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Keeping cell phones from the dinner table

DEAR AMY: I have four children, ages 14 to 19. They don't text at the table because they know it isn't tolerated in our home. I have a friend with whom our family often shares meals. Her children of similar ages do text at the table -- both in her home and at ours. This is not OK with me in my home. How do I kindly tell my friend that the whole family is welcome but I do not welcome phones at the table? If you tell me to tolerate this rudeness for the sake of the friendship, I will. This friendship is golden.Old-fashioned Mom

DEAR MOM: There's no reason to tolerate rudeness when it could be easily averted. If you are such close friends, you should feel comfortable saying to all of the kids, "Guys, let's put the phones away at dinner. We're turning our dinner table into a 'no-phone zone.' "

DEAR AMY: I snooped on my boyfriend's Facebook account recently and found a drunken message to another girl stating that she was "very cute." She told him he should be ashamed of himself, to which he replied that he was and that he had never done anything like this before. My heart sank when I saw this exchange. I should not have been snooping, but regardless -- he shouldn't have anything to hide! I don't want to admit I was snooping, but I feel he should know how much he hurt me. I am so confused.Ashamed of Snooping

DEAR ASHAMED: Tell your boyfriend you were snooping -- this way he can have a "heads-up" that you will violate his privacy when it suits you and then you'll blame him for what you find. He should know that, just as he lacks a certain amount of self-control when he's had a beer or three, you also lack self-control.

Throw yourself at his mercy and talk this out. But you should check your self-righteous attitude toward his behavior, because what you did could be considered more serious than what he did.

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