Q&A: Should I Force My Teen to Drop Old Friends Now That We've Moved?
Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on how to assess what's keeping your teenager from making new friends after relocating.
Q. Last year we moved to a new state. My 13-year-old daughter is still focused on the friends she left behind. She has even canceled plans with local kids to stay home and call her out-of-state friends. Should I start restricting her contact with them?
A. In general you should limit your child to 45 minutes a night of IMing and talking on the phone. That said, perhaps her timetable for adjusting to the move is different from yours—and that's fine. True friends are hard to come by, and maybe she was lucky enough to have those relationships in her old community and rightly doesn't want to give them up. You should also be careful about bringing your own baggage to this situation. Do you feel guilty that you uprooted her? Impatient that she doesn't adapt like you think she should? Ask her what she's not getting in the new community and what you can do to help her change that. The one thing you definitely should be focusing on is making sure she's not completely isolated.
Originally published in the July 2007 issue of Family Circle magazine.