Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on whether to question an academic professional when you disagree with his choices.

By Rosalind Wiseman

Q. My daughter didn't get a part in the class play, even though she's very talented. I think the adviser has something against her. Should I talk to him?

A. You shouldn't approach this guy—unless you want to come across as a crazy parent and deprive your daughter of the opportunity to advocate for herself. Instead, sit down with her and help her clarify why she's disappointed, decide what she wants, and figure out when and where to approach the adviser. She should then call or e-mail him to arrange a meeting. There, she can express her disappointment and ask what she can do to have a better chance in the future. Whatever he says, you both have to live with the answer.

Your child has to experience frustration and deal with difficult people. And she must learn that you handle people and problems the same way regardless of the circumstances.

Originally published in the September 2006 issue of Family Circle magazine.