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— DEAR ABBY: My mom is mad at me. I have been a little bad, but I always do the dishes, sweep, clear the table and take out the trash. Every day when school is finished, I wait for Mom to get off work so she can help me with my homework, but when I do, she gets upset, mad and frustrated and stops talking to me. She tells me to do it myself, but I don’t know how to do some. She says I’m smart, but I don’t know if I am. Please help me because I want my mom happy. — STUCK STUDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR STUDENT: Of course you do. When your mother becomes frustrated while trying to assist with your homework, the reason may be she is stressed about something else after a hard day at work, or she doesn’t know the solution. Please take that into consideration, because I have no doubt you are smart and want to please her.

When you get stuck, ask your teacher for help if he or she is available. If that isn’t workable, another solution to your problem may be as simple as your mom finding someone who can tutor you in areas you are weak in. High school and college students do this (online for now) for extra money. You may also find help online with Khan Academy or other nonprofit educational organizations.


DEAR ABBY: A couple of our family members habitually come late to gatherings, making the grand entrance. They attended a wedding shower several years ago. They arrived late, ate the food and socialized minimally. Just as the gifts were being opened, the two of them got up, smiled at everyone and walked out. The rest of us were shocked.

Fifteen months later, the two attended a baby shower for the same relative. Again, they arrived late and barely interacted with anyone. When the meal was served, they ate and, just as the presents were about to be opened, they got up and left. Several attendees commented on their rudeness.

How do you deal with relatives who feel this is acceptable behavior? We were brought up to believe that if you attend an event, you stay for the event, rather than eat and run. If you can’t stay, don’t come.

Older family members are having a hard time accepting their behavior. Are we older folk out of step with today’s society? — HATES RUDENESS IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HATES RUDENESS: The way to deal with this kind of rudeness is to point out to the offenders that what they are doing is disrespectful. And if it happens after the warning, omit them from the guest list.


DEAR ABBY: I clipped and saved a quote you published years ago. Given today’s challenges, I thought it might be a good time to reprint it: “Things turn out for the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” — BOB IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR BOB: Amen to that. And it applies to so many different situations.

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

Andrews McMeel Syndication

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