DEAR ABBY: My daughter will be 16 in a few weeks. My problem is I can't seem to let her go anywhere unless an adult is present. It's not that I don't trust her, because I do. It's her friends. I love my daughter very much and wish I could trust her to make the right choice, but a friend could cause her to make the wrong one.
I think I am too strict with her, and I need to give her some running room, but I'm scared to. She's a good kid and makes good grades. What should I do? -- CAN'T LET GO, RIPLEY, MISS.
DEAR CAN'T: Part of being a conscientious parent is learning to let go. Recognize that in two years, your daughter will be 18 and legally an adult. Because she has shown responsible behavior, allow her doses of freedom in baby steps that will give both of you time to adjust to it.
Birds of a feather usually flock together, so unless you have specific reasons for being worried about the company she keeps, recognize that it's time to permit your daughter to use the good judgment you have taught her and allow her some freedom.