Dear Liz-

My daughter has started hanging out with a girl who we know is a bad kid. They are both 14-years-old and I am scared my daughter is going to start making bad choices. How can I veer her in another direction? Do you think reading her texts is an invasion of privacy? My husband and I disagree on this one. Please help.

Shawnee Mission, Kansas


Hi in Shawnee Mission, thanks for writing.  It’s tough for many parents to trust the hard work they put in early on in their children’s lives.  So many of us try to create a base of good judgment on which we hope they can use as a radar for choices while they grow up.  Some kids seem to veer straight to the trouble makers, and others veer away.  I don’t think hanging out with one girl in particular is a sign that your daughter is moving to the dark side.

What I think you can do is pay close attention right now to her behavior and her where-abouts.  I would also suggest having as many conversations as you can, without appearing obvious about making your own choices, doing what you think is right etc…

As far as her text messages, I am a huge fan of reading texts when necessary.  I think all parents should visit their children’s Facebook pages occasionally, and make sure to check in on what is going on.  I don’t promote reading text’s for entertainment or curiosity, but I do advocate reading text when you have concerns.  We’re living in a whole new environment with technology and teenagers.  Finding access to what is really going on is key as there are so many opportunities kids to make poor choices.

Keep the faith-  Liz

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