The "real" answers can be found here.
And now we come to The Stupid Games.
DEAR ABBY: My 23-year-old son, "Wayne," who is single, has a 3-year-old son. We didn't learn about the child until he was more than a year old, when Wayne was asked to take a paternity test. Luckily, we have been able to form a good relationship with our grandson's mother and see him often. However, our son has shown no interest. He pays child support, but has little interaction.
Wayne is an only child. I love him, but I never wanted another one. I was never comfortable around or interested in young children except for my own son. Could he have gotten this from me?
Friends and family have commented on Wayne's lack of interest in his son, and I'm tired of making excuses or telling people to mind their own business. Wayne says he feels resentment and doesn't want to be around this child. I have tried to explain that he'll regret it in years to come, but he won't listen.
My husband is appalled that our son would act this way, but he seems to forget that I was the one who did everything with Wayne. I did the Boy Scouts, movies, horses, trips, etc. He did almost nothing with Wayne and his friends. At this point, I don't know what to do and would like some advice. -- MOM IN ILLINOIS
Did you ever think that maybe this is a good thing? Clearly a child does not need a self interested, spoiled person as their father. Maybe, instead of the continued coddling of your idiot son Wayne, you should concentrate more on your "new" daughter. Give her relationship advice, help her find a good role model for your grandchild. Babysit the kid every once in a while so she can go out on a date and find a real man.
Because Wayne is not a real man. Sure, he understands fiscal responsibility(and using the excuse that he's 23 is just a continuation of what's wrong with society). But he doesn't seem to understand social/emotional responsibility. Maybe you screwed up when raising him, who knows and who cares? What's done is done. You probably did the best you could. It might also just be that your son is a jerk, and would have become a jerk without you because there is this this thing called "free will" that absolves you from some mistakes you might have made.
But you are not the issue here. If you feel you missed something, or made a mistake in rearing your son, here's the chance to fix it.
And don't do it out of guilt alleviation. Just because you feel bad that your son Wayne is an uncaring bastard, doesn't mean you have to be mother Theresa and clean up after him.
Also, whenever you have your grandchild, make it clear that your son is not to come around during those times, unless he is going to be positive and constructive around the child ie; taking an actual interest. If you really care about this kid don't just spoil him. Get your husband involved as well, and have some good bonding time.
"But if we do all that, our son might resent us, and think that we never loved him?!"
Make it clear you still love your son if this comes up. Make it also clear that he's a grown adult, and this child needs more attention than he does, and the reason you never did these kinds of things with him is because he had two parents, and his child only seems to have one.
This part goes out to all the single child families: spoiling your kids does nothing to help them later in life. You might want to give in and give them whatever they want. Imagine doing that for an adult. Do you think an adult that always gets their way and doesn't understand responsibility is a winner?
Your children are in training to become people, actual persons that will affect the world. They can still have fun and be silly. Maturity is knowing when to have fun, and when to take action and be responsible.
DEAR ABBY: I come from a troubled family. I am just now realizing that there is more to life than posting bond for family members and getting people out of jail at 3 a.m. I got my GED and started college this year. Although I try to keep them at bay, they call me with one family crisis or another, and it's putting stress on everyone around me.
I'd love to have a positive relationship with my family, but drama seems to follow them everywhere. Should I just let them go and move on with my life, or continue doing the same as always? Must I drop everything I'm doing to jump and run every time the phone rings? -- FAMILY DRAMA IN TEXAS
I understand wanting to have a good relationship with yoru family. Bailing them out of jail doesn't mean that is developing a good relationship. I suggest keeping the relationships phone/email based for about a year, maybe more. If the only time they really want to talk is to get bailed out of a jam, they'll soon realize that you are not an option. If they actually care, they'll still want to talk to you even if they don't help.
Me? If this happens all the time like you say, I'd let them rot in jail. If they haven't learned to stay out of trouble now that you are an adult, then you don't need that kind of stupid in your life.
Screw em. You don't owe them anything. You are not their retirement plan, their parent, or their investment. Start your own close family. They don't even have to be blood related.
These two letters made me think about family quiet a bit, obviously. Folks, being an idiot does not absolve you from the events that happen in your life. Maybe you knock up a woman, or knock over a liquor store. The result is similar; actions have consequences, and consequences should have actions.
Instead of spouting off about your rights and freedoms, about how special your circumstances were, about how it wasn't your fault that something fucked up, take responsibility anyway.
You got a girl pregnant? What did you think would happen when you stuck your dick in there? Did you miss biology/the last 100,000 years of human history? If you think you are able to take care of a screaming shit machine for 18 years and actually love and take care of it, then you are ready to have sex. Not just because you got a boner or were "in love". You don't have to fuck everything you love. 120,000 foster children in North America alone should be enough proof that love and biological urges are different.
Sex feels great. Is a few minutes of orgasm really worth 18-24 years of hard labor if you hate kids?
Your kids are not a retirement investment plan. They are not your "get out of jail free" card. They are the metaphorical building blocks to maintaining a bridge from our past to our future. As the old structures decay and fall apart (old age/death) new materials need to take the place so that the WHOLE bridge can be supported, so that ideas and efforts can stretch on into a sustainable culture.
But that's just me. And apparently having this view is not very 'politically correct" because I'm forcing my values on others.