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by Abigail Van Buren

Active Fantasy Life Does Not Mean You Are Cheating

DEAR ABBY: My husband reads the newspaper at the dinner table almost every night in front of the children. He says it's the only time he has to read the paper.

Is it rude to read at the dinner table when there are four other people sitting there? -- INQUIRING MIND IN GEORGIA

DEAR INQUIRING MIND: It's not only rude, it's poor parenting. You're doing your part by having dinner on the table, but your husband is shirking his duty as a dad. The dinner hour is the ideal time for family conversation, for him to learn about what's going on in the children's lives and to discuss current events -- providing they are old enough. It is also a time for parents to "model" the kind of manners they want to pass on to their kids.

I don't know what your husband is doing AFTER dinner, but that would be the optimum time for him to catch up on the news rather than hiding from all of you.