DEAR ABBY: My son, "Adam," is 9. He's very bright and earns straight A's in school. Adam gets in trouble now and then for goofing off, but nothing serious.
Adam has become friends with a boy in his class named "Sean," who has been in trouble quite often and has even been suspended from school. I happen to know that Sean's parents have drugs in their home and have been in trouble with the law.
Although allowing my son to go to Sean's house is out of the question, I have considered permitting Sean to come here and play where I can keep a close eye on him. I can't help but see that Sean is an innocent child who needs a positive influence. Would I be wrong to allow Adam to invite him over? Or should I discourage this friendship altogether? I'm unsure how to handle this. -- PROTECTIVE MOM IN ILLINOIS
DEAR MOM: You are in a position to make an important difference in that child's life. You could be the influence that turns his life around. The more time Sean spends in your home, the more he will be able to experience what a healthy family is like. As long as your son's friend follows the rules at your house, I see no reason why he should not be invited over. So be an angel and throw the boy a lifeline.