Hi! My brother, who recently turned thirteen, decided to tell me a few days ago that he's had a secret girlfriend since late November. In my family, we're not allowed to date until we're fifteen. I've been debating whether I should tell my parents about his girlfriend or not, since he's breaking a family rule, but I'm afraid that if he finds out I told them I'll lose his trust. What should I do?
A: Unfortunately since this coincides with family rules, I cannot give you a definitive answer (as to your parents I may appear like a trouble maker, someone who could lead you astray, etc, etc). Instead I can give you some pros and cons, and what I'd do in the situation.
PROS OF TELLING (vice versa for PROS OF NOT TELLING)
You will gain your parents' trust as a responsible sister.
CONS OF TELLING (vice versa for CONS OF NOT TELLING)
You will lose your brother's trust.
What I'd do:
Keep your brother's trust. He may return the favour one day. Make a pact with him so if your parents find out, he can't tell them that you knew. Personally I think there is nothing wrong with a relationship at that age (most kids have a relationship at that age. I was 11 when I had my first boyfriend). As long as the relationship is harmless, then it's okay, in my opinion.
MAKE SURE HE IS SAFE. Obviously if he's doing things like underage sex then it's a good idea to tell your parents so that he's safe, even if you telling them hurts him.
LISTEN to him. He told you for a reason, so make sure you listen to him while he describes his girlfriend. Make sure she seems like a nice girl.
Meet her. This is to make sure you know who she is so your brother isn't hanging out with a bad influence.
Don't use this act of trust as leverage against him. This will mean he won't trust you in the future.
If your parents find out about him and his girlfriend, and you think they're reacting over the top about it, side with him. This act will not go unnoticed and he will be grateful. It means that he'll be able to trust you more in the future.
I'm sorry for the long and serious reply - this was a difficult one for me! Dating has never been an issue and there's never been a rule against it in my household, so I just said what I'd do in your situation. I hope it helps!
*Gosh Missy, did you use enough capital letters?*