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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Friendship With Older Man Draws Fire From Parents

DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old daughter, a junior in high school, is still living at home. She has befriended a 51-year-old man at her first job (a burger place). We have told her that although she is kind to be friendly with him at work, we feel it's inappropriate to do things with him outside of work. She's now upset with us and claims we "don't understand," "nothing romantic is going on" and she thinks of him like a "second father."

Although they have not gotten together yet outside of work, she announced last weekend that she was going to meet him for lunch. We put our foot down and told her no way, and she was forbidden to borrow either of our vehicles to go. (She doesn't have her own car yet.) She relented, but how can we convince her that this is a bad idea with the world the way it is nowadays?

I have suggested to her father (with whom my daughter has a close relationship) that he speak to this man one on one. My husband feels this is something she has to learn for herself. She's very naive. What do you think? -- MOM OF A TEEN

DEAR MOM: Frankly, I think your husband is right. While you may wish to protect your daughter, she's an adult now. People learn more life lessons from experience than they do from lectures.

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