DEAR ABBY: For the last 11 years, my ex-wife and I have shared joint custody of our 13-year-old son, "Brad." He has often complained to me about his mother not respecting his wishes.
Recently, Brad told me his mom walks around the house in the nude, and it makes him very uncomfortable. Since she and I have an ongoing family law court "disagreement" on what constitutes the best interest of our child, talking directly to her about this is not possible. I am allowed to communicate only through her attorney. Abby, how should I handle this so my son can feel comfortable in his mother's home? -- SHE'S NAKED AS A JAY BIRD
DEAR S.N.A.A.J.B.: Talk to your lawyer about your son's discomfort with his mother's nudity. He is approaching the age where the courts will allow him more input regarding custody. Ask your son to document where and when this is going on, and let his mother know how her nude lifestyle makes him feel. It's important that he speak up, so she can't claim ignorance.
DEAR ABBY: In two months I will be quitting my place of employment and moving to the West Coast. Even though I dislike my job, I love the people I work with and feel bad about leaving them.
The boss holds regular staff meetings and assigns me duties. My stomach churns each time I accept a project I know I will not be around to complete.
Is it immoral to keep secret the fact that I will be resigning in two months? I plan on giving three weeks' notice, which I think is fair --- and all I can afford. If I give more than that, I know my boss would find my replacement right away. What should I do? -- CAUGHT IN A BIND IN KNOXVILLE, TENN.
DEAR CAUGHT IN A BIND: Make detailed notes at the meetings when future duties are assigned so that your replacement will not be left in the dark. Then follow your plan and submit three weeks' notice when you're ready to leave. Do not feel guilty. You are giving adequate notice. Good luck.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old girl who loves school. I'm an honor roll student and have been student of the month two years in a row. My problem is, I have a friend named "Carly" who is competitive with me to the extreme. Not just with grades, but with everything I do.
Carly wants to compare our grades the minute they're handed out, and she feels the need to outdo me in all the after-school activities we share. We've had some embarrassing fights because of this, and I always end up breaking down crying. It's like she's so jealous that it's taking the fun out of school for both of us.
My mom keeps saying, "You girls will work it out," but I don't see how. Please help me figure out a way to end this conflict. -- SMART GIRL IN ORLANDO
DEAR SMART GIRL: Take the high road. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into a conflict. Do the best you can with grades and after-school activities. Let Carly have her victories, and enjoy yours without rubbing it in. We all have different strengths, and there's room for both of you to excel.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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