Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Adult is calling and texting young teen

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

The girl's mother should check the girl's phone and look at texts, investigate any other channels of communication between the two (apps such as Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp, FB private messaging, or the good old U.S. mail) and -- if she doesn't like what she sees -- she should intervene.

(There are also products available that make it possible for parents to monitor a child's online activity without them knowing about it.)

She should talk openly with the child and check her reaction regarding interrupting or ceasing contact. The degree to which the girl freaks out is a rough measurement of the intensity of the relationship. The mother should do her best to be understanding and openhearted toward her daughter. Adolescents are emotionally and physically vulnerable, and their parents need to protect them.

Dear Amy: I have a 14-year-old niece, and I believe she is a spoiled brat.

Every time I complain about her, my older sister runs to her defense!

In my sister's eyes, my niece can do no wrong. She takes her daughter on extravagant trips and my sister has the audacity to say that she is young and needs lots of experiences. I thought that elders were supposed to come first! My niece has her whole life ahead of her!

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I am 54 and want to do something with my life, but for now I am stuck taking care of my ailing 89-year-old father. I am a full-time caregiver.

My sister treats me like dirt and I am fed up.

How can I put my sister in her place, and get my niece to step up?

-- Taken Advantage Of

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