SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 15, 2012

Dear Abby: Dad drops by college too often for independence-minded kids

:Dear Abby: I’m a senior in high school and will be off to college next year. Like my older brother, I will be attending a school 30 minutes from home.

A problem he has, and that I’m worried about, is setting boundaries with our father. Dad works near the college and insists on stopping by to visit my brother at least once a week. If my brother refuses to meet with him, Dad guilt-trips him and gets angry.

I want to experience independence in college. How can I avoid this problem and set visitation boundaries with my father?

College-Bound in Georgia

Dear College-Bound: So many people your age who write to me have no father involved in their lives at all, and you appear to have a little too much. I agree that by the time a student reaches college, it is time for more independence than your father seems willing to give your brother.

If your mother is in the picture, perhaps she could reason with your dad. However, if that’s not possible, your brother — and you — may have to transfer to other schools to put some distance between you.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend and his 4-year-old daughter live with me and my two children. We keep our finances separate. I am self-employed and work mostly from home. I also take care of the household chores.

My problem is that he thinks because I work from home I should take care of his daughter during the day, versus her going to day care. My schedule is very full, and I enjoy being able to work from home without the interruptions of having to play nanny while my children are in school. However, I feel guilty about not helping him out on this.

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