\ DEAR ABBY: I have heard of interventions for drug and alcohol addicts. Could I stage one for my daughter “Aileen’s” addiction to texting on her cellphone and Facebook?
She and our grandson live with us because her marriage broke up. I am becoming the boy’s default mother because Aileen is constantly texting or spending hours on Facebook. She’ll say, “I have to send a quick message,” then reappear an hour later. By then, we have fed our grandson and changed his diaper.
When I try to discuss this with her, she says her work requires this constant communication, but I know it doesn’t. There have been times when Aileen’s feelings have been hurt because her son doesn’t want to go someplace with her and prefers to stay with us instead. I suspect that he feels ignored when he’s with her because her thumb is constantly flying across her phone. How can we get her to understand how this might be making her child feel?
DEAR FULLY PRESENT: You could and should stage an intervention with your daughter. Aileen is neglecting her son. It’s a shame that before couples are allowed to conceive that they aren’t forced to take parenting classes. The time she spends on Facebook and texting is time she should be interacting with him.
Because she is so easily distracted, you and her father should declare your home to be a digital-free zone unless your grandson is napping or in bed for the night. Consider making discussions with the boy’s pediatrician — and perhaps parenting classes — a condition of her staying in your home. She won’t like it, but it would be in your grandson’s best interests.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a male in my 60s who has been active all my life and still try to be. However, I’m not dealing with the aging process very well. I have just been told that I’m going to lose my eyesight.
I have never been sick or hospitalized, no broken bones, no operations, ate right and consider myself in great health. But now I find myself taking naps a lot and not wanting to socialize very much. I have to force myself to do things.
I have always said one of these days it’s going to start raining on me, and then it will be over. I don’t like this attitude and I’m a great believer in faith. Any suggestions?
IN THE U.S.A.
DEAR MALE READER: I wish you had included your address and phone number because I would have contacted you personally. The first thing to do is get a second opinion regarding your vision loss. If the diagnosis is confirmed, there are devices available that can help some sight- impaired people. There are also programs to help you adjust to your vision loss and live an independent and full life. But you should start now.
Some of the symptoms you describe could be signs of depression. Please consult your physician about them. With counseling and medication, the “rain” in your life could be reduced to a drizzle you can handle. And hang onto your faith because it will serve you well.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.