DEAR ABBY: I have a super-sensitive adult child who calls me regularly to criticize another sibling. Mothers do not like to hear their children being criticized by anyone -- including their siblings. It's hurtful, no matter who does it.
I'm an old lady, and I don't need this stress. I love all my children. They all are successful people with friends who seem to admire them. I suspect there may be some jealousy involved in these complaints. Suggesting counseling would make me the "bad guy."
I need a miracle and a prayer because I have gone to my knees over this. Any advice for me, Abby? -- STILL THEIR MOM
DEAR STILL: I sure do. Your mistake has been allowing yourself to be a dumping ground for your disgruntled adult child. The next time it happens, tell him or her you no longer want to hear those criticisms because they are so painful that they drive you to your knees.
If your "child" doesn't stop the critical comments, be the bad guy and suggest either counseling or that the complainer address those comments directly to the target. And when you do, point out that we can't change other people, but we can change the way we react to them.