Ask Rene: Should I Worry About My Daughter’s Friend?

Ask Rene: Should I Worry About My Daughter's Friend?

Ask Rene:
Should I Worry About My Daughter’s Friend?

 

Hi Rene:

I’ve got a doozy for you. One of my daughter’s friends is a girl I like very much. I have known Allison since she and Stacy became friends in the 2nd grade (they’re in high school now).

I was tooling around on Facebook the other day and was stunned by the photos Allison had posted of herself. Of course, the usual “duck lips” type didn’t worry me as much as those of her holding beer bottles and pushing her cleavage up; there was even one of her kissing another girl. Needless to say, this is not the Allison I thought I knew.

What terrifies me though, is I saw Stacy in some of those photos. She wasn’t doing anything inappropriate (and wasn’t drinking, as far as I could tell)  but she was in the background.

I know Allison’s mother casually and  judging by the conversations I’ve had with her, she does not seem to be aware of her daughter’s behavior.

Needless to say, the photos are giving me serious pause about letting my daughter hang out with Allison. I’m worried putting my foot down about this will break Stacy’s heart, but I’m more concerned about someone who appears to be a bad influence. 

Should I worry about my daughter’s friend? Should I tell her mother? What should I say to mu daughter? Or do I just butt out?

Sign me, 

Mortified Mom in Michigan

 

Hi MMM:

Should you be worried? I would say yes, not so much about Allison (that’s her parents’ job), but about your own daughter. While we know we can’t pick their friends for them, we can, and should, explain the nuance of certain situations and the possible long-term effect. That’s a whole lot of fancy talk for this basic answer: Yes, you need to be concerned. Here’s what I would do if I were you.

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TALK TO STACY

Creative Commons/Anand5972

Creative Commons/Anand5972

First things first; if you don’t know yet, you need to find out what she was doing at that party where the beer drinking was going on. Did she tell you she was going? Were there adults there (and you know how I feel about that anyway)? These are all important questions that you need answers to, if you don’t have them already. Listen to what she says then explain the consequences, both in the long tern (effects of alcohol on kids) and the short term (getting in trouble with the cops for breaking the law).

Read more:  The GEM Debate: Should A Cocktail With Mom And Dad Be The Law?

 

EXPLAIN A LITTLE MORE
ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

Creative Commons/ Thomas Androws {Atom Jack}

Creative Commons/ Thomas Androws {Atom Jack}

Ah yes, it seems like not a day goes by where there is not some social media snafu making headlines. There was this one recently, a reminder of how pervasive  social media and its blunders, are. But the hard part is our kids have been raised on this stuff; they’ve really never known a world without it. Consequently, they share, share and overshare in some instances, which can result in trouble. We need to make sure they know that the stuff you put online (even WITH privacy settings) can be accessed and never, EVER goes away.

Read more:  5 Conversations You MUST Have With Your Kid… Including THIS ONE! (VIDEO)

EXPLAIN A LOT MORE ABOUT LIFE

Creative Commons/marsmet501.com

Creative Commons/marsmet501.com

This is where it gets a little hairy. I remember years ago, my own mother talking to me about, “the company you keep” and, as an idealistic youngster, I thought she was crazy. I mean how on EARTH could someone judge me because I decide to be friends with someone who’s had a bit of trouble in their past? Or that you took photos where everyone else was misbehaving but you were not? The problem is people (and by “people” I mean possible future employers and the like) do have a tendency to make snap judgments. If they see you were at a party where underage drinking was going on, they have to assume you were NOT drinking, which they may or may not do. It’s just as easy for them to find someone without questionable pictures online than to have to explain what may or may not have  been happening at that time. And teens can be  impressionable; on their own they might not be prone to stupid acts, but who knows in a group setting what they might succumb to. And if it’s documented for all of time and eternity, well, that could be trouble.

Read more:  Friends ‘Til The End: The 3 Things You Can Always Count On

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Lastly you ask if you should say something to Allison’s mother. Some might disagree with me, but I say no. If you knew her well and how she would take news like this about her daughter, it might be a different matter. But in this case, my feeling is take care of those living under your own roof since we know that, in and of itself, is a full-time job.

Good luck!

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Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create GoodEnoughMother.com . When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.

1 Comment

  1. Whitney

    February 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I agree, it’s too much stress trying to help someone else who will eventually find out about their daughter/son. I am having these same conversations now with my girls, who your friends are, staying clear of bullies and how to handle them. See how much work that is??

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