DEAR ABBY: My 44-year-old son is a long-haul driver. His girlfriend has 14-year-old and 17-year-old daughters, who are both high-functioning autistic. My son thinks they should have chores because they need to learn to live independently. This is the biggest argument they have.
He says that they should be on the internet for only four hours per day, and that once they graduate, they will have to be on their own. They do nothing around the house -- they don't clean their room or pick up after themselves. My son has told his girlfriend that if they don't learn how to do it now, they won't know once they move out.
His girlfriend tells him he is right when he says, "You need to find another place to live." But she goes right back to doing nothing to help her girls learn to become independent. She receives child support for the girls and works part time. She doesn't think she should help pay for things "because he makes good money." But these girls are not his. They agreed when she moved in that she would pay half the expenses. What do you think of this situation? -- DISGUSTED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR DISGUSTED: Your son's girlfriend promised before she moved in that she would pay half the expenses. She has reneged on her promise, and your son has allowed it. This woman is not only irresponsible, she's a terrible parent by fostering her daughters' dependence. When the girls turn 18 nothing will change, and he should expect to support the three of them until he finally has had enough of this arrangement. If you have shared your feelings with him and he has chosen to tolerate the status quo, then quit wasting your breath. It is his life and his choice.