Dear Abby: I am a 16-year-old girl, and my 45-year-old father acts even more childish than me. He doesn’t have a stable job, and he stays out late or never comes home at all.
My father complains that we don’t have enough money and says we need to start saving, then he goes and blows his paycheck on booze and his girlfriend. I need a car to get to work, and I’ll be going to college in two years. I can’t pay for it all myself.
How do I get Dad on the right track? Please help, because I’m tired of worrying about my future and what’s left of his.
Heading For College Soon In North Carolina
Dear Heading: I wish I could tell you how to motivate your father to behave more responsibly, but a lesson you should learn early is that you CAN’T change someone else. Your father is a self-centered individual, but only he can change his behavior.
Small college scholarships are offered by some fraternal organizations. I’m glad you wrote, because it’s never too early to start exploring what’s available. Talk to a counselor at school about what you need to do to earn scholarships. You should also look online or at your local library. You appear to be focused and mature, and with some guidance you can accomplish your goals.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.