DEAR ABBY: Our daughter, "Lynn," is 19, attends college full time and comes home every day for meals and to do her homework. She earns good grades, works part time at school, and reimburses us for her excessive telephone calls.
Our problem is she refuses to listen to us when we encourage her to pick quality friends. We think her college friends are weird. They look disreputable with their tattoos and dirty clothes. Lynn says that she is legally an adult now, and she can see whom she wants.
Also, without consulting us, Lynn recently had her tongue pierced. She knew we would not approve. We think it looks stupid and it impedes her speech.
Abby, our daughter simply will not listen to us. She has big ideas about what she wants to do in the future. We have told her we will stand by her, but the truth is, she is doing everything she can do to retard her success in the world.
What should we do about our daughter? -- FRUSTRATED MOM IN NORTH JERSEY
DEAR FRUSTRATED MOM: Don't do a thing. Concentrate on what your daughter IS accomplishing:
She is attending college, which means she is going to be able to get a job when she graduates and support herself. (Provided she goes to the interview in clean business clothes, sans the tongue stud.)
She comes home every day, which means that you aren't worrying about her whereabouts.
She is working part time, which means that she does not totally rely on you for support.
She pays for her own "excessive" telephone calls.
I urge you not to squelch Lynn's "big ideas." Those are her dreams. Who's to say she might not attain them? Your daughter will outgrow the piercing and rebellion as she matures. (As will her friends.) Have patience.