Ask Carolyn

  • Let daughter, 22, find her own way

    Let daughter, 22, find her own way

    Dear Carolyn: How does one delicately tell one’s adult child that they really don’t know everything at 22? And perhaps mom still knows a little more than she does? — Va. If you really do know more than she does, then you know (1) she might turn out to be right about this (whatever it

  • Mom sows seeds of discord

    Mom sows seeds of discord

    Dear Carolyn: Our 60-year-old mom has five grown children, 22 to 39. Two of us have recently discovered that she has been gossiping, telling stories out of context, spinning the truth, spreading rumors and sometimes telling outright lies about each of us to the others. This has often pitted one sibling against the other. She

  • Bidding for baby

    Bidding for baby

    Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are “bidding” for a closed adoption through our church. The birth mother is 17 and already has a child. She is considering us as well as one other couple. This process involves a lot of waiting and is really fraying my nerves. We are the “better” couple — higher

  • Maybe speak up sooner next time

    Maybe speak up sooner next time

    Dear Carolyn: I recently traveled with a woman who has been one of my best friends for eight years. On the trip, we barely spoke because she hooked up with a guy on our tour the first day and spent the rest of the tour with him. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if

  • Two dog night or no dog night?

    Two dog night or no dog night?

    Dear Carolyn: Three generations of family — 18 people — have rented a large house for vacation. Two of the couples want to bring dogs, but one person does not want any dogs because their child is afraid of them. One dog has had incidents with some of the kids; the other dog is friendly.

  • She’s all grown up, so stop snooping

    She’s all grown up, so stop snooping

    Dear Carolyn: I am concerned about one of our children, a college student. We tried to raise her with good values and a moral code. We always strongly discouraged heavy drinking and casual sex; she is also aware of the dangers to both. I’ve learned now, however, that she enjoys going out drinking most weekends,

  • Can you hear me now?

    Can you hear me now?

    Dear Carolyn: My mom is a very independent and active 72. Nonetheless, she is 72, and I worry sometimes, since she’s on her own. When she’s home, she has people around who she sees regularly; however, she’s currently on an extended vacation in another state where she knows no one. She has a cell phone,

  • Adoption option triggers bias

    Adoption option triggers bias

    Dear Carolyn: My husband and I are both in our late 20s and have decided to start a family through adoption. A childhood illness left me unable to have biological children. My husband knew this before we ever started dating, and his parents have known for years as well. No one — until now —