I'm a 21-year-old Asian female student living at home.
My parents refuse to let me occasionally stay out past my midnight curfew.
I'm an honours student, paying my own way through university, and working part time.
My parents know that I've never done drugs, nor smoked cigarettes and I'm not into drinking. They know my friends very well and that they're responsible.
My parents are overprotective, saying it isn't safe for girls and they don't want anything to happen to me, which is understandable.
I always have to miss events with friends.
I've tried asking for a later curfew once every other month (six days a year), for special occasions such as birthday parties, but they've allowed it only once or twice a year, and won't budge!
My friends have always changed their plans for me in the past, e.g. leaving a party early to get me home; I've felt horrible about it.
Now I immediately reject invitations and stay at home, but feeling that I'm missing out.
You're a model daughter, and while you got that way largely as a result of your responsible behaviour and wise choices, I suspect it also has to do with your upbringing.
It's unfortunately become natural for parents to fear for single young women out late in our open society, since horrible occurrences - while rare - are part of our consciousness.
While you're in their home, it's important to respect their rules as you've done, to maintain trust.
One approach: For the next "special" event, ask if you can call at midnight to check in, let them know what's happening and have a one-hour extension.
Try this several times. But if they refuse, remember this - your education and work experience will help you become independent in the near future.
READERS: If any parents have brief stories about how they decided to loosen the reins on grown children living at home, I'll publish a sampling.
I'm living with a wonderful man; both of us have had difficult previous relationships.
However, despite being separated from his wife for nearly 10 years he has no desire to get a divorce.
I thought for the first few years that it was because his children were small but we've been together for three years now.
Although I have no desire to remarry at this time it bothers me that he's still married and I've told him about it but never really got an explanation.
His holding back on discussing such an important issue, gives the message he's not fully committed to his relationship with you.
Do NOT let him walk away from this conversation any longer.
After being together for three years, you have every right to know his thoughts and plans about getting a divorce.
Understandably, many separated people worry about the effects of a divorce on their children. Yet experience has shown that children are often more comfortable when things are clear, and they no longer have reason to fantasize that their parents may someday get back together. So long as the issues of custody and access are settled, children do better when there aren't blurry lines about their future.
However, your guy may fear that his ex will overreact to the divorce process and take it out on the kids or curtail his visits.
If so, he needs to tell you his concerns, since in the meantime, his silence upsets you and could be affecting your future relationship.
I've been dating this woman for one year - we constantly fight over things I feel are petty.
We've both lied to each other in the past, but agreed to put it behind us.
I'm 25; she's 32 and has children. I've grown attached to them and they like me very much.
However, she constantly checks my phone and is always accusing me of cheating.
I feel the accuser is the one who's not on the straight and narrow.
I want to end the relationship but I don't want to hurt the children by leaving.
What should I do?
- Split Decision
Tell the children that you care for them a lot, and the split has nothing to do with them. Explain that it's not healthy for them to grow up in a house of constant fighting and mistrust between the adults responsible for them.
Tell her the same thing.
Tip of the day:
When parents' rules seem strict, try various compromises, but always prove yourself worth their trust.