DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old married woman. My job requires a lot of domestic travel, which I love. My parents continue to ask that I "check in" whenever I fly, and often text or call asking me where I am, even though I provide them my schedule.
I feel this indicates a lack of confidence that I can take care of myself. They frame it as "they love me" or "they care," but, to me, it feels like a constant putdown. I know it doesn't take long to respond, but every time I do I feel like a child. It's not as though they are in a position to help me if something did go awry. I would be forced to handle it myself, regardless.
I have tried reasoning with them, but it hasn't worked. Can you please help me explain to them what a normal adult-child relationship looks like, so we can stop arguing and I can feel like the capable woman I am? - CAPABLE ADULT IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR CAPABLE ADULT: Your parents appear to be having trouble letting go of their parental role. If you are providing them with your schedule and itinerary, you are doing enough. One way to win an "argument" is simply not to argue. If you do not wish to check in, don't do it.
DEAR ABBY: A relative has recently, through no fault of his own, lost a significant amount of money. I would like to help him out with a gift of money, with no expectation that he would repay the money. However, he's very proud, and I'm afraid he would be insulted if I offer him the money. It could also damage our relationship, which has always been very good.
Can you offer any words that could persuade him to accept this gift? You often have a tactful approach that can help to maintain a positive relationship but still allow a person to accomplish their desired goal. - PROUD IN NEW YORK
DEAR PROUD: This is the approach I would take:
"Uncle Charlie, you have been wonderfully supportive of me over the years. (Be specific about a couple of instances; they do not have to have anything to do with money - in fact, it's better if they don't.) You would be doing ME a great favor if you would please accept this because this past year has been so difficult for so many people, and I have been concerned about you." Then I'd cross my fingers.
DEAR ABBY: I am an RN with a bachelor's degree in nursing. My question is, when is it appropriate to put BSN, RN behind my name? For example, I have only my name on my checks. When I sign for things at work I always add RN to the end of my signature. The rest of the time I do not, which brings me to my next question: When should I put the BSN part in there? I tend to never use it. It is on my name tag for work, but when sending faxes to doctors or clinics, I have been leaving it off. - NURSE NEEDS TO KNOW
DEAR NURSE: Because you have earned both degrees, you should use them. In the world of academia, the college degree is used first. However, since you are not in that environment, whichever one you prefer to use first will be all right.
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.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)