Ask Rene:

My Daughter Was Threatened By My Friend’s Son! Help!

Hi Rene,

My 16-year-old daughter is a junior in High School and a very responsible child. She has a good head on her shoulders and always feels compelled to do the right thing.

There is an 18-year-old boy in one of her classes who likes to cause trouble. He’s been to the Vice-Principal’s office over 23 times. This boy happens to be one of my good friend’s sons.

Last week my daughter saw that this boy had a different iPod. She asked him where he got it and he replied rudely that he had stolen it from the girl in the back row. After class my daughter told the girl who is her friend. The girl told the teacher and all three of them were sent to the office. On the way out the boy looked at my daughter and said in front of everyone “What goes around comes around, I’d watch your back. Those who snitch end up in a ditch.”

Well, my daughter’s friend actually got her iPod back and the VP called me to tell me how proud she was of my child for doing the right thing. She also told me this boy would be suspended for five days and if there were any more threats against my daughter he would be immediately expelled.

My daughter called me right after this incident and told me she’s afraid of him and his friends. I called the mother of this boy, who is my friend and she reassured me that her son would not do anything to her. In the meantime, this has put a rift between us. She is defensive about her son, and I of course am proud of my daughter. Here is the problem. This boy has many “scary friends” who would hurt my child, given the chance. How do I encourage my daughter to keep doing the right thing, keep my friendship (the old saying “keep your enemies close” comes to mind) and what price?

I hope you can help. Your advice is always so sound!

Thanks Rene,

Worried Mom


Dear Worried Mom,

Wow, I don’t mean to sound naïve, but what a shame. My heart goes out to your daughter because growing up is hard enough without having to deal with the nonsense from kids who don’t have proper home training (yeah, I said it). Okay, lemme break this down into three, easily digestible parts. They are, your daughter doing the right thing, the school officials’ reaction and your relationship with your friend.


1. Your Daughter

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First you need to know you have done well raising her; she clearly has a strong moral code and knows the difference between right and wrong. You mention that school officials called you but did they say anything to her? I would ask that they do that; I’m sure it would mean a lot to her if she actually heard that from them. I would make sure to reiterate to her that she did the right thing, no matter what the boy said and did and that she should continue that.