DEAR ABBY: My 17-year-old daughter confided that she has become sexually involved with her boyfriend and asked if I would buy condoms for her. I agreed that she should protect herself and bought her a box of 12.
A week later, she informed me that she needed another 12-pack. When I asked why she had run out so quickly, she confessed that she has been supplying them to her girlfriends. Apparently they can’t confide in their moms the way she can with me.
My dilemma is that condoms are expensive and, on one hand, I don’t want to be the one supplying a group of kids. On the other hand, if I can help to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, maybe it’s worth it. What do you think I should do? — SAFE SEX ADVOCATE IN ILLINOIS
DEAR SAFE SEX ADVOCATE: If your daughter’s friends are old enough to be sexually active, they and their boyfriends should also be responsible enough to provide their own birth control. Generally, teens do not need the permission of their parents to receive information about it. Because you want to help them avoid unwanted pregnancies (as well as STDs), direct them to the nearest Planned Parenthood Center for low-cost or no-cost birth control and instruction on how to use it. There are 18 of these health centers in Illinois. To find the one closest to you, visit plannedparenthood.org
DEAR ABBY: I work at a senior retirement community, and the residents have a Halloween party each year. In the past, there were prizes for the three best costumes. However, last year they stopped giving prizes because one of the residents is a professional artist and costume maker, and the association felt it would be unfair to the others to have him compete.
This year it was decided not to hold the contest at all. The residents are disappointed. How can they continue to have the costume contest and include the professional? — DRESSED UP IN LOUISIANA
DEAR DRESSED UP: Ask the artist/costume designer to be the judge.