Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on whether teenage children should be expected to maintain routine family obligations when they'd rather spend time with friends.

By Rosalind Wiseman

Q. Our family has always designated Saturday as family day, but since my son entered middle school, he has begged to be allowed to hang out with his friends instead. Should I let him?

A. While it's completely understandable that a middle-schooler would rather be with friends than family, that doesn't mean he gets to. So hold your ground but make one compromise. Encourage your son to occasionally invite someone along on family activities so you can 1) model how to combine friends with family and 2) develop relationships with the kids your son is close to. Remember, the more you're around your son's friends, the more you'll know about him and his life outside your home.

Originally published in the October 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.