LOVE ABBY: My 16-year-old daughter "Katie" leaves her beautiful clothes, wet towels and debris in her room. She stays half the time with me and her mother the other half. She participates in activities and advanced courses in the school. So when she comes home, she learns or has to sleep. I remind her to pick up her things, but she rarely does.
I always go back and forth in the right way to deal with it. Should I just leave her and allow Katie to live in a mess until she's sick of it, or get me up early so she'll get neat when she gets into her room, and maybe she'll see what the place always looks like should? She is a sweet, affectionate and considerate child, but frankly she becomes very dramatic ̵
DEAR FRUSTRATED FATHER: You and your ex-wife may be divorced, but you must be on the same page in terms of parenting. Ask her if she allows clothes and towels on the floor of Katie's room, and if not, how she handles them. Even if it does not bother your ex, you should still remind your daughter that she's a more desirable roommate in college, if she keeps her living space tidy, and that it's better for her to acquire the habit now. Be sure she knows you say so to help her not be an ogre. It is your house and you should follow the rules.
LOVE ABBY: Recently, some of my extended families had dinner together in a restaurant. After the waiter brought our food to the table, my adult nephew asked us all 10 to take a break before eating while "thanking" us for the food. Most of the family is religious and may not mind, though they never do it themselves in public. However, some of us are not religious and never pray before eating, which everyone has known for decades.
When we gather with someone, we follow the custom of the host and there is no objection, but I think it is presumptuous. Insist that all wait while they perform this ritual in public. It will not matter to anyone that you pray silently to yourself, but please be considerate and refrain from making any gathering for your personal prayer meeting. – GODLESS IN TEXAS
LOVE GODLESS! As long as your nephew did not preach and you had no symptoms of hypoglycaemia, I do not consider it a great impertinence to wait until he says the blessing.
Because you felt compelled to say something to your nephew – or because you know he does that – pass on the next invitation for dinner.
LOVE ABBY: I recently broke my heart. After this girl left me I started talking to some other girls I like and they like me back. The problem is I want to go out with these girls, but I do not just want to go out with one and make others sad because I did not pick them. What should I do? – KEEP EVERYONE HAPPY
KEEP LOVE: Tell the girl that you like her, but you have recently undergone a painful breakup and are not ready for another exclusive relationship. It means "playing on the pitch" and it's the truth too.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.