Dear Amy: I recently delivered a small gift “thank you” to a child next door who had helped me with some things.
Then the father appeared at my door and returned the gift. He said that when one of the children receives a gift, they should all receive a gift. He returned it because I had only bought one gift.
He and his wife have four children.
Dear neighbors: Using this dad’s side logic, if you hire a child to help you with the yard work, you will be required to hire all of his children.
This kind of parenting for a “participation trophy” can cause problems for his children, but it’s not your job.
Reading under his unfriendly gesture, you must accept that he does not want his children to help you. If you decide to try again, you may need to agree in advance on a reasonable work fee.
Since this father seems to have a strong connection to his interactions with his children, you have to push him through.
Otherwise, this person’s reaction to your appropriate gesture should not provoke any response from you.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been together for four years. We had our first child last year, so this Mother’s Day was my first official Mother’s Day.
He did nothing to make it a special day for me, except to offer a half-hearted “Oh, yes, happy mother’s day.”
My husband has something to do with celebrating the holidays. He almost never recognizes me on holidays by giving gifts or by making me feel loved or special.
Our first Christmas together: nothing. On my birthdays: nothing. Valentine’s Day, sometimes he’ll bring home flowers or something, and I’m always so grateful when he does.
He will buy me things at random throughout the year, so it’s not like he never gets me presents, but the holidays are often overlooked at his end, even though I spoil him.
It is very easy for me to pray. I just want to feel him thinking about me.
Am I ridiculous or selfish that I want to feel recognized on these holidays? I feel that if I have to ask for it, it is not real.
I hate talking about it because it just makes me feel ungrateful because it’s not like I want something.
It’s not worth celebrating
Dear, it is not worth: People perceive their holiday attitudes and habits from what they experience in childhood. And many children witness tension, unhappiness, dissatisfaction. excessive condescension and anger.
You can help by not mentioning your husband’s Mother’s Day greeting as “half”. To me, his greeting sounds like a start. He remembered!
Surely he understood how disappointed you felt. He can now add Mother’s Day to his long list of holidays he can’t do right.
You two need to talk about this! Ask him about the celebrations or traditions of special events in his childhood. You may learn that your husband associates these holidays as great opportunities for failure to a large extent.
You should also try to establish traditions for giving gifts that are reduced and shared.
Father’s Day is around the corner. Bring him breakfast on a tray with a homemade card from you and your baby. And that’s it. Don’t overwhelm him with gifts and clever ideas derived from Pinterest.
You want to demonstrate how easy it can be to celebrate another person’s very existence, as well as to convey your gratitude for their presence in your life.
Readers who have experienced this dynamic will weigh.
Dear Amy: I fully enjoyed the letter from “Really, not sweetie.” I love the fact that he and his friends enjoy Drinks on the Alley.
My neighbor and I created Ladies in the Meadow a few years ago.
It all started when she bought a few chairs outdoors and I offered to put them in the front yard instead of the back. We would call the neighbors to come by, have a drink and come for a chat.
We now have up to seven girls and spend an hour or two chatting before dinner.
They are already real friends.
This was especially great during the warm months of the pandemic. We could still socialize outside and enjoy the much-needed companionship.
Ladies on the grass, by Ramsey NJ
Dear ladies: Where I live, we call this “a visit to the porch.”
Too many of us live in the bubbles of our backyards. I like your idea.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.