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DEAR ABBY Battle of wills erupts over social media posts

by ABIGAIL VAN BUREN | May 7, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My adult son has a drug addiction, for which he is receiving treatment. My family and I have just met his daughter, who we had only recently learned about. She’s 6. I had a celebration for her birthday at my house. My mom (the great-grandma) took pictures of the birthday girl and her friends, and posted them on social media. I had asked her before the party started to please not post pictures of the children on social media. She said she does what she wants.

I don’t believe pictures of children under 18 should be posted on social media and, in this case, especially since we just met my granddaughter. She didn’t have permission from the other children’s moms to post. I feel my mother disrespected my house and my rules, and I need to know how to handle future events. Please help.

I was raised to respect my parents, but this is a deal-breaker, and I’m seriously considering not including her in future events involving the children. — Deal-Breaker In New Mexico

Dear Deal-Breaker: Your mother has made it clear that your wishes and your rules mean nothing to her — she does what she wants. Now it’s time to exercise your own good judgment and do what you want. If you feel she might do something that would place the children in harm’s way, by all means exclude her from events involving them.

Dear Abby: After three years together, my boyfriend and I decided to split up amicably once we graduated from college. I bought him an expensive engraved pocket knife as a graduation gift, but there was a delay and it didn’t arrive until we had graduated and he’d returned to his home country in Europe. I forwarded it to him with a card when I received it. Unfortunately, when the box arrived in his country a month later, it was empty except for the card. Someone had stolen my gift.

We have both filed claims with our countries’ post offices, to no avail. Should I buy him a new one, or has the moment passed? While the knife was expensive, it didn’t cost so much that I can’t afford another one, and he stressed that he didn’t expect a replacement. What’s the right thing to do? The gift was intended as a memento of his graduation and our relationship, but it feels strange to repeat the exercise now that we’re broken up. What do you think? — Moment Has Passed

Dear Moment: Because your ex-boyfriend made clear that he doesn’t expect a replacement, let the matter rest. Allow his memories of college — and you — to be his mementos. They are what’s most important because they can’t be stolen.

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 P.O. Box 69440,Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


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