Dear Ms. Demeanor,
My neighbors' 20-year-old nephew is staying with them, probably until the end of summer. He has no job and appears to have no purpose in life other than to flirt with my 14-year-old daughter. I love my neighbors but I am about ready to threaten the punk with a shotgun, if I weren't morally opposed to guns.
You have a 14-year-old daughter and she is probably about to get attention from a lot of sources, both appropriate and inappropriate. It is never easy to see your little girl as a young woman or acknowledge her burgeoning sexuality.
The flirting may be unseemly (and, if it goes beyond flirting, illegal) but your first line of defense is the object of his affection. Your daughter needs to be educated about who is and who is not an acceptable love interest and the expectations you have for her.
A shotgun is ill-advised but a well-timed, "You know she is 14, right?" should do the trick with Sir Shiftless.
Thankful I am still in the little kid/little problems phase,
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.