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Dear Abby: Shy teens take it slow to warm up

Dear Abby: There is a guy at school whom I kind of like, but he’s really shy and doesn’t really talk to anybody. I have talked with him a couple of times, and he’s really nice and has good manners. He sits with me and my group every day at lunch, and I see him around school. I say hi to him every time, but I’m not really getting any results. I could use some help.

– Shy Teen in California

Dear Shy Teen: I think you are doing everything you can right now without scaring him off. On the plus side, this boy is comfortable with your group or he wouldn’t be having lunch with you. If you all socialize beyond eating together, make sure he knows he’s welcome. If he takes you up on it, it’ll give you both a chance to get to know each other better, and it may help him to overcome some of his shyness.

Succeeding as a single parent

Dear Abby: I just want people to know that you can succeed in raising your children as a single parent if you put your mind to it. I’ve worked in fast food, retail, and in nursing homes as an assistant – all jobs that people call dead ends. I’m proud to say my kids are now grown and college-educated. I’m writing because I want to reassure single parents out there that it’s possible.

– Loyal Reader in Alabama

Dear Loyal Reader: Congratulations on a job well done.

Worried over baby sitter at 70

Dear Abby: My mother is 70. She lives alone and has been diagnosed with mild dementia and hydrocephalus. She has fallen numerous times and been injured, can no longer drive, and needs help with household tasks.

The problem is, a relative keeps asking her to baby-sit her 5- and 7-year-old sons. The doctor has said in front of Mom that she shouldn’t, because the boys will distract her and she’ll have a hard time focusing on her balance and getting up. My mother loves watching these kids, and I understand that, but I’m more concerned about her well-being. Can you help?

– Concerned in Tennessee

Dear Concerned: Speak to the doctor and see if he/she will put in writing what was said to you and your mom about not baby-sitting. If you get it in writing, you can share it with the mother of those children and the other relatives. As concerned as I am about your mother losing her balance because she is distracted, I am equally concerned about the welfare of the kids. If your mom should fall and suffer an injury, would they know what to do to help her? And as she becomes more confused, and if something like a fire should happen, would she be competent enough to get the children out and call 911? What you describe could be a recipe for disaster.