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Parents, Rearing to Go

If not, serious, one-on-one remedial work needs to be done before any other socialization can be taught -- let alone the beginning academics that parents now want in the curriculum. Now that there may be more than one such child in a preschool class, teachers -- who hate to give up on any child -- can no longer do that job.

Parents are just going to have to find someone else to blame for not parenting their children.

Dear Miss Manners:

I was wondering the proper order of events, pertaining to an engagement. Does the groom ask her father for her hand in marriage, then ask her and give her the diamond? Or does he ask her to marry him and then her father?

He should not ask her father to marry him. Proposing to two members of the same family can only end in strife or bigamy.

If, however, you wish to ask the father's permission to ask the lady to marry you, you must do so first. However, Miss Manners warns you not to attempt this before being reasonably sure of a favorable reply from the lady. "Your father is okay with your marrying me" is not a persuasive argument these days.

Feeling incorrect? E-mail your etiquette questions to Miss Manners (who is distraught that she cannot reply personally) atMissManners@unitedmedia.comor mail to United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

2005Judith Martin


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