Family Life: Parents' Panel; Parenting with Supermam

Article excerpt

Byline: Compiled by MARIE TURBILL and JOANNE WELFORD

JOHN WHISSON, of Normanby, is a lecturer at Teesside University and dad to Sophie, 17, and Paul, 16.

"IT is unusual for a man of that age to want to go out with a 15-year-old. As a father, my initial reaction would be it is probably just for one thing.

"As she is a minor, you could just not allow her to see him, because she is below the legal age of consent. However, this could backfire and cause her to rebel against you.

"What does she want to do when she leaves school? If she intends to go to college or sixth form, you could talk to her, asking if she needs to start putting in far more effort for her mock GCSEs and then her actual GCSEs and the importance of attending classes.

"If you are worried about her going to his house, tell her she can still see him, but at your house. That way you get to see more of him and get to know what he is like. You also control when he comes and goes.

"If he is suggesting she bunks off school, when you talk to her, ask her if she thinks that is fair. Do not tell her - put it to her as a question. Would she suggest one of her friends miss school to see a boy?"

MICHELLE POVEY, from Acklam, is married to Craig and has two children, Bradley, six, and Erin, three. She works in a bank and also runs her own business, Wigs Ahead.

"THIS is a difficult situation because the harder you try to force them apart, your daughter will think you are being unreasonable and probably will try harder to stay with him. …