DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old graduating senior, "Renee," has told me I have taught her nothing about living life. Furthermore, she informed me that her school counselor agrees with her, saying I have failed to teach her the skills needed to be successful in life.
At first I was angry and denied everything my daughter said. Now I am beginning to doubt myself and the way I have raised her. Have I taught her the necessary skills to live her life? Does she lack what it takes to make it through the good and bad parts of life?
How can I know my Renee will be able to "fly out of the nest" because there is no safety net to catch her? -- DOUBTING MOM IN MINNESOTA
DEAR DOUBTING MOM: Before you second-guess yourself any further, check with Renee's school counselor to make certain he or she was quoted correctly. Does your daughter know how to save money? Balance a checkbook? Hold a job? Does she know right from wrong and how to assert herself?
Many of life's survival skills are learned by imitation, the rest from experience. You can't protect your daughter from everything. Like most parents, you should cross your fingers and pray, and avoid blaming yourself for anyone else's poor choices.