Q. I’m trying to keep an open mind, but I really can’t stand my daughter’s new friend. She’s rude, disrespectful and is incredibly judgemental. I’m afraid her negative influence will rub off on my child. Do I ban their friendship? Will that even work?
A. Adolescents enter into friendships for all different kinds of reasons, and as adults, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in their shoes. There are pressures to be ‘in’ with the cool crowd, to have friends, and to not stand out in a negative way. You don’t know the social pressures your daughter is going through right now, and banning her from seeing her friend will likely only result in negative consequences for your relationship. Chances are it will embarrass her and make her distance herself from you.
Your goal is to help your daughter make better decisions — not make decisions for her. Have an open conversation where you express your concerns in a non-threatening manner. Explain to her the impression that her friend leaves, and ask her if it’s something she recognizes too. She may even notice her friend’s behaviour and be annoyed by it! The bottom line: Approaching her openly and in a non-judgemental way will help her be open with you and not feel like she’s backed into a corner. Good luck!