birthday party that she is giving herself and asking us to bring a dish. That part was fine. But she added a P.S., saying she’d rather have money than presents so she can buy herself a bike. Carrie went into a long explanation about why she wants the bike and that she’d appreciate our contributions.

Some of my friends think this is terrible, and others say she is just being honest. What do you think?

— Still Carrie’s Friend

Dear Friend: We are never in favor of invitations that dictate what gift people should buy. It removes all of the incentive to put effort into finding something that shows you are thinking of her. Instead, this party has turned into a fundraiser. It also means Carrie will know exactly what you spent on her, which can be embarrassing. Such a request is in poor taste, although we are certain some guests will be relieved that they don’t have to search for a thoughtful gift. Complying is up to individual guests. You are not obligated to contribute.

————

Dear Annie: I am a clinical psychologist and past president of the Connecticut Psychological Association. I believe you missed the call in regard to the letter from “Big Sis,” who is worried about her underweight 7-year-old niece, “Andrea.” The girl’s mother claims Andrea is obese and restricts her food. The girl is sick all the time and so fearful of her mother that she is afraid to eat. This could have serious and dangerous implications for Andrea. What is being described here appears to be Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

This parent is likely causing Andrea to display the symptoms of an eating disorder in order to gain for herself attention, sympathy and a sense of control and importance. Andrea needs the immediate help of a physician and a licensed mental health professional. Her mother is in serious need of psychotherapy. Please use your column to educate your readers about this potentially fatal syndrome.

— Michael Schwarzchild, Ph.D., Danbury, Conn.

Dear Dr. Schwarzchild: Thank you for your take on this. MSP involves a parent or caregiver who deliberately exaggerates, lies about or actually creates physical or psychological problems in a child in order to gain attention. It is a form of child abuse, as well as a mental health disorder, although highly controversial.

————

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8