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Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I feel really uncomfortable around my dad"

Dear Carol,
I am almost 14 years old. Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has given me backrubs, and when he rubs my lower back, he goes pretty close to my butt. Last night when he gave me a backrub, I had on my pajamas and no bra and for some reason he was rubbing my stomach and he went REALLY close to my boobs. And I was like why are you rubbing my stomach and he said because he wanted to. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but it was enough to make me feel nervous inside. My parents are divorced and I am not sure how I am going to tell my mom this because I don't want my mom getting really mad at my dad.

—Backrub

Dear Backrub,
Tell your dad that you are too old for backrubs. Say this in a tone that is serious or casual, but say it now because it’s not appropriate for him to touch your body like that. You were nervous because your gut was telling you that he was crossing a line. You deserve to feel safe in the homes of both your parents. I hope you talk to your mom too. If you start by saying, “Mom, this is awkward but…” then it won’t feel quite so awkward to unload all your worries. But the main thing is not to put up with any more too-cozy backrubs.

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by Carol Weston | 2/21/2018
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