DR. WALLACE: My mom and I just got into a huge argument because of my best friend. My best friend got into a fight at our school car wash fundraiser this past Saturday and got suspended from school. She can't even be on our class Zoom calls anymore.
My mom says that I can't be friends with this girl anymore. I feel like this is totally unfair!
I don't want to sneak around behind my mom's back to see my friend, but I also don't want to lose my good friend. What should I do? — Caught in a Tight Spot, via email
CAUGHT IN A TIGHT SPOT: Your mom likely thinks that your friend is a bad influence on you and so she wants to protect you from her behavior.
Make sure you communicate with your mom regarding her decision and let her know how it affects you. Without going into the details about the fight, simply tell your mother that there are two sides to the story.
Tell your mother that your friend needs your calming influence and support now more than ever. Also let your mother know that you would never allow yourself to be negatively influenced or drawn into a bad situation and that you promise to stay out of that situation entirely.
This is the best you can do, so ask your mom for her permission to support your friend in her time of need. Often, parents gain insight into a situation once it's discussed calmly and rationally in detail. Apologize to your mother for the initial argument and tell her that you'll honor her wishes either way, but that you'd really like to have permission to stay in touch with this friend — as long as no further negative incidents occur in the future.
MY PARENTS WANT MORE FRIENDS!
DR. WALLACE: Both of my parents, especially my mom, feel the need to always be friends with every single one of my friends' parents. When I was younger it really didn't affect me much, but now that I'm a teenager, it's beyond embarrassing!
My mom's a friendly and outgoing lady, so she naturally chats up the other parents every chance she gets. And once she gets that proverbial foot in the door, my mom gets way too involved with my friends' parents' lives.
Now I really want to stop my mom being friends with my friends' parents, and to somehow just get her to leave them all alone. What can I do to accomplish this? — Mom's Too Social, via email
MOM'S TOO SOCIAL: I have a newsflash for you: You're not the only one that has a social life. Your parents have one, too!
If your parents allow you to choose your friends, which I assume they do, then you should realize that you should do the very same for them. If and when other parents wish to spend a little less time socializing with your mother, I trust they have the skills to diplomatically extract themselves.
However, you might be surprised at how many parents enjoy meeting other sociable, interesting parents who can easily converse with and relate to them. Your mother likely deserves your kudos rather than your side-eye.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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