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by Abigail Van Buren

Steer Clear Of Debates Between Exes Over Parenting Restrictions

DEAR ABBY: I don't understand divorced women and the restrictions they put on their exes about what they can and can't do with their children. ("You can't let him go to the pool party; he might drown"; "She can't visit with your mother; she has a cat"; "Don't make him rake leaves; that's your job!") Instead, they should be grateful these fathers are active parts of their children's lives. Too many fathers simply walk away. Unless the dad is actively harming the child, they have no right to dictate what their ex does with his kids on his time.

Remember, ladies, you made a baby with him. He is their dad and he has every right to parent as he sees fit, even if it differs from your own philosophy. And dads, don't let your ex try to tell you that you are a bad parent because you let your kid go roller skating and she broke her arm. It is not your fault. Things like that happen all the time, even to kids whose parents are still together. So stand up for your right to be a real dad! -- UNSYMPATHETIC MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR MOM: If I were you, I'd keep my head down and not get caught in the crossfire. It's not that you lack sympathy, but you obviously don't relate to the women you hear complain. While some of them may seem controlling or hyper-protective, others may have valid concerns about their children's safety while they're with Dad.

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