DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and very pregnant. My boyfriend and the father of my baby is 18, and he just graduated from high school.
I've been attending a "special school" until after the baby arrives. My boyfriend and I care for each other, but we have no plans of getting married in the near future. I plan to keep the baby, and my mother will care for him — I know it's a boy — while I'm in school once my senior year of high school starts this fall.
At first, my boyfriend wanted me to get an abortion, but when I told him it was against my religion, he dropped that issue and said he would be an active, loving father to our son. I'm due to have the baby in about two months.
The only problem I have right now is that my boyfriend has not told his parents about my pregnancy yet! He doesn't want them to know because they are in the social circles of the well-to-do crowd, and it would not make them happy. I know for sure his mother would flip out if someone called her "Grandma."
My mother feels it's important that my boyfriend's parents know their son is about to become a father. She wants to call his mother and tell her the good news. Would this be a good idea, or would it be considered to be butting into their personal business? — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: I feel the parents must be told, but your mother is not the one to do it — you and your boyfriend are. This may seem like an extremely difficult task, but the two of you have to start acting like grown-ups right now. And "social circle" or not, his parents have to know about the true situation immediately. They cannot be protected, and waiting will only make things worse.
If your boyfriend refuses, visit them yourself. If it comes to this, be polite no matter what they say. Keep your cool and keep the door open to having a future relationship with these people, even if their initial shock does not find them on their best behavior. After all, they are going to be your child's grandparents. Hopefully the meeting — you alone or the two of you, boyfriend included — will go reasonably well and all parties can rally together, planning to love and support the precious, innocent new life that will soon arrive.
MOM, CEASE THESE INSPECTIONS
DR. WALLACE: I'm really a good kid. My mom has recently been quite worried about teen drug abuse after she read some articles online and talked to her friends about this subject. Now once a week, she inspects my whole room including the clothes hanging in my closet. She even sniffs the fabric to see if she can pick up the smell of marijuana. I have never done drugs and never given her a reason to believe that I have.
When I complain about this treatment, all she ever says to me is, "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about." This is causing me to start feeling a little upset with her, and I feel really uncomfortable being unhappy with my mom. What should I do before we get really distrustful of each other? — Good Kid Under Inspection, via email
GOOD KID: Make sure your mom reads your letter to me, plus my response right here regarding this situation.
MOM: It is wise to be aware of possible drug abuse by your daughter, but trusting your daughter is of the utmost importance when she has done nothing to date to cause you to distrust her.
Stop the detailed inspections of your daughter's room and instead have a detailed conversation with her about this subject. Tell her you love her and want the best for her at all times. Explain that your love for her coupled with reading an article about teen drug abuse has scared and shaken you a bit. Allow your daughter to openly tell you anything she does or does not know about drugs at her school and any possible use by her classmates. Then once this discussion is over, trust your daughter and end these compulsive inspections.
It's very important to give teens trust when they have earned it and to only increase parental inspections once the primary trust is broken. It appears to me from your daughter's letter that she is good young lady who, over her lifetime, has earned your trust up to this point. If there is anything further to this particular situation that I am unaware of, feel free to write me directly yourself. If not, give your daughter the loving trust she has earned!
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 www.creators.com.
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