SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

January 5, 2012

Dear Abby: Strict mom wins applause despite teen's complaints

Dear Abby: I was sure "Emotionally Abused in California's" letter (Nov. 2) was inspirational, but fictional. The 15-year-old writer felt her mother was unreasonable because of the rules Mom enforced and the chores the teen was required to do. Then I started re-reading my high school diary. There were many parallels between this girl's complaints and my own as a teen.

My mom also didn't let me go to parties if she didn't know the parents and confirm they'd be home; my curfew was 11:30 p.m. on weekends because Mom couldn't sleep until I was in for the night. She always offered to host Friday pizza-and-movie night at our home to ensure my friends and I had a safe place to hang out.

Like "Emotionally Abused," I also resented my lack of freedom, but because of her efforts, I never had run-ins with the law, never got an STD or became pregnant, and I didn't try drugs or alcohol. When I expressed my frustration, Mom would say, "When you're a parent, you'll understand."

Now that I have two small children, I do understand. I hit the Mom jackpot! I'm grateful for her guidance, love and the boundaries she set for me. I'll be sending her that column and a copy of this letter to you as a thank-you for making decisions that kept me grounded and safe.

Won the Jackpot in Michigan

Dear Won The Jackpot: When that letter hit print, I was overwhelmed with mail from readers supporting my response and sharing experiences that validated "Emotionally Abused's" mom's parenting techniques. I took special note of the responses from teens, which I'll share tomorrow. Today, some comments from adults:

Dear Abby: It's refreshing to know there are still parents who actually care about how they raise their children. Bringing a child into this world is a tremendous responsibility. It requires years of 24/7 vigilance, teaching and love to produce a moral, loving and productive pillar of our society. Some parents today do not take their responsibility seriously. How we raise our children will directly affect how we function as a society in the future.

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