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Ask Amy: 19-year-old daughter pays no attention to her curfew

Dear Amy: Our 19-year-old daughter has decided she does not have to abide by the curfew her father and I give her.

Dear Amy:

Our 19-year-old daughter has decided she does not have to abide by the curfew her father and I give her.

If we tell her to be home by 1 a.m., she never gets home before 2 a.m. She always turns up at least an hour late.

As I write this, it is 4 a.m. and she was told to be home an hour and a half ago. She is still not home.

When I call her, the response is always, "I'm on my way," and then she arrives at least two hours later.

Each time I say something to her, she says, "Sorry, I was having fun."

She has always been a good daughter but we don't know what to do now because she just keeps doing her own thing when it comes to her curfew. She thinks that at 19 she should stay out as late as she wants.

Her father and I want this stopped without threatening her. We don't want to take away the car keys from the car we bought for her. We need something effective that will work without causing our very close family to crumble.

Her late nights are disrupting our lives. Help!

- Oh So Tired Mom

Dear Tired: Your daughter is being disrespectful to you by causing you anxiety. You are enabling her to behave this way because her rudeness brings no consequences.

Evidently she doesn't work or go to school, which would require a decent night's sleep. If this is the case, then she needs to find a suitable daytime activity to introduce some discipline into her life and also contribute to the household.

You and your husband should sit down with her and tell her that her behavior is unacceptable. Say her curfew is "solid" and the next time she is as much as a minute late, you'll be taking the car keys for a period of time to be determined by you. And then you must follow through.

Make sure she knows that the outcome of this issue is very much up to her.

Dear Amy: One year ago my life partner died. I received many monetary gifts.

One of our friends purchased thank-you cards for me to use to thank friends, but every time I tried to write them I would break down. I never sent any.

Was it horrible of me not to? Is it too late?

- Guilty in Denver

Dear Guilty: You need to acknowledge your friends' kindness during your time of grief. Script out a basic message, set aside an entire evening, and do it.

This is the right thing to do - and connecting with your friends is also an important part of your recovery.