Abby: Preschooler being breastfed a concern for father

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: Our daughter turns 5 soon, and my wife still breastfeeds her to bed every night and wakes her a few times a night for more breastfeeding. This has had negative consequences on our marriage.

All my daughter’s peers have been weaned and have been sleeping alone through the night for the last three years. Our daughter’s mouth is filled with cavities, and my wife’s breasts are no-touch zones sexually. My wife refuses even to consider stopping. Is it time for me to leave?

Perplexed Dad in Wisconsin

Dear Dad: No, it’s time for your daughter’s pediatrician and her dentist to be informed about this because it may not be healthy for your child. Your wife appears to be fostering dependency instead of helping the girl to achieve independence. Your wife may think she has been doing the right thing, but if her own emotional needs are so great that she can’t alter her parenting style, you may want to consult a licensed family therapist for guidance.

Dear Abby: Our 28-year-old daughter, the mother of two, is in the middle of a divorce from her husband of three years. The divorce is not yet final, but she’s already involved with a new man. He is eight years older, jobless, has terminal cancer, lives with his father and is raising his 6-year-old daughter. This relationship seems wrong in so many ways, we cannot imagine how this could ever come to any good.

My daughter is intelligent. She has a promising management position with a big company. But she’s not the kind to listen to any advice, and has never made good decisions when it comes to men. Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated.

Unsure in Texas

Dear Unsure: Because you love your daughter, be patient and supportive. There is no way to “save” a daughter who makes poor choices about men and won’t listen to advice. Some people have to learn life lessons the hard way. The sooner you accept it, the better your own life will be.

Dear Abby: I’m 12 and I’m depressed. I have been depressed for a year now. I have not told my mom that I cry in the shower. Please guide me on what to do and help get me out of this dark hole.

Sad in San Diego

Dear Sad: I’m so glad you wrote. It’s very important that you tell your mother or some other trusted adult that you are depressed, and how long this has been going on. You may need counseling or the intervention of some other adult to fix this problem. Please don’t wait, and please DO write again and let me know how you’re doing. I care.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.