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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wants Daughter to Avoid Calling Her Mom When They Travel

DEAR ABBY: I'm a beautiful 77-year-old woman in excellent health who has fun traveling internationally. I will soon be taking my oldest daughter to Europe at my expense because I want a companion.

I'm 19 years older than she is. She also is in great health and has a fun-loving personality. We look like sisters and have fun together wherever we go. However, I don't want her to call me "Mom" while we are out in public places. Can I ask her not to call me that?

She is stubborn and always has been, but I love her and want her around while I'm traveling, rather than friends. She's single, but I'm not. My husband can't go because of health issues.

I need my daughter to go with me. Can you give me some ideas on how to approach her to not call me "Mom" in public? What if she refuses to go with me? -- ONE STIPULATION IN THE SOUTH

DEAR STIPULATION: I can't help but wonder why not being called "Mom" is so important to you. I have read your letter several times, and I'm struck by the fact that it's all about you and what you want. Your daughter is long past 21, and I'm sure she can make her own decisions. You can ask her not to call you "Mom," but whether she will agree and won't forget to not address you that way is anyone's guess. Old habits die hard.

Read more in: Family & Parenting