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Aunt Hesitates To Tattle On Party-Girl Niece

DEAR ABBY: During a conversation with my daughter "Jessica," who is a graduate student, I mentioned that one of her teenage cousins who attends a nearby university is getting poor grades. Jessica replied that she wasn't surprised. She said she knows her cousin drinks and parties a lot. Jessica went on to say that "Kristin" asked her to buy liquor for her once, but she refused.

My daughter asked me not to tell my brother and sister-in-law what she said because she felt it would be betraying a confidence. I'm unsure what to do. On one hand, I know underage drinking is common. On the other, I would feel horrible if anything bad happened as a result of my silence. Should I tip them off or keep my mouth shut? -- TORN IN IDAHO

DEAR TORN: "Kristin" appears to be immature, and her priorities are misplaced. Her grades might improve if she lived with her parents while taking classes until her judgment improves.

Ask yourself this: If the situation were reversed and the girl with the problem were your daughter, wouldn't you want to be told? If the answer is yes, then notify your brother and sister-in-law.

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