Dear Abby: At what point does a parent no longer have the right to know who their child’s friends are?
I have three grown daughters, all on their own, living on the other side of the country. During a recent visit home for their grandmother’s birthday, I asked each of them to give me all of their friends’ phone numbers, in case I couldn’t reach them.
I also wanted to know who they were exactly, how well they knew them, etc. I was simply thinking of their safety. If I can’t reach my girls, I want to know who might have seen them last and, if need be, give that information to the police.
Abby, all three of them told me NO!
They said they are grown women and can take care of themselves, and besides, if, God forbid, they didn’t want to answer their phone when I called, I sure as h--- didn’t need to be pestering their friends.
They say that they are adults, and that we (their father and I) no longer possess the right to “dictate” who they are friends with. I say that I am their mother and no matter how old they get, I will ALWAYS have the right to know who they are friends with.
I would appreciate your thoughts.
Renee in Oregon
Dear Renee: I agree that you are their mother, but you are not your daughters’ parole officer. They are self-supporting, self-sufficient adults.
Perhaps if you were less overbearing, your daughters would be living closer to you and you husband, would answer their phones more often when you call and would open up to you about their friendships and other matters.
Frankly, I think that you should apologize to them for giving them such a heavy-handed third degree.
Dear Abby: I love my friends and enjoy going out to dinner and attending plays and movies with them. However, something really annoys me. My husband and I are usually early, and when we go to the movies, our friends ask us to pick up the tickets if we arrive at the movie first.
After the movie, we’ll grab a bite to eat and, at the end of the evening, we say goodbye.
The question is, how do we ask them for the money we laid out for the tickets if they forget to offer it?
This has happened three times with different friends and we’re out the money.
Annoyed in Teaneck
Dear Annoyed: There are a couple of ways to do it: As you hand the tickets over, you might say, “That’ll be $20, please.” But if that’s uncomfortable for you, the following day, you or your husband should call these “forgetful” friends and ask them to send you a check.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.