DEAR ABBY: My daughter is a 19-year-old college sophomore who is studying to become a teacher. Her longtime boyfriend, "Arnie," is a 21-year-old part-time student who works and goes to college. He has not chosen a major yet.
Abby, Arnie is a fine young man who loves my daughter, but he doesn't have much direction and hasn't given much thought to the future. He has received little guidance from his parents, who don't seem to care if he graduates from college or not. His siblings went to work straight out of high school.
This concerns me because my husband is a successful businessman, and our family has a very nice lifestyle. We drive new cars, go on nice vacations and are putting our three children through college. I know if my daughter marries Arnie, they probably will never be able to afford the lifestyle she is accustomed to.
Should I express my concerns to my daughter, and try to give Arnie some advice, or mind my own business? -- A LOVING MOM
DEAR MOM: By all means express your concerns to your daughter, if you can do so without alienating her and Arnie. Do not, however, speak to the young man about his perceived shortcomings; your daughter should do that if she feels his lack of ambition is a problem.
It's fine to offer advice to your daughter if you leave it up to her to follow or discount it. But if you alienate Arnie, it might unite them in the face of adversity.