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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom and 13-Year-Old Daughter Still Share a Bed

DEAR ABBY: At what age is it no longer appropriate to share a bed with your child? My sister-in-law "Mara" is a single mom with a 13-year-old daughter. Until recently we were quite close, but we haven't spoken in a few months. Mostly it's because of COVID restrictions, but we had begun drifting apart even before.

Last week I saw on Facebook that she had made a comment about them still sharing a bed. I think it's weird and creepy. It goes against every boundary I have as a mother myself.

Should I keep my mouth shut? She won't listen to my husband (her brother) because he has been branded an "abusive misogynist." Mara loves to play the victim and interprets any criticism, however slight, as abuse -- especially if it comes from a man.

Getting in touch with her out of the blue to talk about this seems over the top, but I'm genuinely concerned about the long-term impact on her daughter, who has voiced in the past (not in front of Mara) that she prefers to sleep alone. Is this none of my business? -- OVER THE LINE

DEAR OVER: If you suspect your niece is being sexually abused, child protective services should be contacted. Otherwise, it is none of your business. Not every family -- or culture, for that matter -- has the same standards. Until your niece finds the courage to tell her mother she no longer wants to share a bed, nothing will change in that household.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Covid 19 | Abuse