DEAR ABBY: My 13-year-old daughter, "Alisa," has earned a scholarship to participate in a month-long summer language program in Turkey. As soon as my sister "June" found out I was allowing Alisa to attend, she called me a moron. She has been giving me the silent treatment for almost a month. June is terrified my daughter will be a victim of terrorists, a plane crash, kidnapping or worse.
Alisa has consistently proven she is trustworthy and responsible. After some research I determined the country and the program are safe. Alisa will be traveling with a small group of students and three adult chaperones who are native to the host country.
Our mother was afraid of everything, and I don't want to pass that kind of irrational fear on to Alisa after she worked so hard to earn a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that could shape the course of her life. Am I really a poor parent for allowing my child to travel halfway around the world? I feel I made the right decision. -- STUNNED SISTER IN LITTLE ROCK
DEAR STUNNED SISTER: A poor parent? Not at all. You would be one if you caved in to your sister's emotional blackmail. Taking this trip is a privilege your daughter worked hard for, and seeing firsthand that there is a world filled with interesting, good people will open her mind to opportunities and possibilities that few people her age are able to experience.