Updated: May 15, 2013 6:08AM
Dr. Wallace: I’m the mother of a 15-year-old girl, and I’m mad as heck. My daughter and her 16-year-old boyfriend went to an R-rated movie. I found out when I overheard them discussing the movie. I called the theater to complain and was told that they do not ask for identification because an adult could purchase the tickets and give them to underage teens.
Needless to say, I called the police and contacted the newspaper to vent my anger. They all told me that it was up to the parents to make sure their children do not see films that are intended for mature audiences.
My daughter is grounded for a month and is not allowed to go out with this boy any more, but that still doesn’t eliminate the problem.
Mother, Manchester, N.H.
Mother: Parental vigilance does seem to be the only barrier between underage teens and R-rated movies. Believe me, your daughter is far from the only one who has managed to get into such a movie. React, a teen magazine, polled over 7,600 teens who were 16 and under and learned that a whopping 80 percent said they went regularly to R-rated movies. There was nothing to stop them.
The reason is profit. Theaters want to sell tickets, and an underage teen’s money is just as good as an adult’s.
I don’t blame you for being upset, but I would caution you that anger and punishment alone will not solve the problem. They could even have the reverse effect, heightening the allure such movies have by turning them into “forbidden fruit.” Keep the communication channel open with your daughter. Your values will be transmitted to her far more effectively with love than anger.
Dr. Wallace: Spring is almost here, and I’m starting to think of having fun running in the surf of Lake Michigan and getting a tan lying on the golden sand.
I’m told by my P.E. teacher that it is not healthy to get a tan, even if you are loaded with expensive sunscreen.
But my aunt says that the sun is a good source of Vitamin D and that if you don’t overdo it and get sunburned, the sun’s rays are healthy and a good way to get rid of complexion problems.
I’ve been getting a nice tan for several years and I have a clear complexion and have no noticeable skin damage. What do you say?
Connie, Dyer, Ind.
Connie: The sun is a good source of Vitamin D when taken in small doses. There is no such thing as a healthy tan. The rays from the sun can cause lasting damage to the skin that can lead to premature wrinkling and even skin cancer. Your clear complexion has nothing to do with your being in the sun.
According to Dr. Jeff Lauber, a Southern California dermatologist, any time the sun changes the color of the skin, damage has occurred.
Write to Dr. Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org