DEAR ABBY: My 16-year-old son, "Derrick," recently stopped talking to me. Frustrated about not being able to open the lines of communication, I installed a keystroke recorder on our home computer. It enabled me to see what Derrick was writing in his e-mails. I know it was a violation of his privacy, but I was afraid and didn't know who else to ask what was going on.
I learned that Derrick has gotten his girlfriend pregnant. They are discussing various options, and he is thinking about running away from home.
How can I help my son through this, having gained this information in an underhanded way? If I reveal how I learned about this, I will lose his trust forever. But if I don't help him, I don't know what will happen. Please help me. -- SPY DAD IN TEXAS
DEAR SPY DAD: You may not have to tell Derrick how you got the information. You are his father. Sit him down, tell him you love him, that he's the most important thing in this world to you and that you're worried sick because he has become secretive and uncommunicative. Tell him that if he's in any sort of trouble he won't be punished or lectured to and that you will do whatever it takes to help him. And do not let him get up until he has finally told you what is wrong.