Dear Straight Talk: I have full custody of a talented, intelligent 15-year-old daughter. She just started freshman year and is moving fast toward having a senior, poor-student, drug-using boyfriend. Obviously, I’m not thrilled with her choice. We’ve never had issues, and talk openly even about sexual topics. I’m afraid, depending on how I handle this, that I will lose our communication and trust. How can I discourage this without causing a rebellion? — Single dad, Toledo, Ohio
Jessie, 20, Eugene, Ore.: Discouraging her could spark the opposite reaction — but you still need to do it. Make rules: She must tell you where she’s going, with whom, and for how long. Set a curfew. Remind her that a boy who truly cares about her will respect her family, too. Encourage involvement with school friends (they can talk a girl out of a guy better than you). The times I fell for someone who used me was when I felt insecure and unlovable. Give her room to make mistakes but ALWAYS remind her that she is loved, respected and needn’t settle.
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