Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Maturing Teenager Is Fearful, Ashamed of Body's Changes

DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law is driving us crazy. She is constantly on her cell phone with Facebook, e-mail or playing games when she's at our home. Her sons (3 and 7) were fighting last week and she didn't even raise her head to break it up. She just repeated in a monotone, "Stop," because she didn't want to break her concentration!

What I don't understand is, she's a teacher. How would she feel if her whole class tweeted, e-mailed and played games during her lessons? If I say anything about her using the phone at our dinner table, she makes a face and later tells my son I'm rude. -- HAD THE INTERNET UP TO HERE!

DEAR HAD THE INTERNET!: The Internet has many virtues. It provides information and diversion -- but it can also be addictive. From your description of your daughter-in-law, it appears she has become hooked. That she would fail to intervene when her children misbehave sends a strong message.

You should detail your concerns to your son because they are valid. Not only is your daughter-in-law's behavior rude and a poor example, but the children are being neglected. The Internet is not the problem. The problem is her fixation on it.