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by Abigail Van Buren

Disputed Heirloom Silver Causes Family Ill Will

DEAR ABBY: I am at my wit's end with how to deal with my parents. I am 29 years old and live 1,500 miles away from them. If I don't call or talk to them every day, Dad will say something like, "Your mom missed hearing from you on Monday and Tuesday." This is after I have just told them about some event I attended on those nights.

I prefer to talk to them once over the weekend. There would be ample topics to cover, and I wouldn't feel so smothered. Why don't they understand this? I'm tired of feeling pressured to talk to them every single day. How can I politely tell them to ease off a bit? -- TALKED OUT IN TEXAS

DEAR TALKED OUT: Understand that you can't change your parents. Their problem is you have been the sole focus of their lives for so long, they are having a hard time letting go. That said, you must change the way you react to their pressure tactics. The next time you talk to them, be firm, upbeat and direct. Sign off by saying, "Bye! I'll talk to you next Sunday."