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by Abigail Van Buren

Kids' Potential Multiplies With Undivided Attention

DEAR ABBY: This letter is intended for mothers and fathers who make beautiful children but don't spend quality time with them. You will never know what your child could become if you don't play an active role in his or her life.

When my wife and I married eight years ago, I said that when we had children, I would spend more time with them than my father spent with me. Judging from the events over the last seven years, I know I could have achieved much more had my father spent a little more time with me.

My son, who is now 7 years old, is academically excellent in school, talented in karate and basketball, gifted in art and has a CD on the market. At 7, he's already building for his future. All of this, and he still has time to play Pokemon and Digimon with his brother and sister, both of whom have received similar accolades.

Kids have so much potential. Parents, please spend time with you children. -- SOMEWHERE IN VIRGINIA

DEAR SOMEWHERE: Your plea touched my heart, and I'm printing it for parents who may need such a wake-up call. One of the unexpected benefits of women's liberation has been that recent generations of fathers have taken a greater role in child rearing. I, for one, think that's terrific.