Mom mulls overruling dad on daughter's social life


DEAR ABBY - My ex-husband and I have been divorced for three years and share custody of our 10-year-old daughter, who lives with me full time. Her dad lives out of state and sees her during the summer months.

Last year my daughter had an incident (an "I'll show you mine, you show me yours" kind of thing) with a friend at school and my ex and I decided they should no longer hang out after school alone. A year has gone by and because they're in the same social circle at school, my ex is refusing to allow her to go to any events this friend attends (birthdays, sleepovers), even though there is always adult supervision.

It makes me sad to see her miss out, and I understand that the incident is normal for kids that age. What can I do? Since she doesn't live with him, can I overrule?

I'll show you mine

DEAR I'LL SHOW YOU MINE - I'm sorry your ex doesn't understand that sexual curiosity in children is normal, because it appears he has overreacted. You can't dictate the rules in his household. However, while your daughter is living with you during the winter months, he can't overrule your decisions either.

DEAR ABBY - Since the last presidential election our oldest son has stopped communicating with us. He would text us, but his texts were so disrespectful and hurtful we had to block him from our phones. He's a grown man, and we love him. What should we do?

Disappointed parents

DEAR PARENTS - The last presidential election has proved to be so divisive that it has ended friendships and caused rifts in some families. Blocking your son from your phones was a mistake. It would've been better to have just told him you would prefer not to discuss politics via text messages.

Until both sides can start listening respectfully to each other, healing and understanding won't happen. Unblock your phone, and let your son know that he hurt your feelings, which is why you did it.

DEAR ABBY - I am a 43-year-old woman who is trying to win back my high school sweetheart. He contacted me through Facebook seven years ago and we've been talking off and on ever since.

I have never gotten over him, but he has had two bad past relationships and says he isn't ready for another one at this time. What can I do to let him know I haven't gotten over him since high school and that I'd love to try again?

Our relationship ended because my parents thought I was too young to have a boyfriend. I was 15 and he was 17. He says he would love to try again "one day" - just not now. What are some things I could do to let him know, "Hey, I'm still here, and I want a second chance" without scaring him away?

High school sweetheart in Florida

DEAR SWEETHEART - He KNOWS you are "still here" and want a second chance. Because he still isn't ready to give a romance with you another try, face it — the status quo could last indefinitely. You have devoted seven precious years to trying to sway him. It's time for you to move on. How he reacts as you begin to disengage will let you know if you have made the right decision.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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