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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Chafes Under Dad's Strict Style of Parenting

DEAR ABBY: I am a teenage girl in an average family. I started getting interested in LGBTQ+ and other social justice topics when I was in fifth grade.

Since then, I have realized that, among other things, I'm a lesbian, a liberal and an atheist. This wouldn't be a problem, but my father hates many of the things I am or stand for. He's an extremely conservative, Christian, gun-rights person, and he wants me and my brothers to join the military. He constantly pushes me to be the best that I can be, and I try, but his idea of "best" is very different from mine.

I have several mental problems, which resulted in me getting special privileges in school. I use them whenever I can, but it is never enough for him. He keeps searching through my grade book until he finds something new for me to do, regardless of the date it was assigned or whether it can be graded anymore.

I have various restrictions on my use of technology, so I can barely contact my friends. It has gotten to the point that I am worried about when I come out and looking forward to college just so I can get away. Please tell me what to do in the meantime because college is five years away. -- WAITING IN VIRGINIA

DEAR WAITING: You and your dad have very different outlooks on life, and that's OK. That said, you must live under his roof for the next five years, so be diplomatic and keep some of your opinions to yourself as long as possible.

You may think your father is heavy-handed in parenting you, but has it occurred to you that when he goes through your grade book, he's trying to make sure you know how to work all the problems in it? Placing restrictions on a minor's use of technology is intelligent parenting, at least for someone just entering her teens. Please try to cut him some slack. Recognize there is a bright future ahead of you if you concentrate on your studies to the best of your ability and buckle down now.

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