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by Abigail Van Buren

Young Adult Now Is Grateful for Parents Who Were Strict

DEAR ABBY: I could have written that letter myself 15 years ago. That girl should sit down and ask her father what it is that keeps him from trusting her. His strict rules have little to do with protecting her; they have more to do with control and distrust.

The girl is almost an adult. Teens need space to make their own decisions and trust to help them make the right decisions. -- BEEN THERE AND LIED ABOUT IT, EVERETT, WASH.

DEAR BEEN THERE: Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, not only because it is the parents' job to make unpopular decisions, but because after it has become second nature, the parents must then start "letting go" so that as the child matures, he or she can learn to live independently. A word to the wise: When children are not permitted to make decisions and experience things on their own -- within reason -- they are unprepared to make sound decisions.