My daughter left university this past school year in November after suffering a few weeks with mono. She fell so far behind, and was so weak, that she felt she wasn’t able to catch up. We thought she’d go back for the second semester, but she still wasn’t strong enough. The mono really knocked her flat.
She enrolled in a summer course to get her head back in the game while she found summer jobs that aren’t physically challenging. She’s still not 100 per cent. But whenever she’s supposed to be studying or online, I notice she’s on her phone, or lying in bed, not doing the work she’s supposed to do.
I’ve commented a few times but don’t want to start nagging. It’s her life. My concern is that she’s not getting mentally ready for the start of the new school year, in which she’s enrolled back at her university. Yes, she’s almost a year behind her cohort, but that’s what happened. There’s nothing we can do to change it unless she works extra hard to catch up. But she doesn’t have the energy for that.
I’m afraid that she’s going to go back to school and it won’t be successful. How can I help her get back on track?
I love that as a dad, you are this involved in your (I’m assuming) late teen-early 20s daughter’s life. She’s lucky to have you. But you’re not enough in this instance. I believe your daughter needs someone to talk to who is not invested in her future, such as a therapist.
It would be very normal for her to have insecurities and anxieties about going back to school, both on an academic and social level. As you mentioned, she’s now a year behind her friends. You know why, she knows why, but that doesn’t make it easy. Give her the chance to talk it all out with someone other than you, and to have that person available as a support to her when she goes back to school. She may find it very helpful.
I am the middle sister of three adult women. We are all well-adjusted, married, have children, and successful careers. We have a vibrant family life, in that we get together with each other alone, as couples, and with the families all together. And we all get along well with our parents.
Our parents bought a cottage a few years ago, right after I got married. My older sister was pregnant and my younger sister had just met her husband. My parents claimed the master bedroom, and gave the next largest room to my pregnant sister, also with an ensuite. The two smaller rooms were left for me and my younger sister.
Fast forward and my eldest sister stopped at one child. I am pregnant with my second and softly suggested that we switch rooms for the summer. My youngest sister is out of town, so my niece could have her own room. And my toddler can sleep with us, and the baby can go in the crib.
My mom thinks it makes perfect sense. My sister won’t budge. She says it’s her room, it’s always been her room, and who do I think I am trying to kick her out.
How do we resolve this?
Have a family meeting with your sister and your parents. Explain clearly to your sister that, though you appreciate the room was hers first, it is simply a matter of space. There is no hierarchy or special treatment happening. Express that you imagine when your little sister starts having babies, she’ll want the big room with the ensuite then as well.
I get the feeling your sister has some issues surrounding her singleton, and is sensitive to the topic.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who can’t understand her friend who mumbles (June 14):
Reader – “Is it possible that the friend has a hearing problem? Perhaps she cannot hear well, which then makes it harder to respond. Speaking personally, I recently went for a hearing test. My ears were so plugged that the audiologist couldn't see my eardrums! He cleaned me out and I am reborn!”
FEEDBACK Regarding the sister-in-law with poor hygiene (June 15):
Reader – “My first thought when reading this letter is that the sister-in-law’s sister may have symptoms of mental illness. Chronic poor hygiene and poor self-care can be a sign of depression and/or other mental health problems.
“The sister-in-law may need encouragement to pursue this with her sister to see if she needs help.”
A former mental health social worker