DEAR ABBY: My husband and I and our children moved across the country away from our families three years ago. My 9-year-old daughter is extremely close to my mom and sister. Mom wants to take a road trip and spend a week with us. We are all excited, since we haven't seen them in a year. However, she wants to bring along my grandma and my younger cousin, who is 12.
My grandma has partial custody of my cousin. The girl had a rough upbringing, and I don't want her to come. She throws terrible temper tantrums, demands to be the center of attention and, when it doesn't happen, starts acting up. If that doesn't work, she will try to kiss people or make "jokes" about sex. I don't trust her around my daughters.
Mom hates controversy and turns a blind eye to the behavior. How can I get across that we want Mom and Grandma to come but to leave my cousin at home? -- PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION
DEAR PROCEEDING: Say it in plain English as you have to me. You have a right to protect your daughters from what you perceive to be a bad influence.
You mentioned your grandmother shares custody of this girl. Perhaps Grandma can leave her with that person for a week. However, once you have drawn the line, be prepared for the possibility that your mother may cancel the trip.