Q. A neighbor told me she saw my 16-year-old daughter smoking. My daughter denies it. Now I'm not sure who to believe.
A. Who has more incentive to lie in this situation? Your neighbor, who has overcome a major (though unspoken) rule that you don't interfere with other people's children, or your daughter, who has every reason to deny doing anything she knows you won't like? After your daughter has looked you in the eye and denied it, tell her, "Well either way I'm going to take this opportunity to be clear about my rules regarding smoking." Wait until she finishes rolling her eyes and sighing, and begin.
Originally published in the December 2006 issue of Family Circle magazine.