Stepmom learns of shocking teen online activity

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for a little over three years. I have two teenage girls and he has one. They get along for the most part, but lately my 18 year old daughter “Lindsay” and her 17 year old daughter “Taylor” have gone head to head.

They were raised very differently, and sometimes it makes waves because I expect more from my daughters than he expects from his daughter. To be honest, my stepdaughter’s mother got into serious trouble and was never a role model.

During one of these confrontations, Lindsay told me that Taylor was doing some very explicit and dangerous things online. This was confirmed by her boyfriend. Lindsay, of course, told me that she hoped to get Taylor in trouble or to diminish her in my eyes, since they were arguing. I “understand” the inner workings of the teenage girl’s mind. It’s not always a nice place.

What should I do with this information? Should I tell his father? What would it be used for? If I don’t tell her, am I keeping a secret that I shouldn’t? – KNOWS TOO MUCH IN NEW YORK

DEAR KNOWS: If you and your husband have investigated this and found it to be true, tell Taylor. Point out that the images she posted online don’t age and fade away. They can linger forever, which could have serious consequences when she gets older and goes to college, enters the workforce, and so on. Although she cannot change what she has already done, she can be wise and stop what she has done NOW. .

DEAR ABBY: A close friend has just announced – out of the blue – that she is running for a top public office. It’s going to be a controversial race, and it’s likely to get ugly for anyone racing. She’s been messaging this week assuming her friends will support her through our social media, door-to-door, fundraising events and whatever else she needs. She said she was looking forward to working with us.

Abby, the way her ads are worded, I can tell she’s going to be blindsided when I decline her “request.” She assumes that because we are friends, I would like her to be in power. However, in my opinion, she is not the best person for the job, and I have other civic commitments that I am already committed to this year. I also think maybe she should have asked. Is there a way to maintain the friendship without supporting the candidate? I don’t see what the graceful exit is, and his conversation is already geared towards “us” versus “them.” — HIDDEN UNTIL PRIMARY

DEAR HIDDEN: Explain to your friend that you are already engaged in other “civic engagements” this year and, due to time constraints, you can’t get rid of them. Then wish him good luck and send him a small financial contribution for his “in the name of friendship” campaign.

DEAR ABBY: I love trains. I can imitate a train whistle and enjoy doing it. I learned to do this about 10 years ago by listening to trains whistle for many years. I am in my thirties now. I know there are places where I shouldn’t. Some people I know like to hear me do it anywhere. Others say I should only do it outdoors. Still others say not to do it at all.

When I see and hear a train, I sometimes whistle automatically. It’s not the best thing to do, I guess, but it’s not the worst either. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs and am in fairly good health. What do you think of my imitation of a train whistle? Have you ever heard of anyone doing this? — WHISTLING IN WISCONSIN

DEAR WHISTLE: Congratulations. Your letter is a first. I have never heard of anyone over 8 mimicking a train whistle. I see no harm in doing so as long as it doesn’t annoy people around you by startling them or putting their hearing at risk.

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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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