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by Abigail Van Buren

Call Before Dinner Party to Find Out What to Wear

DEAR ABBY: My youngest son, "Jason," is a senior in high school and an all-around good kid. All of a sudden he's decided to let his hair grow. Although it's really not that long, my husband is very critical of it and threatens to cut it almost every day.

I feel it's time for Jason's dad and me to let him make some decisions on his own. His hair doesn't bother me as long as he maintains his grades, behaves himself and keeps it clean. (I don't think it's any longer than the Beatles when they first came on the scene.) I look at other boys our son goes to school with, and some of them have short hair, while others wear theirs Jason's length or longer.

What do you think about this? How can I convince my husband to back off? (He let his hair and sideburns grow when he got out of the service.) -- PEACEMAKING MOM IN ARIZONA

DEAR PEACEMAKING MOM: If your son is doing well socially and academically and keeps his hair clean, your husband should not turn its length into a control issue. Learning to make decisions is an important part of a teen's development. It's also important for parents to pick their battles carefully.

P.S. Dig out some photos of your husband with longish hair and sideburns and tell him it's time to get back in touch with his sense of humor and stop obsessing about things that are not important.