To begin with, I am 22-year-old girl who studies far away from home town for 4 years by now. All my family lives in Russia, if this is important.

I have 13-year-old sister whose relations with our parents are not that good. To understand the situation better, the dad behaves like he's only interested in TV and occasionally our school marks; the mom is more emotional, but often gets captious towards my sister.
One more problem is that I was a "good child" (excellent marks for every subject + afraid of parents scolding me so very obedient). My sister is not that good at school and more rebellious, perhaps because everyone used to tell her how good I was in comparison. So she often gets scolded.
We are not very close with her, just chatting from time to time.

Earlier this year, I noticed on social media that she seemed to keep company (more probably, she had a crush on him) with a boy whose age I don't know but he seemed no less than 16 year old. There were some... objectionable groups on his list -- with vulgar pictures of "loli", anime style preteen girls. Then one day she asks me to block him (we never talked about him before, he doesn't know me) because "they had a quarrel so he can send me some slander about her", maybe fake nudes or so. I told her whatever he sends it's him being disgusting, not her, and parents won't know and I won't shame her even if there were real nudes. The guy never contacted me.


Then soon after this story she meets a guy in her school. She doesn't tell parents but mom sees them walking together near our house. She says he's 16 but his social network page says he's 18 (usually in Russia school graduates are 17-18 year old), though he of course can put fake info on his page to look elder. He looks older than 16, but who knows. She denies having him as boyfriend but she changed her last name on her page to the same as his, and her profile pic is them taking selfie. Well, not going into details, it's obvious by her page that she at least has a crush on him or they are a couple.

  • Then one day dad sees them just staying together on stairs next to our apartment door (in Russia, residents usually are unfriendly and suspicious to anyone spending time there, almost no one does it) and yells at the guy, telling him that he shouldn't be seen there anymore. It's the first time dad sees the guy. Dad always yells a lot, of which I am afraid but my sister isn't.

  • Then one day mom comes home earlier than usual and sister doesn't open the apartment door (so mom has to wait on stairs) for some minutes which is pretty uncommon. When she eventually comes in everything seems ok but the restroom door (very close to apartment door) is closed. She proceeds to the kitchen and hears the apartment door closing. Clearly my sister had a guest she didn't want mom to see. Mom decides not to talk about it with my sister but calls me the next day being worried that my sister had sex with that guy.

  • Then sister tells mom the teachers grumble about her having "just a friend" elder than her. And this guy also has "loli" groups. And my sister too. Perhaps it's popular in teens nowadays.

  • Then mom gets a sneak peek of sister's messages (I think it's absolutely wrong, but it was mom not me) and sees something about this guy having problems with his sleep due to some drugs (for context -- "light" drugs like Spice or naswar are sometimes heard to be used among "bad" teens in Russia; drugs are illegal here but sellers often hire teens as couriers). I don't know the exact text mom has seen. Supposedly my sister doesn't know mom saw her messages.


So what should I do now?
1) Can I somehow discourage her from having affairs with older guys at that age? I've heard it's common for teen girls to like boys older than them, but I feel that 16-year-old boy being interested in 13-year-old girl is creepy. My sister is definitely not too mature for her age, neither in mind (not the kind of a kid who's bored with coevals) nor in body (very slender, tiny breasts). What I'm afraid of are "unequal" relations when he can press on her "being elder and thus knowing better".
What makes things a bit worse, I have a boyfriend since I was 14 (he was my classmate), so if I tell her something like "maybe it's not the time" it may sound like some double standards (even if it's not, she's 13 and having a crush).
2) Should I hurry to tell her about contraception? My parents think that there's no need to tell children about sex (it's quite common in Russia: they told me nothing and always avoided the theme, so it was me who told my sister about menstruation). No sex ed in school also. Now I feel I have to tell her about contraception but we're not going to meet in person until summer at least. Before that I can visit them for a week at most, it's expensive but I have the money. Mom won't ever tell sister those things (I asked). Moreover, I'm probably the only relative who can ever say to her she can have sex before marriage and even have an abortion if she doesn't want the baby.

Or is it too late to do anything? I guess, for instance, if I tell her withdrawal is not safe at all but the guy tells her it's safe and he doesn't want condoms, she will listen to him, not me. And so on.

TLDR 13-year-old sister seems to have 16-year-old boyfriend. Can and should I do something?

Obviously it shouldn't be my problem, but the parents prefer to either be angry at her for keeping company with any boy or pretend nothing happens (that's their strategy when she has problems in school). But I feel things aren't alright and it's wrong for me to just look. Or am I wrong?

P.S. Feel free to ask if something is unclear: my English is not so good.

  • Welcome to the site. Your sister and parents are in Russia? I notice there is no Russia tag right now, but we can make one, it might help pull in more culturally relevant answers.
    – Erik
    Mar 19, 2018 at 19:27
  • @Erik yes, we live in Russia. Thank you, I think it can be helpful.
    – Turquoise
    Mar 19, 2018 at 19:33
  • With great patience grow a deeper personal relationship with her. The only real thing you can do is love her so much that she sees her own personal value through your love of her. Sharing your concern for her is probably the most you can do - and honestly it might be the best thing you can do too. Did I mention to have great patience?
    – Adam Heeg
    Mar 20, 2018 at 17:53
  • Oh, I identified my sister having similar behaviour (13 -> 17-18). It's becoming a really big problem and my advise is to have a conversation with her.
    – Fusseldieb
    Jun 8, 2018 at 18:10

3 Answers 3


Can you have a private phone or Skype conversation with her? If so then try to talk about your concerns about the bad things that might happen to her. Stay away from moralizing or directly criticising her boyfriends. Instead emphasize the negative outcomes, especially pregnancy. Then ask if she wants to know anything about sex and contraception. You shouldn't push information on her if she doesn't want it, but given the history it sounds like she feels she can rely on you. Ideally have some Internet resources lined up that you can refer her to. Also try to tell her about consent issues, and how sex should be something she wants, not just something she does to please her boyfriend.


Please arrange for some birth control for her, otherwise you'll be Aunt Turquoise. Sit her down and explain to her about teen relationships and how unequal they can be when one of the teens is older. She might be looking to fill the gap that her father's emotional distance has made. Can you speak with him or is he just going to yell at her?

  • 1
    @Bender What troubles me is how do I explain to her my worries about age gap -- and how not to sound like "you're a kid, go play with your dolls instead, we adults always know better".
    – Turquoise
    May 1, 2018 at 0:19
  • 1
    @Bender Also, no way I'm telling this to dad -- he can't stand things being not like he wants, and he wants no guys around her. He would say something like "you weren't behaving like this so she can do too" (little does he know...). What's more, he thinks all youngsters (including me) are so inexperienced that he won't take any advice from me. It's like "I'm nearly 50 so anyone under 40 knows nothing about life".
    – Turquoise
    May 1, 2018 at 0:27
  • @SomeShinyObject "Aunt Turquoise" is just Bender's way of saying that the OP's sister could get pregnant (OP's username is Turquoise). May 3, 2018 at 17:52

Since the parents set the rules, there's not much you can do beyond communicate your concerns.

First thing I'd recommend is developing a healthy and strong relationship with your sister (as Adam Heeg said) . This doesn't give you control over her life, but it will lead her to respect your opinion, thus giving you a little influence. It would also mean you're there for her as a support. Hopefully, she would complain to you about her problems or ask you questions when she's wondering about sex or other more mature matters. If she can only go to her teen friends with her boy troubles, then she is limited by their experiences and advice.

This will take time and is no magic cure. It's not a fix. It's love and it's a commitment. Any relationship is. (All based upon my experience, including as a brother and guardian, and once a teen haha)

Second, I'd recommend approaching it with your parents. I don't know your family or culture, sooo it may not make sense. But. You are an adult. Your opinion valid and should be heard. They get to make the parenting decisions, but you could talk to them about your sister and about parenting. You could tell them you dated at 14. You could tell them you're worried she's not learning everything she should. There are many ways to express concerns about teen behavior without... Using a current bad behavior as an example.

Last, remember that she is her own person. She has her own whole world, social life, commitments, goals, problems, etc. She's going to make mistakes because she's human. She's going to be taken advantage of. Most of us are. She's gonna hurt. And she's gonna heal. To some extent, she's gotta learn through experience.

  • While I see your point about learning from your mistakes, pregnancy is likely to be a bigger mistake than she can handle right now. May 3, 2018 at 17:07

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