Abby: Helicopter mom turns squabbles into irritation

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: Do you think parents should intervene in arguments between 10-year-olds?

My daughter, “Amy,” was playing at a neighbor’s house with two other girls and they had an argument over something stupid. The neighbor’s daughter, “Kathy,” started to cry, so her mother asked my daughter and the other girl to leave because they had upset Kathy.

Afterward, she called and wanted me to punish my daughter for upsetting hers.

I didn’t do it because I think 10-year-olds are old enough to make amends with each other. When Amy explained the situation, I concluded that Kathy started to cry because she didn’t get what she wanted.

The girls were playing with each other again two days later.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, but it’s annoying because they make a big deal out of it. Kathy is an only child and we have three children.

What do you think about this?

Amy’s Mom in

Antwerp, Belgium

Dear Amy’s Mom: Hang onto your sense of humor and take “Helicopter Mom’s” suggestions regarding parenting your child with a grain of salt. Kathy’s mother means well, but she should stop trying to fight her daughter’s battles for her.

Dear Dr. Roach: Could you have a column about sexually active elderly women (80s), and also touch on the subject of orgasm headaches?

I don’t want to risk explaining something to my family, and I am embarrassed to mention it to my doctor.


Dear Anon.: Headaches associated with orgasm are rare, but not as rare as you might think. They happen more often in men than in women, and can be associated with structural problems in the brain. Because of this last point, every person with headache that occurs during sexual activity or orgasm should have an evaluation, such as a CT or MRI scan.

So, you will need to overcome any embarrassment that you have and see your doctor. It is not common, but people have had strokes associated with this type of headache.

If the evaluation shows no structural problems in the brain, there are effective treatments that can be taken before sexual activity to prevent a headache.

As far as other comments on sexual activity in the elderly, many healthy couples continue to be sexually active into their 80s and beyond. Risk of sexually transmitted infections is low, but not zero.

I’ve discussed how many medical conditions affect sexual function in both men and women, and often the goal is to improve overall sexual health for the couple.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.