DR. WALLACE: I'm responding to your answer to the 16-year-old girl who found out she was pregnant. You stated she should tell her parents because they love her and would help her to make the best decision for herself.
I disagree. Many times, it would be better to have the teen visit a clinic that regularly deals with unwed, pregnant girls. They know how to help keep everything strictly confidential. Parents too often react on emotion, and family chaos ensues. — A Clinic Worker Who Has Seen It All, Portland, Oregon
CLINIC WORKER: The great majority of parents want only the best for their children. After the disappointment and shock of learning their unwed daughter is pregnant, most parents will provide the love, guidance and care that is so necessary at such a dramatic time.
When parents fail, clinics and groups that are designed to offer medical and emotional support provide excellent alternative sources of advice. I firmly believe that the process in these situations should start at home and move on from there, if necessary.
THE BEST POSSESSION OF ALL
DR. WALLACE: I'm responding to the letter from a 19-year-old woman who didn't want her father to walk her down the aisle and give her away on her wedding day because she felt she was not a possession and, therefore, could not be given away. I'm in my 30s and will be getting married for the first time in two months. My fiance and I are having a traditional church wedding; my father will accompany me down the aisle, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
My father is a military veteran who had both legs blown away by a roadside mine during a war. With the love and support of his family, my dad learned how to be mobile on his own, with the aid of special legs and a lot of physical therapy. Now, he not only can walk unaided, but he can drive a car. He has a full-time accounting job that he commutes to and from by himself every day.
Let's not get caught up in the semantics of whether a child is or isn't a possession. Instead, let's remember to enjoy the time we spend with those we love, especially Mom and Dad. I feel our greatest "possession" is the love we have in our hearts for each other. — Proud Daughter, Sacramento, California
PROUD DAUGHTER: Thank you for your beautifully articulated thoughts on this subject. I agree that we as a society sometimes pay too much attention to semantics and not enough to the love that binds families together. I agree with your take, and I'm pleased to hear you outline how very proud you are of your father. I'm sure both of your parents will be beyond proud of you on your wedding day. Congratulations!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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