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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom With Texting Addiction Needs a Slap in Her Facebook

DEAR ABBY: I have heard of interventions for drug and alcohol addicts. Could I stage one for my daughter "Aileen's" addiction to texting on her cellphone and Facebook?

She and our grandson live with us because her marriage broke up. I am becoming the boy's default mother because Aileen is constantly texting or spending hours on Facebook. She'll say, "I have to send a quick message," then reappear an hour later. By then, we have fed our grandson and changed his diaper.

When I try to discuss this with her, she says her work requires this constant communication, but I know it doesn't. There have been times when Aileen's feelings have been hurt because her son doesn't want to go someplace with her and prefers to stay with us instead. I suspect that he feels ignored when he's with her because her thumb is constantly flying across her phone. How can we get her to understand how this might be making her child feel? -- FULLY PRESENT IN ARIZONA

DEAR FULLY PRESENT: You could and should stage an intervention with your daughter. Aileen is neglecting her son. It's a shame that before couples are allowed to conceive that they aren't forced to take parenting classes. The time she spends on Facebook and texting is time she should be interacting with him.

Because she is so easily distracted, you and her father should declare your home to be a digital-free zone unless your grandson is napping or in bed for the night. Consider making discussions with the boy's pediatrician -- and perhaps parenting classes -- a condition of her staying in your home. She won't like it, but it would be in your grandson's best interests.