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Dad Is A Snoop

Dear Sugar
I am 23 and I'm going through what I am sure lots of kids my age go through with their parents. I get along GREAT with my Mom, but my Dad has a habit of snooping through my room when I'm out. For example, I had a full ashtray on the top shelf of my closet yesterday and when I got home from work, the ashtray that was in my closet was now sitting on my bed - emptied. He makes jokes about how it's HIS house, and that's he's my Dad so he has the right to know what's going on under his roof, etc... If I was a secretive person, I could maybe understand - but I am very close to my parents, so what the heck is he doing? And why? I try and talk about this with my Mom. She asks him to stop and explains how it makes me feel, but he always says, "we'll agree to disagree on this one." When I try talking to him about it, and his reply to me is, "if you don't like it, move out." I am in school full-time, and working so he knows I can't afford to move out right now. Do you have any ideas, tips/advice for me? Fed Up Felicia

Dear Fed Up Felicia
If you were 15 then I would tell you that you don't have any choice but to stay put, but you are 23 years old now. If you can't afford your own place yet, then wait until you graduate (how much longer will that be?) and then immediately move out. He probably just hates that you are smoking (and smoking in his house.) Is there any way for you to smoke outside? It will just give him one less thing to snoop for. He should really be more respectful of your privacy at your age, but one lesson I have learned is that you can not change your parents. You can only change how you are going to deal with them. Try and think of this as a temporary arrangement (until school is over) and be as respectful as you can possibly be, but try and be home less often. The less you are there, the less things can bother you. Focus on school and maybe take that one extra class so you can finish faster.

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