Posted: Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:46 pm
Dear Annie: I am a mother of three girls. My 8-year-old daughter, “Grace,” has a terrible problem. She lies about everything and blames everything she does on her younger sister.
We have tried several different ways to stop this behavior and nothing has worked. We have taken away toys, TV and computer time, and outdoor play, only to hear Grace lie every chance she gets. The worst part is, she’s been doing this since she was 2 years old. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie.
I watched one morning as she walked over to her baby sister and pulled her hair. When I confronted her, she insisted she didn’t do it and that I was lying.
I thought for a while she needed extra attention, but the more attention she gets, the more she acts out. A few days ago I took her to the store, and while she was at the checkout, she opened and ate a candy bar I had told her earlier she couldn’t have. When the store employee embarrassed me by screaming that my daughter had eaten it right in front of her, Grace told me repeatedly that the woman was making it up. Much later, in the car, she finally confessed that she took the candy.
The thing is, Grace has no remorse whatsoever about what she does. Yesterday, she told my cousin it didn’t matter what she did, that she could have whatever candy she wanted. I’m fighting a losing battle and have been for the last six years. My husband seems to think she needs counseling. I’m ready to give up. What do you say? — A Mother at Wits’ End
Dear Mother: Your husband is right. Grace’s lying may be pathological and won’t stop without professional intervention. She does not seem to have a good grasp of right and wrong or why her behavior falls into the latter category. Please ask your pediatrician to refer you to a therapist, preferably one who has experience in this area.
Dear Annie: At upscale restaurants where alcohol is served, one usually finds a wine glass on the table setting, next to the coffee cup. If one does not wish to have coffee, is it acceptable to turn the cup over and return it to the saucer to indicate to the server that you do not wish to have coffee? If you do not wish to have wine, is it proper to turn the wine glass over?
It’s not always possible to catch the server before he or she pours something for you, especially if the diners are engaged in conversation and not aware the server is doing so. How do we handle this? — T.T. in Dallas
Dear Dallas: Generally, coffee cups and wine glasses are not on the table simultaneously. When coffee cups are put out for a breakfast meal or with dessert, it is usually not difficult to inform the server that you will not be having coffee.
According to Emily Post, it is not proper to turn over a wine glass. If you cannot put your hand over it when the server is planning to pour, it is more polite to let the glass be filled and simply not drink it.
Dear Annie: “Have Medicare But No Doctor” said her physician dumped her because she was on Medicare. You gave a very good answer, but for patients in medically underserved areas, there is more help available. “Have Medicare” should check to see if she is in a county designated as underserved. If so, she should be able to find a Rural Health Clinic to serve her medical needs.
These clinics employ primary care physicians who agree to serve more Medicare patients in exchange for a higher reimbursement from government programs. For more information, your readers can check out www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/Downloads/rhcfactsheet.pdf. — John Sheckler, Scott Memorial Hospital public relations director, Scottsburg, Ind.
Dear John Sheckler: Thanks for the additional information. Our rural readers will appreciate it.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. E-mail questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.18.08