Dear Ask Ashlee,
I have a 16 yr old daughter that is pretty responsible. She is kind, loving and is a great student. She doesn’t give me much lip, and is very helpful around the house. She really is a great teenager and it is a blessing to be her mother. Our biggest problem, well mine, is she recently started hanging out with another young lady from her school and I have a strong feeling that this little girl is bad news. This young lady has a really bad attitude, she doesn’t seem to have manners, or any signs of respect for adults/authoritative figures and I am concerned that she will steer my baby down the wrong path. I don’t want to push my daughter away, but how can I get her to understand that this “friend” isn’t going to be good for her and she should distance herself now?
Mom to Mom
Dear Mom to Mom,
So here’s the thing, unfortunately, we can't choose our children's friends, no matter how much we would like to. Based on the information you’ve shared about your daughter, I feel confident in saying that it is important for you to exhibit “trust” in her at this moment. The goal is to show her that you trust she is capable of making her own decisions and in making those decisions, she will go down the right path. Now, this is not to say you can’t express concerns with her and or set boundaries, but it’s important that she has a bit of space to learn and grow. I think it’s also important for you to recognize that she is developing her own identity at this moment and when we do this, we of course form relationships that we value. I suggest having some very authentic and open conversations with your daughter for you to better understand why this particular friend has become so vital in her life. If you can understand that a bit more, then you can help continue to guide her in making the right decisions and choices for her. I hope this helps!
Love & Light,