First lesson in college is to rise and shine on time

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DEAR ABBY: I teach and advise first-year students at a college, and one of the most critical problems students have is sleeping through class because they havent learned to get themselves up in the morning.

Last week, a sophomore student missed a math class at 8 a.m. because her father failed to call her that morning and get her out of bed.

PLEASE advise parents to buy an alarm clock for their children, starting in sixth grade, and make them learn to get themselves out of bed, even if it means suffering the consequences once or twice for being late. Daddys not going to make that wake-up call forever, and Mom shouldnt have to serve as the alarm clock for kids over 12 years of age. Wed appreciate students who can at least do that much for themselves and Im sure their future employers would too.

FRUSTRATED ADVISER

DEAR ADVISER: Im pleased to help spread the message. Parents, the longer bad habits are ignored, the harder they are to break. Sometimes its necessary to use tough love to teach children self-reliance and independence. Do it now, while the penalties they will have to pay for their mistakes are still minor. By the time theyre out of the nest, its too late.

DEAR ABBY: I recently began dating this guy, Don, I met a few months ago. For the most part, hes good to me. The problem is I have strong feelings for him, but Im not sure he feels the same way.

Don says he loves me, and he does treat me wonderfully something Ive always wanted but I have this nagging feeling that something will go wrong. I dont know where this stems from. I feel myself starting to fall in love with him, but I dont know if I should because he has been married four times already. Please help me. I dont want to lose him.

HOLDING BACK IN OHIO

DEAR HOLDING BACK: The nagging feeling you described may be your common sense telling you to put on the brakes before giving your whole heart. Lets face it, this man has a terrible track record when it comes to commitment. Get to know him a lot better before planning a future with him. This is one of those cases where only time will tell lots and lots of time.

DEAR ABBY: Im about to have my first baby. Im very excited about it. People ask if Im nervous about giving birth. To tell you the truth, the only part of labor and delivery Im afraid of is the fact that my mother-in-law insists on being there.

I agreed when she first asked me, but I have changed my mind, and Im wondering how I can avoid having her there when the time comes. I actually find myself praying for a C- section because then she cannot be there.

How should this be handled? Should we tell her before the birth, or should we just call her after the baby is born with the good news?

TRAPPED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR TRAPPED: If you cant find the courage to tell your mother-in-law beforehand that you have changed your mind, discuss that fact with your OB/GYN, and specify that you want only your husband with you during labor and delivery. Your doctor can make sure your wishes are carried out.

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