DEAR ABBY: I'm 16, and I feel as though my mother (a single parent) does not respect that I have differing political opinions. She is very liberal and is a registered Democrat. I am very conservative and, as of a few weeks ago, a registered Republican.
When I want to leave the house, if I'm wearing any of my conservative slogan apparel, she yells at me and tells me I'm not allowed to represent "us" like "that." I always do my best to be respectful of her beliefs and to have a civil conversation with her about politics, but she just ends up yelling at me and telling me I'm never going to get a girlfriend or find a job with my beliefs. At the same time, she's the most loving, supportive person I know when it comes to anything BUT politics. What can I do to get her to respect who I am and what I stand for? -- FREE-THINKING GUY IN D.C.
DEAR GUY: Be patient with her and remain respectful. Because you understand that your mother is the most loving and supportive person you know (except when it comes to politics), try to accept that she's being protective in the only way she knows how -- warning that in this current environment, expressing political beliefs can have lasting consequences. No matter what your political leanings are, as you mature I'm confident you will find a girlfriend and job that are compatible.Read more in: Teens | Family & Parenting