Saturday, July 31, 2010

Teens and Friendships

Questioner: Anonymous

Subject: teens and friendships

Question: My daughter is 15.

She is angry at her "best" friend, because the friend is choosing to spend time with her boyfriend, rather than my daughter. I know part of the problem is jealousy on my daughter's part. I also know that my daughter has been quuite busy this summer, and hasn't had alot of time to spend with friends.


Therefore, I think that the best friend is spending more time with the boyfriend because that's all she has.

Regardless, my daughter is upset over the issue. I am concerned that she doesn't seem to have a large group of friends, and that the kids that she was so very close to a few years ago, are no longer her friends. I also fear that this "best friend" of hers is a bit "flaky" and that she is not a TRUE friend.

I know that at age 15 I had my best friend, who was no matter who each of us were dating etc, was my best girlfriend, and we always made tons of time for each other.
HELP!

Thanks

 Answer: Dear Anonymous: This is the hardest part of raising children. The letting go. Your job as a parent of a teenager is to LISTEN, not take this on for yourself. It is further difficult when we have issues from our own past which come to our mind when we are listening.

What you can do is listen and then mention to your daughter you had an experience similar to this when you were a girl and here is what you learned from it. I caution you only because if she senses you are highly invested in the outcome of her decisions a power struggle is on its way and dealing with teens is challenging enough without borrowing trouble.

Sometimes watching our children learn their social skills and all which goes along with it is the hardest part, doing nothing but listening in the long run will earn you repsect, loyalty and much love when your daughter is older and can look back on these years. Best wishes and your daughter is lucky to have a mom who loves her so much!

M Kay Keller