'Modern Family' Star's 'Abuse' Allegations Against Mother Bring Up Important Questions About Teen Sexuality

Ariel WinterParents are often in denial that their "little babies" can be sexual beings. It seems just yesterday you were changing their diapers and watching them learn how to crawl, and then suddenly they're teens bringing home boyfriends and girlfriends and you're finding used condoms in the trash. I don't know why parents would be in denial. We write enough about Teen Mom on this site. But I guess it's the usual It would never happen to me syndrome. The fact is kids are going into puberty much earlier now. You may not have had the slightest sexual thought at 13 or 14 (that you'll admit to remember anyway), but that doesn't mean your kid doesn't. And that your kid isn't prepared to act on it. So what happens when, like Ariel Winter's mother is claiming, your underage daughter is sleeping with her of-age boyfriend, and you don't want her to?


First we heard that Ariel Winter, who stars on Modern Family, was claiming her mom was emotionally and physically abusive. Ariel was removed from her home and placed with her older sister. But now her mother, Crystal Workman, is retaliating -- saying this is all about a boy. Said Crystal in court documents:

Since I have asked Ariel to end her relationship ... she has been bad-mouthing me and spreading rumors and lies about me to substantiate this Guardianship proceeding ... I caught Ariel and (the teen) engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, which is when I became adamant that she end her relationship with him. Out of concern for Ariel, I notified the police since Ariel is a minor.

If any of this is true, Crystal is in a tough position. Most parents would prefer their kids remain virgins until they're, oh, 100. But that ain't reality. In fact, parents trying to separate their kid from their boyfriend or girlfriend can be putting themselves in danger. I've watched enough ID channel detective shows to note that one of the most common motivators for a teen killing a parent is when that parent has tried to break up their relationship. One of the worst cases I saw was that of a quiet church-going girl who had her boyfriend kill her entire family (the father survived) and torch the house when they forbade them from seeing each other. It even happened when I was in high school -- a girl and her boyfriend strangled her mother to death with her own pantyhose because she was against the relationship. I'm telling you, parents, this isn't something you want to mess with lightly. Maybe it's because love makes us crazy.

Of course, parents are put in a bad position when their underage kid is getting sexual with someone older -- could they even be arrested if they let the relationship continue and someone reports it? On the other hand, break it up, and you risk the wrath of two hormone-addled teens.

I don't know about you, but I like my life. If my teen feels she's ready to have sex, I'll hand her the condoms and explain the need for protection. If she gets emotionally hurt, maybe she'll learn her lesson. Getting hurt in love is one we all have to learn eventually anyway.

Has your teen ever started dating someone older? What did you do?

Image via Getty


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