Monday, April 22, 2024

Ask Amy: Mom wonders if she should report teens

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Dear Amy: I am the mother of a young teenager. I have worked hard to foster a sense of trust and responsibility. I asked my teenager to be open with me about the actions of my friends and acquaintances, good or bad, and I promised that in exchange for their honesty, I would not “snitch” unless a friend is in a serious situation (for example, threats). suicide, hard drugs, weapons, pregnancy, etc.).

Recently, my teen shared with me that some friends are starting to vape, experimenting with pot, and sometimes receiving sexually explicit material from other teens (or people pretending to be teens, I guess). I’m grateful that my teenager is open with me. However, I didn’t expect that my demand for honesty would open the door to so many credible examples of “good” kids doing bad things, including possibly being victims of sextortion.

I want to run to these parents and tell them what’s going on, but I don’t want to break the trust with my child and make that child a “snitch” in the minds of the local youth. Can you help me take a path that allows me to share what I’ve learned with my parents without making my child the bad guy and without breaking the trust I have in my child?

Torn: So far, the things your child is telling you about are the norm for many teenagers, who experiment, push boundaries, and definitely try things they know they’re not supposed to do. They are surrounded by messages that they should not vape, smoke, drink alcohol or consume weed. And yet, “good kids” do these things. So far, you have not received any reports of “threats of suicide, hard drugs, weapons, pregnancy, etc.” » and so I don’t see the need for you to panic and alert other parents.

If your teen is extremely concerned about a particular person going down an extremely risky path, you should contact that child’s parents. You’re the adult. This is a matter of judgment you should make. The only issue you mention that has an alarming and lasting downside is the exchange, receipt or provision of sexual photos. These photos truly live forever. It is the concept of “forever” that stretches the cognitive abilities of a typical adolescent. They think they will live forever, but they can’t imagine their photos will, even if they are delivered and received on apps that promise quick deletion.

I suggest expressing your valid concerns about this to the school counselor, without needing to provide details. Schools must take on the task of educating their students about the risks and negative consequences of sending or sharing explicit photos, even between friends or romantic partners. This is a re-emphasis of lessons and concerns that you would honestly discuss with your own teen at home.

Dear Amy: My in-laws are nice people, but they are very religious and tend to filter everything through their religious beliefs. My wife and I had our first child (their first grandchild). My wife and I agree on our parenting choices and think we are doing well. His parents, however, like to offer us parenting concepts based on Christianity, which they glean from YouTube channels.

I really like them, but I’d like to discourage that. We do not intend to raise our child in their evangelical church. What do you suggest?

Wondering: Jesus may have walked on water, but he never had to try to guide a toddler to the grocery store. Depending on how common these recommendations are and how they are delivered, it may be wiser to simply ignore them. Don’t click, don’t look, don’t read. If a brother-in-law asks you and your wife about these resources, you can both honestly state that you are not following them.

Your wife is probably the best person to make her parents understand that you will not raise your child in their church. It is your right – and your duty – to raise your child according to your own values.

Dear Amy:Wondering» reported that relatives absconded with some of Grandma’s belongings, before the estate was settled. Years ago, my mother gave her children and grandchildren a pack of sticky notes. We put sticky notes on things we would like after he was gone. She resolved all disputes. There are sticky notes everywhere, but I hope there won’t be any arguments afterwards.

No fingers: Mom is smart.

© 2024 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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