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May 31, 2008

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Does your support group have a facilitator who could give you some advice?

What would you want the father to do if he had information about your son?

I hope everything works out.

I wonder, would the info help the father help his daughter at all? Or would it just mess things up more?

Because there are a lot of subtle ways to get a point across without telling him about his daughter specifically. As in, "My friend has a daughter acting the same way, and it turns out that she didn't know that such-and-such happened to her daughter..." Only, a little more subtle than that.

This sounds like a really hard place for you to be in, Margalit.

If it were me, I would talk to the dad--as long as the girl's issues aren't stemming from some inappropriate behavior on his part. How many times did I wish my parents knew what was really going on with me, without my having to tell them? Inside, I was screaming for them to know the pain I was in. The girl's privacy is an issue, I suppose. But if he's still responsible for her, then, legally if not maturity-wise, she's not fully capable of dealing with this stuff herself. And she's obviously doing a terrible job.

But Bobbie is probably right--you should approach the facilitator, or one of your kids' therapists.

Sending you strength....

This is a tough spot to be in. Teachers (and in many locales, group facilitators) are mandated reporters. Our rule is that we keep confidential unless someone is breaking the law or being hurt. If the girl is in danger, or if this is information you would want if it were your daughter, by all means approach the facilitator. But be prepared; it may open Pandora's box.

Ask yourself if what you know would be helpful to either the father or the daughter if he knew. Also, if there's a professional leading this support group, you could share what you have heard (technically all you have is hearsay)with that person. Then it becomes his/her responsibility to provide this information to the father if it seems relevant.

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