DEAR ABBY: As you know, when students are in their last year of high school, their minds start wandering to other places -- college, careers, marriage, etc. But my daughter is the complete opposite. All she wants to do is party and have fun.
When I approach her about the importance of planning her future -- things like college and work -- she tells me to "take a chill pill" and refuses to listen.
I want the best for my daughter. I'm a single parent and am afraid she won't get the education she deserves. She was a very bright student. She was on her way to being valedictorian until she took a turn for the worse. I have tried everything. I even scheduled a meeting with her school guidance counselor. My daughter never showed up. What can I do? -- SCARED PARENT IN PUERTO RICO
DEAR SCARED PARENT: Girls on their way to be(coming) class valedictorian don't normally take the kind of nosedive your daughter has. The first thing you should do is screen her for drugs. If she tests positive, get her into rehab. This will effectively remove her from the "party scene."
If the results are negative, sit your party girl down and inform her that the party is over. The time to start planning her independent future is here and now, and unless she wants to face the job market with only a high school degree she needs to make plans to complete her education.
And, dear parent, if that girl prescribes one more "chill pill" for you, show her in no uncertain terms what life will be like trying to build a secure future while earning minimum wage. After that, what happens will be up to her.