DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend and her mother have an extremely tumultuous relationship. One day, the mom will tell her daughter that having her was her biggest regret, other days they are each other's BFFs. The ups and downs in their relationship certainly appear hurtful and confusing, and being a confidante in this situation has proven to be harder than I anticipated. After listening to my friend, I can lament her mother's parenting style on their bad days, but on their good days, it's as if the prior day's abuse is erased. I know they typically do not apologize to each other and just wake up and flip a switch. Their relationship is not stable, and I simply never know what to say. It's hard to understand the mom saying the most horrible things one day and then becoming the "best mom ever" with frozen yogurt and manicures. What should my advice be to my friend when she brings up their rocky relationship? I am going away to college and am not sure how to be a support to her from a distance. -- Mother-Daughter Duel, Little Rock, Arkansas
DEAR MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUEL: Resist the urge to give advice. You should not try for one second to interpret, get in the middle of or otherwise comment on your friend's relationship with her mother. Count your blessings that you come from a more stable environment. While you should tell your friend that you can't help her with her situation with her mother, let her know how much you love and support her. Be as consistent as you can in your friendship, even from a distance. Continue to email or text her as you normally do. But remember that you have to live your life. Naturally, friendships change course sometimes when friends transition into new experiences. Don't forget your friend, but don't be absorbed by her troubles, either.