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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Feels Pressure From Family To Be Perfect

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl, turning 18 soon. Ever since I started high school, my family has pressured me to do my best in everything I do. Some examples: my grades, having the perfect boyfriend and being first in sports.

I know they want the best for me. But I'm a human being. I sometimes make mistakes. At the same time, I don't want to disappoint them. What should I do? Should I tell them to get off my back or continue to accept their pressure? -- TEEN IN TURMOIL, TULSA, OKLA.

DEAR TEEN: Your parents probably push you because they want you to get a college education. Good grades, various activities and a talent for sports can make you a more attractive candidate.

There are ways to tell your parents to ease up without saying, "Get off my back." Your message might be better received if you said to them what you wrote to me: "I know you want what's best for me. I don't want to disappoint you. But I'm a human being and I sometimes make mistakes. I love you, but the pressure is getting to me." It's not hostile, and they may hear what you're saying without becoming defensive.

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