DEAR ABBY: I am 35 and the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, "Savannah," who is in the fourth grade.
Savannah claims that I am smothering her. She is not allowed to have sleepovers, and she may not attend any of the co-ed parties her friends throw. No sugar is allowed in our house unless it is a special occasion like a birthday. Whenever she goes to a friend's house, I call every hour to see how she is doing.
In the kitchen, Savannah is not allowed to use the stove, the oven, the blender, or any other appliance unless I am there to supervise.
My daughter attends an all-girls school because I don't want her exposed to some of the things boys do when they are her age. Savannah is not allowed to wear makeup, and I shop for her. Every morning, before she leaves home, she must come to me so I can monitor what she is wearing.
Abby, I love my daughter very much, and I only want what is best for her. Do you think I am smothering her? -- GOOD MOM IN HOUSTON
DEAR GOOD MOM: I believe you are a caring parent, but I also think you have gone off the deep end. In the name of being a conscientious parent you have placed your daughter under virtual house arrest. How is your daughter to learn to be independent and make intelligent decisions if you restrict her every move?
Calling her every hour at a friend's house to "see how she's doing" is overkill. If it doesn't stop, it won't be long before she will rebel. I know you mean well, but please, talk with a counselor about this. In the name of being a "good mom," you are stunting her growth and doing your child a disservice.