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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Daughter's Pregnancy Is Cause for Joy in Mother's Eyes

DEAR ABBY: I am almost 40 and single -- no children. My friend, "Amanda," is in her 20s. She has two beautiful children, ages 6 and 2, and spoils them with an overabundance of toys and by giving them whatever they want.

I wouldn't interfere, but "giving them what they want" includes allowing them to ride in her vehicle without wearing a safety belt or child restraints.

I love Amanda and her children dearly. They wear their safety belts when they are with me. I'm afraid their mother will get into an accident and one of the children will be severely injured or die.

How can I convince Amanda to keep her children safely restrained when traveling without coming across as a "know-it-all"? I don't want to alienate her, but I want her kids to be safe. -- CARING FRIEND, MOBERLY, MO.

DEAR CARING FRIEND: Tell her exactly what you have told me. I thought that by now all states had seatbelt and child safety laws in place. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and find out if yours is one of them.

Amanda may be a loving and generous mother, but in my opinion, she is guilty of child endangerment. There are worse things than hearing a child protest being buckled in. One of them is losing a child, or having him or her maimed for life because of parental negligence.