DEAR ABBY: I am a single father with primary custody of my 11-year-old daughter, "Nadine." She and I are very close. She lives with her mother on weekends. However, since her mother works out of state, on some weekends she doesn't make it home to be with Nadine.
Abby, I have a rule that my daughter cannot have her girlfriends spend the night at our home. It's because I'm afraid of being accused of misconduct with her friends. I would never behave inappropriately, but today, men must be careful that there is no possibility of suspicion. I would not feel comfortable with Nadine spending the night at the home of a friend who lived alone with her father, and I think most parents probably would feel the same way.
Am I cheating my daughter by not allowing her friends to sleep over? Am I wrong to protect myself from the possibility of accusations? Or am I being paranoid? -- 'OVERLY CAUTIOUS' OR 'RIGHT ON'? TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR RIGHT ON: In light of the social climate today, your caution probably is wise. However, explain to Nadine why you have the rule. She is old enough to understand.
Your daughter need not miss out on the girlhood ritual of sleep-overs -- she could have her friends spend the night when she is with her mother.