She’s seeing a man whose daughter is acting out. Can she step in and try to instill better values?

Dear Margot,
The man I’m dating has a teenage daughter who’s acting in a manner I find unacceptable. We go to the same church, so I know she knows better. I want to speak to her father about this, but we’ve only been dating a short while and my sister says I should keep my mouth shut. What do you suggest?
– Wicked Stepmother-in-Training

Dear Wicked,
I was in a situation like this once. After a couple of dates I met the guy’s son and daughter, and it was anything but love at first sight. His spawn’s behavior needed serious modification in my not-so-humble opinion. Eventually, I was able to exert some influence over the young’uns. But at the start, I was walking on eggshells. I imagine you are, too.

Since you didn’t tell me exactly what she’s doing, I’m going to resist the temptation to let my very active imagination run wild until it reaches catastrophic conclusions. Instead, I’ll assume the transgressions fall into the category of slightly annoying but otherwise run-of-the-mill variety. Maybe she’s rude to you when you speak to her. Maybe she craves attention. Maybe she’s telling little lies here and there. However, honey, if she’s doing anything that might compromise her safety or the safety of others, stop reading now and go right to dad with all the details. Otherwise, get comfortable and let’s chat awhile. (Read my advice by clicking here)