Q&A: Should My Daughter Cancel Her Party Because She's Fighting with Friends?
Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on how to discuss with your teenager what she values in a friendship to determine whether to change her plans.
Q. My daughter had a huge falling-out with several friends and now she's insisting on canceling the party she's been planning. Do I let her?
A. More important than the party is whether your daughter wants these girls as friends (because you and I both know they could make up tomorrow). She has to start by talking with them. Why? Because they all have to learn how to get angry at one other and then discuss their feelings in healthy ways. Ask your daughter questions that help her articulate how she feels, what she wants, and how she is going to achieve her goals. I would also ask her what are the most important things she looks for in a friendship. Most girls will say, "trust," "loyalty," and "honesty." Then ask your daughter whether the girls she's fighting with treat her according to those values. Based on her responses, your daughter should be able to decide for herself whether she will cancel her party.
Originally published in the May 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.