Dear Abby: Asking son's playmate to go home is no fun for mother

Posted: January 15, 2013

DEAR ABBY: My son "Timmy" has a playmate from down the street I'll call "Bobby." Even though Bobby is only 6, he has stayed at our house as late as 10:30 at night.

Also, Abby, I did not invite Bobby to my 4-year-old daughter's birthday party because it was for her and her little friends. Well, Bobby, his older sister and a friend of hers showed up anyway!

These children don't want to go home even when I ask them to leave so we can have our dinner. They beg to stay and eat with us.

How can parents be so inconsiderate as to allow their children to come over anytime and stay as long as they like? How do I handle this?

- Imposed Upon in Oklahoma

DEAR IMPOSED UPON: Has it occurred to you that Bobby's parent(s) may be drunk, stoned or absent? If a parent is reachable, explain to him or her that you have a regular dinner hour and that it is family time. Guests must go home then, unless they have been invited to stay. Also, after-dinner playtime is over at 8:30 p.m. and guests must go home by then - but not walk alone after dark.

It may turn out that your son's playmate is a latchkey kid or being neglected. If the latter is true, then Child Protective Services should be notified.

DEAR ABBY: I am a woman who is more than 50 pounds overweight. I gained the weight because of years of unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and the birth of my two daughters over six years.

Recently I have started walking two to three miles a day with my friend, "Shannon." Shannon and I are made fun of as we walk. We don't need people calling attention to us or making fun of the "fat girls."

Please let your readers know that struggling with weight loss is hard enough without adding the fear and anxiety of being made a laughingstock while exercising.

- Losing Slowly in Ohio

DEAR LOSING SLOWLY: The individuals making those unkind remarks are trying to make themselves feel superior by putting you down. Please don't let it discourage you. You're on the right track.

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