DEAR ABBY: My stepdaughters like to decorate their room with lots of posters and whatnots. The girls hang them using thumbtacks and constantly rearrange them. As a result, their walls are full of tiny holes. I don't mind their hanging one or two posters, but the number they hang (and move from place to place) is destructive and shows little respect for our home.
My wife disagrees. She is right when she says we can repair the walls when the girls are older, but I feel we are not teaching them discipline by allowing them to be so destructive. My wife is angry that I won't let this go.
Abby, if the girls refuse to respect my decision on the number of posters they can hang in their room, it makes it difficult for me to respect their decisions. Should I just shut up and allow them to hang and move their posters as they please? -- TICKED OFF IN LOUISIANA
DEAR TICKED OFF: Posters are important to young people. These "interior design statements" are part of growing up. It has nothing to do with a lack of respect for you.
Look at it this way: The holes in the wall can be easily repaired when the girls outgrow this phase -- as they will eventually. It's harder to "repair" an overly strict relationship. Loosen up, Dad, and don't sweat the small stuff.