Dear Annie: I am a good kid. I'm 19 years old and a freshman in college, planning to be a veterinarian someday. I make good grades, I don't do drugs, don't drink and don't party. I am not having sex, and I go to church every Sunday.
My father, however, complains about my choice of boyfriend. "Kyle," whom I have been dating off and on for five years, is not perfect, but he treats me like a queen, isn't abusive and doesn't pressure me about sex. Right now, Kyle has no job and doesn't have the money to go to college, but he's working hard to develop the skills needed for a good career, maybe in the military.
Kyle and I had sex before re-devoting ourselves to our religion. My father holds this against us and, consequently, dislikes Kyle immensely. Dad insists that I date other people and gets angry when Kyle and I go out. Dad also thinks Kyle is not good enough for me because he cannot support me. Since we aren't planning to get married anytime soon, I'm not worried about finances, not to mention my salary as a veterinarian will help a lot.
Kyle's parents have invited me to join them for a vacation at a cabin they are renting. I have agreed to go, and my father is furious. I am old enough to make my own choices but still young enough to be subjected to punishment, and my vengeful father will probably take away my car.
Am I supposed to be an obedient daughter and follow his rules or stop being a child and make decisions for myself? I need your help. Trying Hard
Dear Trying: You sound like a sensible, responsible young woman. However, by our count, you have been dating Kyle since you were 14. We can understand why your father thinks you should broaden your dating experience. Still, you are indeed old enough to make your own decisions -- and that means you must be willing to accept the consequences, including the loss of car privileges.
Dear Annie: My daughter is in third grade. The teacher permits the children to use the bathroom only at lunch or recess, but not during class time. Sometimes the kids eat or drink during the day and cannot wait that long. When my daughter comes home from school, she runs to the toilet. One little girl wet herself in class.
The students are awarded "table points" if they do extra things in the classroom, and they can use these points to go to the bathroom, if need be. But if they are desperate and must go anyway, their group is penalized. I think this is cruel, but I don't want my daughter to be singled out if I complain to the principal. Am I making too much of this? Pee Patrol in Pasadena, Calif.
Dear Pasadena: Children should never be penalized for needing to use the bathroom. If you don't want your daughter singled out, organize a group of concerned parents to approach the principal and insist this outrageous policy be changed immediately.
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