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Blake Kernen Headshot

The Parent vs. Pal Predicament

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You might be familiar with it. It's that awkward situation when your parents just don't like one of your friends. They don't like to be around them and they don't like you to be around them either.

I have to say, I'm really pretty lucky. Besides this one friend, my parents do truly like most of my friends -- and this is actually important to me. I like spending time with my family and with my friends, so when we occasionally can do things together, like a movie or dinner, that's the best.

As far back as I can remember, my parents always let me choose my own friends, but from what I hear, that's not always the case. When you're little, some parents prefer their children to be buddies with their friends' kids, making play dates and plans easier.

But not my parents. They didn't care who I went to the land of make believe with as long as the friends were nice and we were living happily ever after -- at least for the afternoon.

But things are different now because the games we're playing at this age are for real and for keeps. There are no take-backs or do-overs -- Candyland is closed. It's now the real Game of Life where one bad move could lead you in the wrong direction, forever. And this is obviously what has my parents worried.

So what can you do to help alleviate some of your parents concerns and perhaps get your parents to like your friends? First, you need to figure out why your parents are a little freaked out by your friend. Maybe it's something he said in front of your mom, maybe it's something she didn't say or do last time your parents gave her a ride home.

In my case, it's a couple of sordid Instagram photos, the endless banter about boyfriends and the nonstop texting in front of my parents that's got them thinking she may not be the best company to hang with.

Now that you know why your parents aren't so fond of your friend, it's time to consider
what they're saying. Maybe your friend isn't as fabulous as you think? Weigh the positives and the negatives. After all, your parents only want what's best for you.

Once you've really thought it through, if you still really want this relationship, then it's time to try to change your parents' mind and win their approval.

Point out the positives. There's got to be a lot of good things about your friend (of course, she's your friend!) so share them with your parents. When your friend does something great school or does something thoughtful for the community or for you, tell them about it. Also, explain to your parents what makes your friend special to you, why she's a good friend and why she deserves to be your friend.

Most importantly, keep the communication open between you and your parents. Be honest with your parents and let them know that although you understand their concerns, they have nothing to worry about. Remind them that they have raised a teenager with integrity who knows the difference between right and wrong, and who is not easily influenced by other people.

Bottom line: I'm not asking my parents to be BFFs with my friend. That's my job -- and it
sure is a fun one.

Peace Love Profits,

Blake

www.peaceloveprofits.com