DEAR ABBY: My daughter is 19 and lives with me. She is seeing a 26-year-old man who has a child with another woman he didn’t marry.
When my daughter goes out with him, he keeps her out until 3:30 a.m. or later. He has done this twice that I know of. I had a conversation with him, and he assured me he would make sure she is home before midnight, to no avail.
I don’t think he’s good for my daughter. Should I forbid her from seeing him (because she lives in my house) or let her make her own decision? We are NOT going to raise a baby out of wedlock! — TEEN’S DAD
DEAR DAD: Your 19-year-old daughter is considered to be an adult even if she’s not acting like it. Tread carefully because if you forbid her to see this man, she may rebel by moving out and in with him.
You have the right to make clear to her that under no circumstances will you raise a baby out of wedlock, and that if he gets her pregnant, she’ll be on her own. And while you’re at it, point out that her school or job will suffer if she continues the late hours she’s been keeping.
“Remind” her that what she’s doing is irresponsible and will keep her from succeeding if she doesn’t straighten up. Then cross your fingers that your daughter will get the message.
DEAR ABBY: I need advice about my son. He has started doing bicycle training with a coach and some other cyclists, and he likes it a lot. But I continually hear about accidents with bicycles, and every time he goes, I am frightened for him.
My husband was a cyclist for many years, and he encourages him. I want to do the same, but fear stops me. What must I do? I pray every time he goes and surrender him to God. Is this the right way? — FEARFUL IN NICOSIA, CYPRUS
DEAR FEARFUL: A mother’s primary instinct is to protect her young. The problem is, parents can’t protect their children in every circumstance, and cycling is a mode of transportation being promoted everywhere.
It’s a plus that your son is working with a coach, presumably one who understands the hazards and road conditions in your city.
Under the circumstances, you are doing the best you can and you are doing the right thing. There is no requirement that you “must” encourage your son as his father is doing. I believe in the power of prayer, and if it makes you feel better, then it is absolutely the right thing to do.
DEAR READERS: I’m honored to participate in National Women’s Health Week (May 13-19). Women are the primary caretakers in most societies — including our own. But in the process we too often forget to take care of ourselves by eating right, getting enough sleep, controlling our stress levels with regular exercise and scheduling regular medical checkups.
Please don’t procrastinate. Start now! National Women’s Health Week is a perfect time to begin. Visit womenshealth.gov/nwhw for more information. — LOVE, ABBY
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)