When I took them for their annual physical last summer, their pediatrician said this would be the last year I would be in the room while he examined my sons. I don't understand why I should have to leave if my children are OK with my being there. My sons are comfortable with me, and I am an only parent. It seems to me that more and more rights are being taken away from parents. Am I out of line for feeling this way? EXAM ROOM OFF-LIMITS DEAR OFF-LIMITS: Yes, if you trust your sons' doctor, which I hope you do. By ages 13 and 14, your sons are maturing into manhood. As their hormones and bodies change, they may have questions and concerns they would be more comfortable and less embarrassed talking to a male doctor about than their mother. Privacy in the examination room would give them the chance to do that. Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

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