DEAR ABBY: I have just learned that a friend's 16-year-old daughter has two different Facebook profiles. One is a "nice" profile to which she has invited me, her family and friends from her days at a Christian academy. The other, which is pretty raw, she uses with her new "wild" friends from public high school.
The first profile portrays her as the perfect student and daughter. The other includes explicit details about her sexual exploits and drinking parties. Should I keep my nose out of it or let her parents know about the dual identities? -- VIGILANT IN EVERETT, WASH.
DEAR VIGILANT: Ask yourself whether you would want to be warned about your minor child's drinking and sexual exploits or be kept in the dark, and you'll have your answer.
DEAR ABBY: My 5-year-old son, "Miles," is passive, kind and a genuinely sweet kid. He has made friends with some neighborhood kids who are his age or a few years older.
While watching them play I have noticed a few of the more aggressive boys tackle, push or kick him and -- at one point -- even punch him. Afterward I asked Miles why he didn't stick up for himself. He said he didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
Obviously, I don't want my son engaging in fighting or resorting to violence. However, I am torn as to whether I should intervene. I have talked to Miles about how friends should treat each other. With that in mind, he ought to be able to say "stop" when someone gets too rough.
Should I step in to correct the other child? Should I speak to the other parents? Or do I allow my son to work it out on his own? -- HELICOPTER MOM
DEAR MOM: If you step in and "correct" the other boys, it will make your son appear weak. If you speak to their parents, it will make those boys resent your child. If Miles were my son, I would sign him up for activities where he will be part of a team. It will give him self-confidence, help to improve his athletic skills, make him more physically fit and introduce him to children in addition to this particular group.
DEAR ABBY: I was widowed a year ago and joined a support group for widows and widowers. (I am 50 years young.) Through this group I met a gentleman, "Robert," who lost his wife two years ago. We became friends and have since fallen in love. I would like to think we have a future together.
Recently, I have been feeling guilty about our relationship, as though I am "cheating" on my late husband, and I'm wondering if this is normal. Should I keep these feelings to myself or discuss them with Robert? Should I go to counseling?
Perhaps the one-year anniversary of my husband's death has brought out these feelings. I'm remembering our last days together and feeling guilty about having started a new relationship. I don't want to hurt Robert or push him away by bringing this up if this is a normal phase most widows go through. -- STARTING OVER IN VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
DEAR STARTING OVER: If you are not completely over the death of your husband, then your feelings of guilt are understandable. When they occur, please remind yourself that you lived up to your wedding pledge "until death do you part."
Because you and Robert are part of a support group, this is a subject it might be helpful to raise with the other members. As to discussing it with Robert, I recommend that you do. Far from pushing you apart, it may bring you closer. And if your feelings of guilt persist, by all means discuss them with a counselor because you have every right to be happy.
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