Frustrated, Exhausted Dad
Dear Dad: You and your wife created this “monster,” and now it’s your job to make things right. Of course your daughter won’t like it when you set rules, but you must establish some for her before your lack of parenting causes even more serious problems.
Set the rules and stick with them. If she won’t follow them, there should be penalties for not doing so. Try this: Start with homework. When it’s done, she can have her phone for a period of time. Inform her that if she oversleeps because she was up too late on her phone, you will take it at bedtime. And then follow through.
Dear Abby: I’m about to be 17 and just started living with my mom after being a runaway for three months. During that time, I made friends with people who were not good for me. However, I still feel I need to cling to these people and be there for them.
As I write this, one of the girls I was closest to is in prison and will be there for a long time. I have to pretend to be fine and act as if I don’t care for her, but I do, desperately. My mom refuses to be understanding and talk about anything with me. I don’t know what to do.
Teen In Little Rock
Dear Teen: Your mother appears to belong to the ostrich school of parenting. If she doesn’t hear something, it doesn’t exist. Clearly, you DO need to talk with someone about the feelings you’re experiencing and why you feel the need to “cling to these people.” Because your mother can’t/won’t do this, it’s important that you talk to a counselor at school and ask for the help you need.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.