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Soon-to-be 18-Year-Old Son Wants to Date a Younger Girl

Question:

My 17-year-old son wants to date a 15-year-old girl.  He will be 18 in a few months. We’ve argued about it, and he even left home for three weeks. We are no longer on speaking terms, and I refuse to take him to meet her. I have tried unsuccessfully contacting her parents. I’m in poor health and may have to move to be nearer a hospital and family. My son says he'll stay and be with the girl. Am I wrong in thinking he’s too old for her?

Answer:

Contacting the girl’s parents in this situation is important. Even though dating someone under the age of 16 is most likely not against the law, having a sexual relationship is. Please double-check with your individual state's laws on that subject matter.

Once your son turns 18, he is legally allowed to make his own decisions. If he chooses to date her, even without your consent, legally he can. Again, if it turns into a sexual relationship, the girl’s parents would be able to press charges against him, even if she agrees to having that kind of relationship. Please educate your son on the ramifications of this.

Your worries on the age difference are real, and you care about your son. Remain calm and help him understand why you are concerned. Write down these concerns, so they make sense to both you and him. Let him voice his feelings as you listen as well. You do not want to lose your relationship over this matter.

 
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