Advice Column

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"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there's anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it." --Howe

LATEST ADVICE: Helicopter Dad Won't Leave Son Alone

(taken from 9/10/19 "Dear Abby")


LETTER: I'm a 23-year-old man living in Texas. I am a college graduate and on my own now. My parents are very caring, but my father has an unhealthy obsession with me.

He messages me multiple times a day. It never stops. I'm currently looking for teaching jobs, and he tries to intervene by looking for them for me. He's like a wasp that will not go away, and it is making me very uncomfortable. Even though I am an adult, he tries to tell me what to do and how to do it. I am so confused; please help me.



Abby said talk to your parents, which Skillz doesn't think will work:

SKILLZ SAYS: Confused? There's nothing confusing here. t's pretty clear the first thing you should do is tell your father you have a job, even if you don't. That eliminates what sounds like the biggest part of the problem.

As for the overall obsession, pretend to be your own girlfriend. When he sends a barrage of messages, angrily respond "This is (name's) girlfriend and I'm trying to pleasure him sexually BUT YOU KEEP BUZZING THE DAMN PHONE!!!" The one risk here is your father beginning to pester you about your relationship, but I feel the odds are low and the risk is worth it.

Another option: pretend to take his (likely useless and outdated) advice, but report that it backfired horribly. For example: if he tells you to change your own oil, report that your HOA busted you for a $1,000 fine. If he tells you to get a guard dog, report that said dog bites you in the junk multiple times a day. Do this enough times and you'll have the perfect avenue to tell Dad "ENOUGH with your crappy suggestions!" WIN! You're welcome.