Question: A sensitive and insecure 16-year-old has a crush on a football star and is being pressured to have sex with him. How should parents anticipate and respond to such situations and what should they say?
Answer: When I hear about a 16-year-old girl who has a crush on a boy and is being pressured to have sex with him, I really think about the role of the family in guiding and counseling that young lady so that she doesn't get herself into a situation that's not good for her.
Moms and dads, even though the peer group seems to have power, moms and dads have a lot of influence over 16-year-olds. And one of the things I think that is important is that moms and dads-- when they interact with the 16-year-old in this kind of a situation -- not alienate the youngster, and essentially drive the teenager into the arms of this young man.
But rather draw the young lady back into the family, offer her support, and guidance, and protection. And think about parent-child relationships as really the antidote to these kinds of relationships that can have significant consequences for the young lady.