Dear Blake,

Fifteen years ago, I “ran away from home” to get away from my adult children, and I finally made a life for myself. They were able to stay in the house because I continued to pay the mortgage. Their dad — my ex — and his family all lived nearby.

Now, none of my children wants anything to do with me or my family, and they don’t want any communication from me. I suspect they feel abandoned, since I was the parent they could always count on. Is there anything I can do to repair our relationship?

Signed, Sylvia
From Chicago, Illinois

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Dear Sylvia,

So you birthed a bunch of freeloaders that are snubbing you? Well, you hold all the cards, and if their disrespectful behavior continues, have them all arrested for trespassing… after getting tased. Here are some other ideas to get them out. Turn the power off for four months every year, January and February, and July and August. Freeze’em and bake’em! Or, have the front and back doors removed, and put a sign on your front lawn saying it’s a temporary bed and breakfast for homeless people, recovering drug addicts, and violent criminals that were recently released on parole. Or this idea. Have someone pretending to work for animal control, be seen by you offspring walking out of your house carrying a rattlesnake. And have him tell your children that he couldn’t catch the other two, but he’s sure they’ll eventually show up. And this last suggestion. Stop paying the mortgage, and save the money for the payments (and catch up later), until your children see the house is about to be foreclosed on. At that point, they’ll contact you. Then tell them that you will only let one of them stay, and that’s the one that is willing to pay the highest amount in rent. And when that happens, they’ll view each other as sworn enemies, and will consider you their best friend. Communications restored, problem solved. I hope this helps.