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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Tangles With Dad Disrupt Family's Happy Home Life

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old girl, and I have had a great relationship with my parents since I was a baby. I have always felt I have the perfect family. I can talk to them about anything and love spending time with them.

Lately, though, I have begun fighting with my dad almost every day. They're never big or scary fights, just arguments that leave us both angry and disgruntled. He says I have a newly developed "attitude." I say he has a bit of a temper. Neither of us is willing to back down.

We have talked about our constant arguing, but we honestly don't know how to fix it. He recently suggested family counseling, but I'm not sure if it has gone that far yet. Any advice? -- TEEN IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

DEAR TEEN: Some of what is happening between you and your dad may be that you are now a teenager, with all of the hormonal changes that go with it. That said, you are old enough to understand that because there can be consequences for saying the first thing that pops into our heads, it is prudent to exercise tact.

I consider your father's idea of family counseling now to be a good one. Think of it as "preventive medicine" to avoid a more serious breakdown in communications later.

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