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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Cringes When Mom Does Happy Dance in Public

DEAR ABBY: I am an 11-year-old girl who loves going shopping and doing various stuff with my mom. But when we go to the mall or stop for lunch and she hears a song she likes, she'll start singing to it. And if we're standing up, she even dances to it a little.

I have tried telling her to stop because she's embarrassing me, but all she says is, "No one is looking, honey." She also does it at home in front of my friends when I play my iPod. Any suggestions? -- BLUSHING IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR BLUSHING: Your problem is one that has been shared by generations of young people. You have reached an age when image is becoming important to you, and you're afraid that your mother's behavior will reflect badly on you. It won't.

Rather than be embarrassed, please consider how lucky you are to have an upbeat, music-loving mother with a sense of rhythm and some knowledge of the lyrics. (If she has forgotten, be a sweetheart and offer to teach her.) I have it on good authority that an "old dog" can learn new tricks.