My best friend past away last year, leaving her 13 year old daughter and 17 year old son, and their step father. Her daughter is already having sex, sneaking out of the house and who knows what else.....the step-father is trying.....but pretends a lot of these things aren't happening. I am having lunch with the daughter today to try and talk to her about her actions....I just don't know where I should draw the line, and not get involved if the step-father is supporting what I see? I've raised a daughter myself who is now 20, but am afraid with talking with my friends daughter, is she going to rebell....I just don't know how much I should get involved, but I am really worried about her.
This young woman is a minor who, I will assume, is in the custody of her step father. You are very kind to be concerned and offer your help; however, I would suggest that you discuss it with her step-dad first and be both on the same page.
Actually, sometimes kids are more willing to listen to an interested third party than a relative. Once the step dad agrees with your plan, go ahead and offer help. Suggest to her also that if she is sexually active, she can stop as well as continue. Above all, ask her to see her physician and be up front with her/him to assure her health.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics