Dear Abby: I’m 14. Last summer I went to camp in a different state with my cousin “Mary.” I told my friends at school about our adventures, and a couple of them said they want to go there with me next summer.
Mary and I don’t get a lot of time together, and camp is one of the only times when I can see her. I don’t want my friends to come. How can I tell them that without hurting their feelings?
– Torn in Texas
Dear Torn: Out-of-state summer camps can be expensive, and although your friends might want to come to yours, it remains to be seen if their families can afford to send them. However, if it turns out that they will be going next summer, you should let them know beforehand that you may not be seeing a lot of them after you arrive because it’s the only time you get to spend with your cousin during the year. The chances of their being hurt will be less if you tell them in advance.
‘Grandma’ talk can wait
Dear Abby: I grew up like most children of the ’80s and ’90s, on fast food and propped in front of the TV. I have worked hard to change this lifestyle. I want to raise my future children in a healthier fashion than I was. However, when I bring up the subject of future grandchildren with my mother, she can’t stop talking about how she’s going to spoil them with sugary treats because she’s the grandma, and “that’s what grandmas do.”
She knows how I feel and knows it upsets me, but she keeps taunting me. I have gone so far as to tell her that if she can’t respect me, I will limit her time with the kids. What should I do?
– Health First in Maine
Dear Health First: I don’t know when you plan to have children, but until you do, I suggest you drop the subject. Your mother may be saying this to get a rise out of you. If she’s serious, it will be your job as a parent to enforce the rules you set. But right now, this discussion is premature.