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Publication: Dear Abby
Girl Hanging Out With Older Boys Is Headed For Trouble

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         DEAR ABBY - June 16, 2008 
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GIRL HANGING OUT WITH OLDER BOYS IS HEADED FOR TROUBLE

ABBY: I am 19 years old and have known a girl I'll call 
Emma for a couple of years. She's 14 and like a member of 
my family -- a little sister. My parents joke that Emma is 
their second daughter.

Emma is an only child and lives with her mother. Her dad 
is an alcoholic who is currently serving time in prison. 
Lately Emma has been hanging out with a group of 18- and 
19-year-old boys who let her drink and smoke pot with 
them. People say she's just "doing what all teens do," 
but I have never smoked or had a drink in my life.

Should I tell Emma's mother what's going on and risk 
losing our relationship, or should I wait to see if it's 
just a phase? I feel responsible, but don't know what to 
do. 
-- BIG SISTER IN OKLAHOMA

SISTER: Tell Emma's mother NOW. Because Emma's father is 
an alcoholic, she already has the predisposition to become 
one. The longer you procrastinate, the greater her chances 
of getting into serious trouble --and face it, she's 
already well on her way. The "boys" Emma is hanging out 
with are too old for her, and girls under the influence 
of alcohol and marijuana make mistakes that can affect 
the rest of their lives.



ABBY: I'm 26, and "Henry," my boyfriend of five years, and 
I are expecting our first child. We're not married, but plan 
to be sometime after the baby arrives.

My problem is my mother. She keeps telling me that because 
Henry and I aren't married, the baby's last name should be 
my maiden name. She says it's the law. I always believed 
that a child's last name should be the father's last name, 
married or not.

Is my mother right, or is our baby entitled to have his 
father's last name? 
-- SECOND THOUGHTS IN SANTA ROSA, CALIF.

SECOND THOUGHTS: According to the Los Angeles County Hall 
of Records, because you and Henry are not married, in order 
for his name to appear on the baby's birth certificate, he 
will have to sign a Declaration of Paternity. This can be 
done in the hospital at the time of the child's birth. 
However, because you don't live in L.A. County, and laws 
can vary in different places, check with the birth clerk 
at the hospital where the baby will be delivered.

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ABBY: I recently celebrated a birthday and was taken to 
lunch by a couple who are like a second set of parents to 
me. As they always do, they presented me with a card filled 
with cash. The cash was a combination of $10s and $20s.

I opened the card in front of them, read the sentiment 
inside and thanked them from the bottom of my heart. How-
ever, it is always awkward because I never know what to do 
with the money. Is it proper to count it in front of them, 
or acknowledge the cash, close the card and count it later 
in private? 
-- GRATEFUL IN ORLANDO

GRATEFUL: You should thank your benefactors warmly for 
their generosity, close the card and count the money 
privately. Then write them a sweet note in which you thank 
them again for the amount they gave you. To count the money 
in their presence would make it appear you are fixated on 
the amount. 




ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 
____________________________________________________________


END OF ABBY
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