DEAR ABBY: What do you get when you mix a 23-year-old woman with a 16-year-old boy? Trouble, as far as I'm concerned!
For the past couple of months, my 16-year-old son, Eric, has been involved with a 23-year-old woman I'll call "Lois." Eric is only a sophomore in high school, and he should be dating girls his own age. He is a sweet, outgoing young man and is very popular with the girls.
I'm not surprised that he is flattered by the attention of an older woman, and I'm sure he acts very mature when he is around her, but my son is very much an adolescent at heart.
Lois comes to our house late at night when she thinks we are asleep, or she stops by when he gets home from school and his father and I are still at work. I don't think it has turned into a sexual relationship yet, but I know it is not purely platonic in nature.
I'm trying very hard to discourage this relationship, but Eric tells me they share the same hopes for the future, and he really likes being with her. Gag me! Lois has been a friend of the family for a long time, but she is no longer welcome in our home. However, that hasn't kept her away.
Abby, why would a 23-year-old woman be interested in a 16-year-old boy? Please advise me. -- FURIOUS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR FURIOUS: Lois could be socially or emotionally immature, which might explain her attraction to your son. But she has had time to gain far more worldly experience than he has, so regardless of how much he thinks they have in common, this could hardly be described as a relationship of equals.
Your next move should be a telephone call to your attorney about the advisability of a restraining order. Perhaps Lois' ardor could be cooled by explaining to her that, depending upon the circumstances, she could be subject to civil and criminal penalties if she continues to pursue your son.