DEAR ABBY: I'm a teenager and I want to grow up fast. My boyfriend, "Jared," and I are very serious, and we want to have a baby. I know that sounds crazy, but we talk about it all the time and we're ready for it.
As much as I want all this, I'm afraid I won't be able to provide for the baby. I have been distant from Jared because I don't know how to tell him I'm not totally sure. He'll be disappointed after all we've discussed. I need to know what to do and say. I need answers. -- FUTURE YOUNG MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR FUTURE YOUNG MOM: You and Jared may be intent on growing up fast, but believe me, having a child at your age is a guaranteed way to slow you down. Once a baby is here, the baby's needs will supersede yours until he or she is no longer a minor. You are wise to worry about how you will provide for any baby you bring into this world, and Jared should be doing the same thing.
If you make it out of high school -- many pregnant girls don't -- the kind of jobs you'll be prepared for won't pay much. If Jared suddenly discovers he isn't up to the responsibilities of fatherhood -- and believe me, it has happened many times -- you will have greater problems than telling your boyfriend you don't think you're ready to be a mother until you have at least a high school diploma.Read more in: Teens | Family & Parenting | Work & School
DEAR ABBY: My younger brother is in junior high and he has autism. It is not severe. He's able to interact with others, but he's noticeably different from the other kids.
As he gets closer to entering high school, I am sure that if we don't tell him he has autism, someone at school will. I have mentioned this to my mother a couple of times, but she doesn't want to tell him. She's in denial and wants to ignore the situation like it's not even there.
Should I respect my mother's decision or push the subject more? -- GROUNDED IN REALITY
DEAR GROUNDED IN REALITY: Your brother probably already knows he is "different" -- and if he is high-functioning, I think he should know why, and it should be explained to him by one of your parents. However, whether your brother should be told is a decision -- at least for now -- that should be made by them.
Have you discussed your concerns with your father or any other adult relatives? If you haven't, I think you should, because they are valid.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Health & Safety
DEAR ABBY: We gave a substantial check to a young woman as a wedding gift. The marriage lasted three months. The money wasn't returned, and we never received a thank-you note. What is the etiquette in a situation like this? -- ROBERT IN CHULA VISTA, CALIF.
DEAR ROBERT: The rule of etiquette is that the bride should have promptly written you, thanking you for your generosity.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Holidays & Celebrations | Money
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