DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old high school graduate working full-time as a general manager for a furniture corporation. I live at home with my parents, but I feel like I am ready financially and emotionally to move out into my own place. I'm afraid to tell my parents because we are so close.
My father has always said he won't let me move out unless he approves of the place, and he talks about random checkups of my apartment. If I move out, aren't I entitled to privacy in my own place? I shouldn't have to get my parents' approval or have them checking up on me any time they want. How do I approach them about this without it becoming a screaming match, or ruining the relationship with them? -- UNSETTLED IN WASHINGTON
DEAR UNSETTLED: At 19, you are a young adult and no longer a child. You hold a responsible job and, I assume, have enough savings that you can afford what you are contemplating.
That your father wants to protect you is understandable because you are his child. Approach the subject by telling your parents you are "considering" moving out on your own, and would like your father to help you select a place that is safe. Do not be confrontational. If he refuses, you can still go looking on your own.
Once you are in and settled, you can then address the subject of "surprise" visits. Your father is not your parole officer, and it is respectful to call before dropping by.