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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen in Sketchy Situation Resists Efforts to Help Her

DEAR ABBY: My 15-year-old granddaughter has lived for the past several years in an environment with adults who have done drugs, can't or won't keep a job and are in and out of jail. I want her to have a better life, and I try to explain what a responsible adult life looks like. But when I do, she accuses me of being judgmental and nonaccepting because these people are "nice." How can I get her to understand that the lifestyle she's exposed to isn't good without coming off as judgmental? -- AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

DEAR AT A LOSS: The lessons we teach others don't always have to be verbal. One way would be to expose your granddaughter -- as often as possible -- to people who have chosen a different way of life and are reaping the rewards for it. Perhaps then she will begin to draw her own conclusions and realize that she can have a different life if she's willing to work toward it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens