DEAR ABBY: I have questions about "growing up." I am 15 and want to talk to my mom about it, but I'm embarrassed. We talk about some stuff, but most of the time I wait until I can't stand it anymore and finally talk to her.
Do you have any ideas about making it easier for me to open up to my mom? I want to just walk through the front door and say, "Hey, Mom, I've got a question" -- but I can't. I'm too shy.
Abby, please help! -- TOO SHY IN A SMALL TOWN
DEAR TOO SHY: I'm sad to say your question is very common. It is repeated in nearly every batch of mail I receive. Teenage girls want to talk to their mothers, but they are afraid to reach out.
What I recommend are scheduled mother-daughter dinners, one-on-one time where there are no distractions, and feelings can be discussed, questions answered and opinions and attitudes aired and explained. This quality time can be the basis of precious memories and the foundation for trust and closeness. If this seems far-fetched, consider how many thousands of young girls have such distant relationships with their mothers that the only person they feel they can confide in is an advice columnist. Mothers, please reach out to your daughters. You'll be glad you did.