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by Abigail Van Buren

Man's Popularity With Kids Is Problematic for Parents

DEAR ABBY: My 35-year-old daughter, "Rhonda," is intelligent and creative, but her house is a disaster. There are clothes, books, magazines, etc. piled on every surface. Dishes are stacked on her bed; socks and paper litter the floor.

How can she feel good living like this? The place is becoming a health hazard. Rhonda is caring and attractive, but she rarely dates. Could her mess be a symptom of something more serious?

Abby, I'm worried about my daughter's chances for future happiness, but I have no idea how to help her. Or should I? -- WORRIED MOM IN OREGON

DEAR WORRIED MOM: If you're the kind of mother who always picked up after her children, then this is only more of the same. If your daughter's disorderliness is something new, then it might be a symptom of depression or some other emotional problem.

When you say you are concerned about Rhonda's chances for future happiness, do you mean you're worried that she's 35 and still single? Not every woman needs a man to complete her. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your daughter and explain your concerns. You won't find out what's going on in her head until you do.