DEAR ABBY: My 15-year-old son will be entering 10th grade. He has been a member of the school band since sixth grade. After performing in last year's Christmas parade, a group of the students went to a nursing home to perform for the residents. When we arrived, I started to get out of the car with my son so I could listen, as other parents were doing. My son seemed surprised that I was going to stay and said he would rather I didn't because I make him nervous. Needless to say, I was devastated.
Now, whenever there's a concert, festival, parade or football game, I stay away, although I love to listen and watch the band play. When I don't attend, I feel hurt all over again. I'm his mother. I'm at a loss as to why I make him nervous, because I have always given him positive feedback regarding any performance. Should I respect his wishes and stay away, or go because it is what makes me happy? -- MISSING THE SHOW IN MICHIGAN
DEAR MISSING THE SHOW: Have you asked your son why your presence makes him nervous when he performs? His answer might be enlightening. It could be something as simple as the fact that you are his mother. Sometimes teens become self-conscious simply because a parent is present, which may be the case with your son. That said, if you wish to attend his performances, I think you should, if you can do it unobtrusively, preferably out of his line of sight, and refrain from giving him feedback.