Protecting My 16-Year-Old Niece

Dear Sara,

My brother’s daughter is sixteen. He doesn’t pay much attention to her and she is running wild. She wears lots of makeup, tight low cut shirts and is allowed to go out whenever she wants. I don’t know how she is doing in school but at least she is still going to school. She’s cute and pretty and has always been a favorite of mine. Her Mom isn’t in the picture anymore. Is there any way that I can help her?

Dear Nora,

Sometimes when a girl’s Dad doesn’t pay much attention to her she will seek attention from the guys around her. You could have a talk with your brother and let him know what you think but he may not appreciate your interference. You seem fond of this girl so why don’t you try to see if you can be a good influence on her.

Maybe you could invite her to spend the weekend with you and do some girl things together. If you took her shopping, maybe you could help her find some clothes that are a little less revealing and she might like a makeover at the cosmetic counter.

It’s not a good idea to be critical of a teen because they really think they know everything. Just try to head her in the right direction. Since she doesn’t have a Mom at home she might need someone to confide in. Try to be a good listener and keep her confidences. She needs you.

Just because her style is different from what you think is proper she may just be following the trends of her time. Maybe this is not as bad as you think.

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