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Dear Abby: I’m a new bride in my mid-20s writing about my dad. At the wedding dinner, he read a list of reasons he “let” me get married. Granted, he thought it was funny, and he needs to be the center of attention. But during our honeymoon abroad, he sent me messages at every juncture and each hotel.

Maybe he’s having a hard time “letting go,” but I found it creepy. My honeymoon was my and my hubby’s time to enjoy, and so much intrusion felt like stalking. I am not particularly close to Dad. Am I overreacting?

Newlywed in California

Dear Newlywed: You stated that your father likes to be the center of attention. Your wedding dinner may have been yet another example of it.

A lot of humor is based on truth, and Dear Old Dad’s thinking may be rooted in the 19th century or earlier, when women needed their father’s permission to marry. That he would insert himself into your honeymoon does seem over the top for someone with whom you are not particularly close. If he persists, you and your husband should have a talk with him and tell him it’s making the both of you uncomfortable and ask him to please stop.

Dear Abby: I have a 7-year-old son who seems to be growing up faster than I would like at times. With today’s music, video games, TV and movies, there are some things regarding sex I can’t prevent him from seeing or learning if I haven’t screened the contents.

I realize my son knows more than I would like for a child his age to know. Because of this, my husband thinks it’s time to have the “birds and the bees” talk. I’m not ready to have that talk, and I don’t believe my son is at an age to have this talk, either.

My husband is a psych major who never fails to remind me how knowledgeable he thinks he is as he tries to convince me that our son is ready. I know that one day my son will be curious about his body, but is now that time? Am I wrong in thinking he’s too young?

Not Ready in Oklahoma

Dear Not Ready: I don’t know your son, how much adult material he’s been exposed to or how mature he is for his age. But I believe the “birds and bees” talk should be an ongoing dialogue, not one speech.

Children should know the terms for their body parts, and what “private” means so they can communicate effectively. I don’t think it’s harmful for them to know where puppies and baby birds come from. In another conversation, they should know what “pregnant” means.

Your son should also know that if he has ANY questions, he can come to you and his dad and get straight answers. The question, “How does the baby get there?” will probably come in another year or two. When it is asked, he should be answered in a straightforward manner.

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

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