DEAR ABBY: I'm 13 and I'm afraid I may have OCD. I want to find out, but what's standing in my way is that sometimes my parents think I make stuff up to get attention. I'm afraid to tell them, but I know if I do, it will answer my question. Can you give me some advice? -- ANONYMOUS IN OHIO
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Be brave and talk to your parents about your fears. They are your best friends, and you should be able to talk to them about anything -- particularly anything that bothers you. However, before you do, make a list of the behaviors that cause you to think you may have OCD, and when you approach them, read them what's on it. That way, if you become nervous, you won't forget anything.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her boyfriend have been dating for three years. They are now in their first year of college and she gets upset when he texts other girls and Snapchats them. He makes her feel like she's overreacting, but I can understand her fears that he is being unfaithful. What do you think about social networking and how it can affect relationships and even marriage? -- WISE MOM IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR WISE MOM: If someone wants to be unfaithful, social networking makes it easier than ever. But men and women who are ready to settle down and make a commitment do not look for outside adventures, no matter how they go about it.
If your daughter is insecure about what her boyfriend is doing, she may have good reason. If she's right about her hunches, the time has come for both of them to meet and date other people. Because she has spent so much of her teens with only this young man, the prospect may frighten her. But please explain that this will be her chance to mature and grow. As a "Wise Mom," I'm sure you can get the message across.
DEAR ABBY: My children were over at my in-laws' recently. When we came to pick them up, they told us their cat had scratched our son. Sure enough, there were five scratch marks on his face, circling his left eye.
In the past we have recommended they have the cat declawed so this wouldn't happen. They told us that cats can make mistakes just like kids do. We do not share their opinion. Would it be unreasonable to not allow our kids to be over there unless they declaw that cat? -- "DISCATIFIED" IN WISCONSIN
DEAR "DISCATIFIED": Cats do not normally "attack" children out of nowhere. Before you insist they declaw their pet, perhaps you should investigate what led up to your child being scratched. Could your child have done something that caused the animal to react defensively? If that might be the case, then your son should be taught about the proper handling of animals, because declawing a cat is not minor surgery. It's like having the tips of one's fingers amputated, and some cities have outlawed the practice.
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