DEAR ABBY: I have a grandson (25) and granddaughter (22) who are both extremely overweight (300 pounds each). They not only have health issues, but also mental issues. Both work part time at the same company as their mom and dad — and still live at home. They don't date, don't drive and are very dependent on their parents because their parents encourage it. My granddaughter is being treated with meds; my grandson is not.
I'm very close to him, and he shares a lot with me. He has issues with both of his parents, but more so with his mom. They were raised in a very Christian home. There were always weight issues for the entire family because they eat most of their meals out. My daughter-in-law rarely cooks, and the house resembles a "Hoarders" home.
In the past, I tried talking with my son and his wife but they have a convenient excuse for everything I bring up. During my last conversation with my grandson, he was so unhappy he mentioned suicide. Please can you help me? How can I get through to my son and his wife? — DISTRAUGHT GRANDMA IN TEXAS
DEAR GRANDMA: Do your son and his wife know their son is depressed to the point of talking about suicide? If they are unaware, put them on notice. While you're at it, give him the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.
Because you have already tried talking to his parents and found them unreceptive, would you consider inviting your grandson to live with you for a while? It would be a way of teaching him healthier eating habits, and if he needs medication, you might be able to see that his doctor prescribes it. Living apart from his parents might also be an incentive for him to become more independent in other ways, such as continuing his education if he is able, which would improve his employment prospects.
DEAR ABBY: There is a trend happening these days. Young people live together for several years, get pregnant and go to the justice of the peace to get legally married. Then, a year or more later, they sometimes decide to have a formal wedding ceremony. Friends throw them a shower, and the wedding is often elaborate.
I thought a shower gift or wedding gift was to help the new couple to get their household set up. These couples already have everything in their house. I feel this is a slap in the face of tradition. What are your thoughts? — OLD-FASHIONED
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: Yes, it's a break with tradition. These changes have occurred because of changes in social mores, the economy and gender roles. The tradition used to involve a young woman going directly from her parents' house to that of her husband.
More recently, young people have postponed marriage, established themselves in the workplace and achieved economic independence before coupling up. This is a positive step because if the marriage fails or the spouse dies, the widowed spouse isn't left without the tools to support themselves and their family.
While you may think the couple "already has everything they need," take a peek at their bridal registry because it may be an eye-opener. And remember, if you cannot celebrate happily with the couple, no rule of etiquette dictates that you must attend the wedding.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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