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by Abigail Van Buren

Parent Must Be Accountable for Stealing Child's Identity

DEAR ABBY: My youngest daughter, "Patty," recently married. She and her husband have just started college, so I understand that, between being a newlywed and a college freshman, she is very busy. We rarely see them now. The college is only 50 miles away, and you would think they could call occasionally and come home once a month on a weekend. I offered to let Patty call collect or allow me to provide a calling card for her.

She was active in sports in high school and we went to every game. She was also in a drama group and we never missed a performance. So why is Patty now avoiding us? What can we do to get the closeness back that meant so much to her father and me? -- LONESOME FOR MY DAUGHTER

DEAR LONESOME: You appear to be suffering from a combination of separation anxiety and empty nest syndrome. From your description, your daughter's calendar is, indeed, full -- between being a full-time student and a new wife, with all of the responsibilities that go with it. She might be inclined to stay in touch more if you backed off and stopped pressuring her.

You and your husband have done your job well. Your daughter has been "launched." Now it's time for the both of you to concentrate on your own interests, your own lives and your own marriage. If you do, you'll feel your daughter's absence less and be much happier and more fulfilled.