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Dear Abby

Family fears boyfriend’s influence

Dear Abby,

My son's wife passed away very recently. He works days, so I have been helping him by looking after his 15-year-old daughter, "Leyla."

Leyla recently told her father that her boyfriend, "Dylan," has asked her to vandalize things – TV, Blu-ray player, etc. – if her daddy enrolls her in a private school or moves her to another school closer to his company for a better education. Leyla's grades aren't good, and she spends most of her time chatting or texting with Dylan.

Abby, I'm really worried. The last thing Dylan asked her to do was kill her daddy because "he controls her too much." Before school ended, Dylan skipped a field trip.

He didn't want Leyla to participate either because he feared that without him, she might have a chance to make friends with others, so she didn't turn in her paperwork and stayed home.

We plan to send her to a psychologist in the coming weeks. Should we bring this problem to the attention of her school principal? Thank you for your help.

– Worried Sick in California

Dear Worried Sick,

I'm glad your granddaughter will soon see a therapist. I'm sure they'll have a lot to talk about.

Because Leyla is in constant communication with Dylan, take her cellphone away and monitor her activity on the computer. That he would ask her to damage property or cause physical harm to another person is something that should be immediately reported not only to the school principal, but also to his parents and the police. This young man could be dangerous to the adults in your family, as well as to your granddaughter unless there is an intervention NOW.

Dear Abby,

I have been feeling super alone lately. I'm a full-time, stay-at-home mom.

My fiance and I have an 11-month-old son. Before he was born, I worked and my fiance didn't. Then we moved away from my family to where his family is – a town of about 400 people – and he works while I stay home with the baby.

This is a small town, and I have no friends here. I have been feeling extremely stir-crazy and trapped in my head. I don't know how to handle it. I spoke to a psychiatrist.

She said it'll pass, but it hasn't.

Please, if you have any advice, I need some badly.

– Stuck in South Carolina

Dear Stuck,

In many small Southern towns, the social life revolves around the church. If you and your fiance haven't joined one, you should consider it. If you do, your chances of making friends – possibly with some other young couples – will be improved. Also consider volunteering or going to a nearby larger town to look for activities. I hope this will help to relieve your sense of isolation.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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