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Daughter’s actions concern parents

Q: We’ve just discovered that our 16-year-old daughter and her boyfriend have been sexually active for a few months. That’s not how we raised her and we’re very concerned. How can we address this issue without alienating our girl?

Q: We’ve just discovered that our 16-year-old daughter and her boyfriend have been sexually active for a few months. That’s not how we raised her and we’re very concerned. How can we address this issue without alienating our girl?

Jim: Your question shows that your daughter has caring and sensitive parents who understand that blowing up or lecturing is generally counterproductive. That goes a long way – as does a loving and thoughtful response. Feeling upset and disappointed is normal in situations like this, so I’d encourage you to pray and think before you react.

After you’ve sorted through these emotions, arrange a time to sit down and talk with your daughter. The goal is to contain the damage and encourage more healthy and rational decisions without driving a wedge into the parent-child relationship. Ask open-ended questions (“Can you tell me about your relationship with _____?”) instead of judgmental ones (“How could you have done this?”).

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