'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


discipline, celeb moms, celebrity teens, puberty, sex


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Vegeta Vegeta

So your afraid your kid will kill you so you give them things they want? That sounds kind of backwards. As for the 14 year old dating an 18 year old, I know it all depends on the kids, but when I look at my 14 year old cousins and 19 year old brother they seem way too far apart in age to even be interested in the same stuff.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

She's probably more mature because she's around older people. One side of me wants to say, maybe the Ariel takes advantage of her mother since she's the one making the money. The other side of me wants to say, this woman did lose custody of her 30 year-old daughter when she was 14. The girl was sent to foster care and never came back. I hope everything turns out to be okay.

fave82 fave82

Really???? Fear that your child will kill you is the motivating factor in how you would handle this situation??? WOW.

Bloom... Bloomie79

Aside from the your kids might kill you hyperbole... There is an important question here, do you arm your child with sex ed and birth control or do you put your foot down?

My mother let me date my 19 year old boyfriend when I was a 15 year old junior, for fear that I would do it anyway. She also openly talked about sex and I was a volunteer peer counselor at planned parenthood.

Our older daughter policed herself, I was dragging her to planned parenthood before college just to get a lesson from the professionals. So I don't know what I'd do I guess it depends on the kid. I've got about nine years before I face this issue again so time will tell.

Mary Cimino

What gets me the most with this report is she filed it MONTHS after it supposedly happened and days after Ariel was taken away so I'm taking this report with a grain of salt. If her mom is anything like my mom then I wouldn't put it past her to make something up. My mother tried the same thing with me saying I was dating at 28 year old man when I was 14 after I ran away. She's bipolar and I was the punching bag so I ran. Lucky for me she couldn't get enough evidence on her side but with all the pictures of bruises and the fractured jaw I had I was emancipated. The 28 year old you ask, he was my landlords brother who fixed things, I only met him once and we weren't alone.

CPN322 CPN322

Sounds to me like the mother made all of this up and is afraid of loosing her, pardon me, cash cow.

Cynthia Parten

I think this is made up. She didn't mention this until months after Ariel was taken away. Also, the sister was supposedly taken away from the mother years ago for the same reason. So there is a history. Maybe you shouldn't report on rumors and stick with the facts.

Frida266 Frida266

I have a 14 yr old and am siding with the mother, mostly.  The father, brother and babysitter all back up the mother.  I have no doubt she's a pushy stage mother and proably gets into arguments with a rebellious teen.  She's right about the boyfriend.  

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