Dear Abby: I’m tempted to tell security next time my sister shoplifts
An arrest could hurt her life and her parents’, but the teenager needs to learn about remorse and consequences.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 28-year-old mother of two. My teenaged adopted sister steals makeup from stores. It sometimes happens when we are together, but I never catch her doing it. She has told me she feels no remorse about stealing the items.
My parents and I have lectured her time after time. She’s now claiming her friends give her makeup they don’t like. I’m exasperated because she just doesn’t seem to get it. Would it be wrong of me to tip off the security guard on our next shopping trip? I want her to learn a lesson before it’s too late. Yet, it could result in juvenile detention and a financial burden on my parents.
I love my sister, but I’m worried her habit may lead to an unfortunate adulthood. She has had counseling in the past for numerous issues, but she either lies to her therapist or just sits quietly and says nothing. — STICKY FINGERS
DEAR STICKY FINGERS: If you do what you are contemplating and your sister finds out you were the person who turned her in, she will never forgive you for it. I agree that the girl has serious problems. That’s why I’m advising you to tell your parents what has been going on and let them handle it. While my inclination would be to give her a dose of tough love, it would be better if it comes from your parents, because they are responsible for her.
DEAR ABBY: We didn’t ask them to, but my parents recently retired and moved from Virginia to Georgia to be close to our family after our son — their first grandchild — was born. The move down here was a huge undertaking for them. It included selling their home in Virginia and building a new one here in Georgia with the assumption that in their old age they would never have to move again.
The problem is, my husband and I are considering a move to a different state to pursue career opportunities for the betterment of our family. I feel awful because it will mean my parents may have to move again. We currently live in a location where they don’t know many people, so I don’t think they will want to stay after we leave. How should we bring up the topic of our potential move and discuss it with them? — MOVING IN THE SOUTH
DEAR MOVING: If the opportunities are better elsewhere, then that’s where you should go. This should not have been a deep, dark secret. Tell your parents you are considering another move so they can make plans of their own. They may want to move to a location near you, back to Virginia where their friends are or to a retirement community, where they can form new friendships and won’t be entirely dependent upon you and your husband for social contact, as they apparently were when they moved to Georgia.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)