DEAR ABBY: At what point does a parent no longer have the right to know who their child's friends are?
I have three grown daughters, all on their own, living on the other side of the country. During a recent visit home for their grandmother's birthday, I asked each of them to give me all of their friends' phone numbers, in case I couldn't reach them. I also wanted to know who they were exactly, how well they knew them, etc. I was simply thinking of their safety. If I can't reach my girls, I want to know who might have seen them last and, if need be, give that information to the police.
Abby, all three of them told me NO! They said they are grown women and can take care of themselves, and besides, if, God forbid, they didn't want to answer their phone when I called, I sure as h--- didn't need to be pestering their friends.
They say they are adults, and that we (their dad and I) no longer have the right to "dictate" who they are friends with. I say I'm their mother and no matter how old they get, I will ALWAYS have the right to know who they are friends with. I would appreciate your thoughts. -- RENEE IN OREGON
DEAR RENEE: I agree that you are their mother, but you are not your daughters' parole officer. They are self-supporting, self-sufficient adults. Perhaps if you were less overbearing, your daughters would be living closer, would answer their phones more often when you call and would open up to you about their friendships. Frankly, I think you should apologize for giving them such a heavy-handed third degree.