DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old single mother of two small children. My 5-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I'm the only one in my family who has been trained in his care, so I understand the importance of a healthy diet, proper insulin dosage, checking his blood sugar, etc., and that unless his diabetes is properly managed, it could lead to serious health issues -- even death.
I have explained these things to my mother and attempted to train her several times, yet she continues to do things she shouldn't be doing. She stops by my house almost every night with "treats" like candy, ice cream, chocolate bars, doughnuts, etc. When I get upset about it, she'll casually reply, "Oh, whatever. If you dose him for the carbs in it, he's fine," which is not the case. Yes, he can have a treat now and then, but overall, he needs to stay away from that stuff.
It is extremely frustrating that she refuses to listen to me and continues to disrespect my wishes. I don't know what else to do. We have fought repeatedly over this, and she keeps telling me I'm "overreacting." I'm terrified my son will have permanent damage because of this. How do I get her to stop and listen to me? -- FRUSTRATED IN WISCONSIN
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You have allowed your son's medical condition to become a power struggle between you and your mother. Schedule an appointment with your son's pediatrician so your mother can have the facts of life explained to her. If that doesn't help her to accept reality, then understand that she can't be trusted. Do not allow her to drop by with goodies, and supervise any contact he has with her. It is your job to protect your little boy, even from your obtuse mother, if necessary.
DEAR ABBY: I am having a difficult time relating to my older daughter. One reason is that when she was 18, I co-signed a $4,000 loan for school. She's now turning 29 and still hasn't paid the loan back. I talk to her about it often and she says, "I'll take care of it," but she never does.
I'm a single mom and still raising a daughter. I'm trying to buy a place of our own, but I am encountering credit problems because of the loan. I don't know what to do. She has my two grandsons, and if I take her to court, I'll never see them again. Please help me. -- HURT MOM IN GEORGIA
DEAR HURT MOM: If you have explained to your older daughter that you need the money now, and have written proof that the loan was made with the promise that it would be repaid, your next step should be to talk to an attorney. And if your daughter retaliates by depriving her children of their grandmother, so be it. At least you and your younger daughter will have a better chance of having a roof of your own over your heads. You have my sympathy.