DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old daughter has just graduated from high school. She has now informed me that she's not going on to college, like we had previously discussed, and becomes upset when we try to talk to her. My question is, should we let her make her own decision about this -- and pay for it for the rest of her life -- or continue to push her into some kind of life skill set? -- LIFE SKILLS IN MISSOURI
DEAR LIFE SKILLS: Your daughter may be burned out from studying. Rather than "push" her into doing something she is sure to resent, consider allowing her to take a gap year.
This does not mean it should be spent resting on her laurels or her fanny. She might benefit from getting a job and learning what the real world is like. It would give her time to mature and, after spending a year in a lower-paying job, she may begin to appreciate the wisdom of furthering her education for the financial benefit it brings.