Dear Abby: Please settle an argument I'm having with my wife. Our 18-year-old daughter, "Crystal," suffers from ADHD. Last June, my wife insisted that Crystal get a summer job. After weeks of searching, the only job Crystal could find was selling door-to-door.
I was afraid that this door-to-door sales might put my daughter in danger, so I quietly approached the owner of a small business nearby and paid her to give Crystal a job. Crystal did well, and it turned out to be a positive work experience -- her first for someone nonfamily.
My wife just found out what I did, and she is irate. I didn't tell her because she is such a penny-pincher -- she complained about piano lessons for Crystal during her senior year because "she was going to college anyway."
Is what I did so terribly wrong? I think it was a good thing.
-- In the Doghouse in Michigan
Dear "In": Although you did not mention the toll that having ADHD has taken on your daughter, I'm sure it has been significant. You weren't wrong to want to level the playing field for your daughter and ensure her safety. The benefit to both of you is that she now has a summer of work experience behind her -- and the confidence that goes along with it -- and you had peace of mind. You behaved like a concerned and loving father, and that is laudable.
Bothered by neighbor
Dear Abby: My husband and I have a problem with the little boy who lives across the street. Any time we pull into our driveway, the youngster will come right over to greet us with 100 questions before we can even exit the vehicle.
If we're in our front yard, he will come over and won't leave, even though we tell him we're busy doing yard work. It has reached the point where we look out the window before we go outside. If he comes over, we go inside immediately. We would like to enjoy all the hard work we have put into our yard and enjoy our patio again.
This may sound selfish, but we just want to be left alone.
How can we handle this without hurting the child's feelings and keep peace with our neighbors? It has plagued us for far too long.
-- Prisoners in Our Own Home, Norwich, Conn.
Dear Prisoners: You have described a very lonely little boy. I am sure if he had other things to do, and friends to play with, he wouldn't be depending on you for human contact. However, since you and your husband are not child-oriented, I advise you to speak to the boy's parents and urge them to get their son into some activities where he can be entertained and interact with his peers. You would be doing the boy a favor.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.