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DEAR ABBY: When my daughter lived here with her father and me, we always had a hard time getting her to stay home -- even for dinner. Now that she has moved out, she's over here every day, even at mealtimes! Without making her mad or hurting her feelings, how can we tell her she doesn't have to visit every single day? -- HER PARENTS IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR PARENTS: Your predicament illustrates one of life's ironies: As children grow older, they can't wait to assert their independence and leave home. However, adult children who have left home for the first time often go into "economic shock" when they start paying for their own food, utilities, etc.

Speak up and begin putting some limits on your daughter's visits back to the nest. Set up one specific time during the week for dinner or a visit. If you don't begin to draw the line, it may be years before you can enjoy your privacy.

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