DEAR ABBY: I'm a single mother, raising a 14-year-old daughter, "Cheryl." Recently, Cheryl has started going through my things while I am not at home. A couple of times she has found things of a sexual nature -- pictures and marital aids -- that I had thought were well hidden.
How do I address these matters without discussing the content in depth? We have discussions about a lot of things, but I must admit I'm embarrassed about this. However, I want to discuss this with Cheryl before she tells someone about what she found and gets misinformation. -- BLUSHING IN CHICAGO
DEAR BLUSHING: Your daughter is old enough to understand the concept of privacy -- and that includes not going through your things without permission, or discussing your private life with her contemporaries. Since you now know what she does in your absence, keep your personal items under lock and key.
If Cheryl questions you about the items she found, explain to her that they are sometimes used by adults. If she wants to know more, answer her questions honestly. And while you're at it, be sure your daughter knows that if she has further questions in the future, she's welcome to come to you with them, and you will be sure she gets correct answers.