Dr. Phil McGraw's All-Star Advice
My 16-year-old daughter is having sex, but she made me promise not to tell her dad-slash-my husband. I don't want to betray the ounce of trust I have with my daughter, but I feel like I'm lying to my husband. What should I do?-anonymous email via oprah.com
DR. PHIL: Your daughter is 16, her brain isn't even through growing yet. She doesn't know how to predict the consequences of her actions, 'cause that's the last part of the brain that grows. So you've made a deal with the person least equipped to contemplate the consequences of their action. And your deal is to deceive your husband.
And as a husband, I can tell you that if you made that deal with a daughter of mine and withheld that from me, you and I would have a serious, serious problem. So, you shouldn't have made the deal. You need to go to your daughter and say you shouldn't have made the deal.That youre not gonna keep the deal, and you're gonna need to give her the option to go to her father and come clean with him. And then you need to be focused on what in the world she's doin' having sex at 16.
You're talkin' about whether to tell your husband or not? You didn't say a word about what to say to your daughter about having sex when she's 16. What are you thinkin'? I mean, seriously what are you thinking? This is like being lost in the woods and there's a whole group of you and you say, "Okay, who's the most confused, disoriented person here?" Somebody says, "Well, I am." "Great, we'll follow you." That's what you're doin' here. Stop being a friend, start being a parent, square things up with your daughter. Tell your husband and start dealing with why she's having sex.
Next: Dr. Phil's action plan for the week.
Published on January 16, 2011