DEAR ABBY: I bought my 11-year-old daughter a cellphone. My ex does not approve. We have been divorced for six years, and he still can't get over it. He despises me. He refuses to listen to why I want her to have a cellphone.
While I want her to be responsible with it, I realize she will make mistakes -- which she already has by being on her phone too much. (It has been taken away from her once.) I want her to carry the phone with her in case of emergencies. If it is confiscated at school, her dad will no doubt tell me, "I told you so."
Should I abide by his wishes and not allow her to have the phone, or do you think my points are valid? -- MOM WITH PHONE ISSUE
DEAR MOM: Wanting your daughter to have the cellphone in case of emergency seems valid to me. If you are her custodial parent, I think that prerogative belongs to you.
But I do have a question: Who took the phone away from your daughter? If you did it because she was abusing the privilege, then she will learn her lesson if you are consistent. If a teacher takes it away from her at school, there should be consequences and you should ensure that they are enforced.
DEAR ABBY: I have an unusual problem. I'm very accident-prone. Over the past several years I have been in a cast many times, sometimes for long periods. My friends constantly tease me about it when what I'd really appreciate is a little compassion and maybe a little help while I am recovering. How do I let these people know that their teasing is hurtful? -- WENDY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR WENDY: If you have been in a cast "many times" over the past few years, your friends may be suffering from compassion fatigue. If their making light of your predicament is hurting your feelings, you have to tell them so. And while you're at it, tell them what you do need from them.
On a slightly different note, don't you think it's time to determine why you are so accident-prone? Is it clumsiness? Poor vision? Discuss this with your medical provider, because he or she might advise neurological testing, or even some sessions with a licensed mental health professional. Please consider this advice.
DEAR ABBY: I am a healthy, somewhat older lady with a reasonable appetite who unfortunately sleeps alone. Consequently, I have a few toys to help me on sleepless nights. One of my biggest worries, however, is that if I should expire and my loved ones discover my toy collection after my demise, they will be shocked.
I don't want to give up my toys, but I am worried about what my loved ones will think of me should I cease to exist before my appetite decreases. Surely one of these days it will. But in the meantime, what happens if I die and they discover my secret? -- KEEPING A LID ON IT
DEAR KEEPING: What will happen? You will die with a smile on your face.