DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old girl about to start my sophomore year in high school. I play sports, help out with chores around the house, and tend to my little sisters after school until Mom gets home from work.
I've always tried to live up to everyone else's expectations of me, because I don't want to let anyone down.
I now want to start dating and hanging out with school friends and go to parties. I don't intend to be wild. I just want to have some fun every now and then.
The problem is my mom is strict about my curfew –- 11 o'clock. I have asked for midnight, but she thinks that's too late for me to be out. I have friends younger than me who have midnight curfews.
Mom tells me she doesn't want me to make the same mistakes she made. But how will I learn about life if I can't experience things for myself? I'm smarter than she realizes. I know right from wrong. I think I'm old enough to find out who I am. Abby, do you think I'm asking too much? -- WANTING TO GROW UP IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR WANTING: Whether you're asking too much depends on the kind of dates you have in mind. If you're going out with groups of friends -– and it's supervised -– 11 o'clock is fine for a 15-year-old. If you continue to be as responsible as you are, renegotiate the curfew when you turn 16.