DEAR ABBY: Our daughter, “Jill,” began college near our home a few weeks ago. Jill was on her high school honor roll and was the recipient of numerous academic awards. She holds down a part-time job that enables her to cover her car payment and insurance. She has never been a problem.

Jill recently turned 18, and now she wants to re- negotiate her curfew. She wants to stay overnight at her boyfriend’s on weekends.

Jill’s father and I told her if she wants to spend the night with her boyfriend, she should move out of our house. But with her attending college this fall, it’s not financially realistic.

What should we do, Abby? Let her do what she wants, or insist that she find her own place? We need to give our daughter a final answer and we’re counting on you. – MICHIGAN MOM AND DAD

Stand your ground. Although your daughter appears to be mature and responsible, I see no reason why you and your husband should compromise your values. Jill must weigh what is more important to her right now – completing her education under your roof or spending nights at her boyfriend’s.

DEAR ABBY: I am 14 and have a good friend, “Jillian,” whose father died from lung cancer six months ago. While her dad was sick, Jillian didn’t hang out with us often because she wanted to spend as much time as possible with him while she could.

When Jillian’s dad passed away, all her friends and I wanted was to be there for her, but her mom wouldn’t let us. Now that Jillian’s dad has been gone all this time, her mom still won’t let her out of the house for anything other than school. No one ever sees her outside of school – and during class she looks and acts depressed.

I understand Jillian’s mom being protective, but she won’t let her daughter answer the phone or even go to the mall with us.

Do you have any advice for me and Jillian’s other friends, so we can get her mother to lighten up? It’s not like her mom doesn’t know us. She’s met every one of us, and Jillian says she likes us all. – FRIENDS OF JILLIAN

It appears Jillian is being held captive in her own home. You and your friends should talk to the school counselor or a trusted teacher about your concerns for Jillian – her depression and her isolation. Her mother may need psychological help to get through the loss of her husband.

DEAR ABBY: How does one acknowledge the birthday of someone who recently had a death in his or her immediate family?

I recently sent a friend a handwritten note that read, “I’m sure you don’t feel much like celebrating your birthday, but I wanted you to know I remembered and I’ll be thinking of you on your special day.”

Yesterday, a mutual friend told me that my note acknowledging her recent tragedy made her feel awful.

What would you have done under similar circumstances? – FEELING AWFUL, TOO, IN DENVER

I probably would have done the same thing you did. Your friend is not herself right now. She’s grieving. So take it in stride, pick up the phone, and tell her that you heard your note did not have the desired effect. Then apologize.

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

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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