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Teen mom needs to speak up

Dear Abby: I am a 17-year-old mother. I am afraid to tell my mom that I have been speaking to my son's father, "Jeremy," who is also 17. She doesn't like him because when she found out I was pregnant, my best friend told her about the abuse I suffered from Jeremy.

Mom is scared he will abuse my son, and, being a teen, he will up and leave me when he finds the right person to be with. He has missed a year of the baby's life, and so has his family.

Jeremy's parents want to meet their grandson. Mom thinks they haven't tried to see my son, but in reality they're leaving it up to me to set up. How can I get her to be less angry about the situation?

-- Teen Mom in Grand Rapids

Dear Teen Mom: You may be only 17, but because you are now a mother you are going to have to grow up -- fast. Your mother has your best interests and those of her grandchild at heart. You didn't say whether Jeremy was physically or emotionally abusive, but both are bad. If he dropped out of your life for an entire year, the odds are high that he'll disappear again.

I am urging you to be completely honest with your mother. Sneaking around is childish. TELL her that the reason Jeremy's parents haven't seen the baby is they left it up to you to arrange, and you were afraid to tell her. It's honest and better than letting them take the rap for your unwillingness to speak up. It may make her less angry about the situation and more willing to compromise.

> Superfluous suggestions

Dear Abby: My former boss told me that my numerous suggestions, voluminous descriptions for systems improvements, suggestions for work outside the office, extra reports and documentation, large number of phone calls and multitudinous e-mails came across as intractable, intolerant and superfluous. Could he have been right?

-- T.K. in Raleigh, N.C.

Dear T.K.: In a word: yes.

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