- Advice for your Everyday Life

Dear Ann Landers,
My ex-husband and I have two young daughters. It seems that as the girls get older, their father is less interested in having a role in their lives. He no longer attends school functions or award ceremonies, nor does he return their telephone calls, which he used to do religiously. He can call or visit the girls as often as he wishes, but he simply picks them up after breakfast Sunday and brings them back before dinner the same evening. The girls enjoy being with him, but they complain that he usually takes them to a fast-food place for lunch, to a movie and then right back home with little conversation. He pays his child support on a regular basis, but it seems to me that he is going through the motions during his visitations, as if they're an obligation or chore. I have tried to talk to him about this, and he agrees with me, but nothing changes. Do you think I'm expecting too much by wanting him to be more involved and enthusiastic about what goes on in our daughters' lives? Or should I just be grateful that he at least visits them one day out of the week and pays his child support regularly? -- Troubled in Hawaii

Dear Hawaii,
Perhaps the girls could tell their dad they love being with him. Suggest it. If nothing comes of it, leave it be. He's "doing his duty." Too many fathers don't. Forget to save some of your favorite Ann Landers columns? "Nuggets and Doozies" is the answer. Send a self-addressed, long, business-sized envelope and a check or money order for $5.25 (this includes postage and handling) to: Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers