Here’s the sad, hard truth: when you are the adult in a friendship, you are held to a higher standard of behavior. It is up to you to make sure that the friendship doesn’t become “creepy” or inappropriate, because you are the adult.
When you are friends with a minor child, you have to be fully aware of that at all times. Children cannot be held legally or morally responsible for most of their decision-making, as their brains are literally still forming. Children (even teenagers) cannot consent in many ways, whether it’s legally or ethically. It is your responsibility to treat them with respect, and protect them from situations that may be hazardous to them.
- Not giving your minor friend cigarettes, booze, or drugs.
- Even if you are imbibing yourself, even if they “really really want it,” even if they make you feel guilty about not giving in to them.
- Not encouraging a romantic relationship between the minor child and yourself.
- See 2.
- Actively dissuading any attempts at a romantic/sexual overtures from said minor. If they choose to behave inappropriately, it is your job as the adult to shut that down.
- See 2.
- Not interacting with said minor in any way that could be misconstrued as sexual. This includes “playfully” flirting with them, “playfully” groping/kissing them, or “playfully” speaking to them sexually.
- SEE FUCKING POINT 2.
It may seem “unfair”, but ultimately you are an adult: you are held to a higher standard than a child both legally and ethically.
The final point of this post is this: YOU ARE THE ADULT. If your friend is 15 and you are 20+ and you think “eh, she’s old enough to decide for herself!”, I hope you enjoy your time in prison! Because in most state’s laws, that shit is illegal if you are more than 5 years apart in age. And morally, it’s incredibly gross, and the rest of us non-predatory adults are looking at you in disgust.
If you are an adult in a “friendship” with a minor that includes inappropriate sexual behavior, you are a predator.