Dear Annie: Here comes another summer, and I always enjoy taking my children to a local amusement park. It is a nice park, but can you tell me how to explain to my children why we have to wait in line for, let’s say, 30 minutes or more to get on a ride, and then they witness others coming up in a separate line and getting right on? It is called “fast pass.” They are catering to the rich because it costs a lot more to get this option.
Also, they have “preferred parking,” which costs even more than the ridiculous price of $20 to park in the “normal” parking lots. So now our children also witness us walking for a considerable distance while the privileged get to park very close to the entrance.
Let me know of a good solution, if there is one. Thank you!
— Ticked Off
Dear Ticked Off: One solution might be to go with another family and split the cost difference of the preferred parking.
But the real lesson here is that, yes, there are going to be people who can afford preferred parking and have an easier time at an amusement park. Some can afford expensive seats at a sporting event or on an airplane, and others can drive fancy cars. However, there are some people who cannot afford to take their children to an amusement park.
The bottom line is that rather than worrying about explaining inequalities or perceived slights, focus on modeling behavior you’d like your children to emulate.
If you show them that you are bitter about others getting to cut the line, they will learn to be bitter rather than to be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy a day at an amusement park with family. If you use those 30 minutes in line to appreciate time with your kids and show them your excitement for the upcoming ride, you might be surprised by how much fun you all have.
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Dear Annie: The poem in your recent column, “And the people stayed home,” was a precious gem.
I am an occupational therapist now serving my kids, their families and staff, as part of distance learning in our public schools.
Your column was a grand slam in terms of what I think people need right now: reassurance, hope, stability and empowerment. I will definitely share this column with others! Thank you, and bless you.
— Absolutely Wonderful
Dear Wonderful: Thank you so much for your kind words. I felt the exact same way when I read that poem. Wishing everyone safety and love.
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Dear Annie: If I could, I would like to give a bit of encouragement to all the parents who are sheltering at home with their kids and trying to be their teacher. My older sister taught first grade for 40 years.
She eventually learned that her first task was to make the kids love her. If they loved her, they would be willing to learn.
So a message for parents is that, since your children already love you, you have already accomplished the first step of being a good teacher.
— Teacher at Home
Dear Teacher at Home: Thank you for your letter. I agree that love breeds listening, and I’m going to add respect to that list as well. Please thank your sister for her 40 years of service in one of the most important jobs in the world.
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— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her debut book, Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie, features favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette. Email your Dear Annie questions to email@example.com. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.