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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Still Comes To Dad For Help With Gifts For Ex-Wife

DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife, "Kristy," and I have been divorced for five years and she has since remarried. We have a 15-year-old daughter, "Taryn."

When it's Kristy's birthday, Mother's Day, etc., Taryn looks to me to help out with gifts for her mother. I have asked my daughter if she talks to her stepfather about this, and she says no.

I feel it isn't my duty to do this. It should be the current husband who is assigned this task. I want Taryn to be happy giving her mother a gift, but I am not comfortable with this. Am I thinking right? If so, what should I say to my daughter? -- UNCERTAIN IN KENTUCKY

DEAR UNCERTAIN: Explain this to your daughter just as you have written it to me. Taryn isn't a little girl. I presume she has chores to do and earns an allowance. If she wants to give her mother a gift or a card, she should pay for it. But if she wants to spend more money for it than she has, she should ask her stepdad to chip in.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money | Family & Parenting | Teens