DEAR AMY: I have a really great friend whose mother passed away last year.
I recently discovered that my friend's father has been having an affair for more than 10 years, but my friend doesn't know this because he keeps it hidden from her.
My friend wants her father to find another woman, but her father has lied to her by saying he is not ready to get back in the dating game.
What should I do?
Should I tell her, or should I keep it hidden from her, hoping that she figures it out herself?
I don't want to become involved with or interfere with her relationship with her father.
— Frustrated Friend
DEAR FRIEND: If you don't want to become involved or interfere, then don't.
You should not go to any extraordinary lengths to keep this from your friend, nor should you go out of your way to inform her.
If your friend asks you, "Is my father having an affair?" you should not lie to her. If your knowledge of this is based on hearsay or rumor, you can tell her what you've heard, including the fact that it is a rumor.
If your friend's father wants to lie to her, then that's his unfortunate business.
DEAR AMY: I am a fifth-grade girl, and I have a problem with games at recess.
My friends and I tried to play kickball with the boys, but they wouldn't let us play because they say we're "bad" at it.
We had some fights about the rules, and so we told the teacher, asked the boys to let us play, and asked the teacher if he could be a referee.
Our teacher was a referee but then left after a few minutes, and we started fighting again, so my friends and I started a game of mini-kickball on our own.
After two days, the boys came and asked to play.
We let them play because we knew how it felt to be left out.
Guess what? We ended up fighting about the rules again!
The teacher told the boys to leave the girls alone and let us play by ourselves, so we played — but we felt bad.
The next day, we gave them one last chance. We ended up fighting again!
What should we do?
— Worried Fifth-Grader
DEAR WORRIED: Believe it or not, tangling over the rules is an important part of this experience. When you and the boys argue over rules, you're actually teaching and testing one another.
However, in sports, as in life, the team that has the ball controls the game.
If you and your friends get a game going and have the rules all figured out and the boys want to join your game, then they'll have to abide by your rules to play.
Likewise, if they have a game going and you want to join it, you'll have to abide by their rules.
It is obvious that the boys are eager to play kickball with you, but if you don't like the way they handle themselves, then tell them you don't want to play with them.
It is very nice of you to let the boys play because you feel sorry for them, but recess is short and kickball is long. Play the way you want to play and with the people you want to play with.
DEAR AMY: "Monica" wrote and said she objected to being called "Mom" by medical personnel during her hospital stay and now at her children's pediatric appointments.
I think you are both missing the point.
Of utmost importance to the staff at a dental or medical office with a 2-year-old and 5-year-old in the chair are the comfort, trust and rapport they establish with their young patients.
Calling their mother "Mom" is a way to connect with the children. It's about them, not her.
Not to mention that motherhood is an honor and a privilege, and in no way should being called Mom ever be considered demeaning or annoying in any way.
— Proud to Be "Mom"
DEAR "MOM": You make an excellent point — that referring to a parent as "Mom" or "Dad" during appointments with young children could put them at ease.
However, this doesn't explain or excuse the practice of referring to people as "Mom" or "Dad" in other contexts and when the kids aren't even in the room.
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