Yes, Tell Parents Immediately About Sister's Behavior

By Dr. Robert Wallace

April 14, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: I'm 14, and I have an 18-year-old sister who has terrible driving habits. In the past year, she has been that involved in two (fortunately minor) accidents that were both her fault.

Yesterday, she wanted to go to the grocery store with her best friend, and she was driving her best friend's car. I couldn't help but notice her because she "burned rubber" when she took off down the street. My parents are both working at "essential businesses," so my sister and I are supposed to be staying home in quarantine anyway, but my crazy sister always wants to go somewhere with her friends, and now the only place open is the main grocery store in our city.

Do you think I should tell my dad about this or just keep quiet? I really don't want to be a snitch, but my parents told us to stay home, and my sister is not only out and running around but driving someone else's car like a maniac!

By the way, my sister told me yesterday that COVID-19 is a hoax and has been made up by the media to scare everyone. She told me she's not afraid at all and that she's going to live her life however she chooses to. She says all of her friends think social distancing is a joke and that a group of about 15 friends get together regularly at one 22-year-old guy's apartment, and they drink and listen to music. This puts me in a tough spot! What, if anything, should I do about this? I'm worried she might catch this virus and give it to me or our mom and dad. — Scared Little Sister, Kalamazoo, Michigan

SCARED LITTLE SISTER: Yes, do inform your mother and father immediately. I hope their next try at grounding your sister will be much more successful. She is a prime candidate to become a traffic statistic, and she is putting your family at risk by not taking this pandemic seriously. Her behavior behind the wheel puts drivers in your city at risk, and her ignorance of COVID-19 safety is beyond dangerous and immature.

You will be doing your whole family a favor by mentioning what you know to your parents right away.


DR. WALLACE: I'm 17, and I have what is truly an unusual problem. I need all the advice I can get. I live with my adoptive parents, who I love very much. I consider them to be my mother and father. I never use the word "adopted" when I think about my situation.

My mother's younger brother has come to visit us periodically over the past few years. He and I have hit it off, and I'll confess we have had a few sparks fly in terms of flirtatious conversations. We have not done anything physical, not even kiss, but we both kind of look at each other's eyes as if we wish we could! My mom's brother now has contacted me, and he wants me to move to California after I graduate high school once I turn 18. By the way, he is 25 and has a good job in Cali. He has been in some trouble here and there over the years, and my parents have refused to allow me to have contact with him. But since my mother and I are not related by blood, there's no reason why I can't be romantically involved with him, right? We absolutely share no DNA!

So, this whole situation makes me really confused. Something inside of me tells me to go for it, but when I seriously think about the social taint and distaste I may face once people know how we are connected, I have my doubts. I guess you can say my heart says yes, but my brain says no.

What should I do now? I'm excited by this guy romantically, but I kind of think that there would be no real long-term future with him and that I might later regret it if I were ever to get physical with him. Do you think I could just try getting to know him for a month or two on a platonic basis before I let myself get further involved with him? I would like to check out California for a few months at some point, and going to hang out with him would at least give me a chance to see the Golden State. — Unsure of My Next Step, via email

UNSURE OF MY NEXT STEP: In this case, your brain is making a lot more sense than your heart. Running off to California as soon as you graduate high school and turn 18 to be with your uncle sounds like certain disaster. Even though you're an adopted daughter to your mother, he is still your uncle! And your mother knows him much better than you do. My advice is to sever all contact with him immediately.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Pexels at Pixabay

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