Dear Abby - Girl acting out needs to find new role
DEAR ABBY: I am writing regarding my 12-year-old daughter. She's a sweet girl but lately has been involved in a lot of drama. Recently my husband and I saw what we believe to be two hickeys on her neck, one on each side. She has denied it.
I'm worried because a few months ago she was called into her counselor's office for "roasting." She was asked to roast two specific girls, and the information got back to them and back to the counselor. Our daughter is not allowed to date, and although she has friends who started dating at 10 or 11, I don't allow her to go to their homes. I do allow them to come to our home instead.
I need to know how to handle this situation before it gets out of control. I have tried talking calmly with her, but it doesn't work. She believes she knows it all and I know nothing. -UNSURE IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR UNSURE: You need to nip this in the bud. A way to handle your daughter's misbehavior would be to institute consequences for getting called to the counselor's office and/or lying to you and your husband. By consequences, I mean the removal of privileges - cellphone, television, internet, or having friends over for a period of time.
Also, if your daughter is coming home with hickeys, she may have too much unsupervised time on her hands. So if you haven't already, involve her in supervised activities such as church youth groups, sports and special-interest clubs. If she's going to a friend's house, be sure an adult will be there.
DEAR ABBY: My best friend - who is 19 - was concerned that she might be pregnant because her period was late. She told me that she and her husband (yes, she's married) have been having unprotected sex. She took multiple tests and she is pregnant.
I know they are not ready to have a baby, even though she says she's excited. They are currently living in a hotel, and she doesn't have a job. Her husband's mom doesn't even know they're married. I feel bad, but it makes me not want to be her friend anymore because of the choices she's made and where she has ended up. -DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
DEAR DON'T KNOW: If you prefer not to be part of her drama - and it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that there is likely to be plenty - back off. Tell her honestly that you are not equipped to handle her problems.
DEAR ABBY: I sent out save-the-date notices for my wedding in November. One couple has stopped talking to me and refuses to tell me why. Must I send them an invitation? -WEDDING BLUES
DEAR WEDDING BLUES: According to Emily Post, the rules of etiquette dictate that "everyone who receives a save-the-date card must receive an invitation." However, because the couple has stopped speaking to you, do not be surprised if you hear nothing from them.