Q: My 15-year old daughter, “Jenny,” has a best friend, “Carly,” she stays with when we’re out of town. My husband and I are planning a three-day trip at the end of the month. Jenny has already asked Carly if she can stay, and, of course, the answer was yes.
This morning Jenny got an invitation to another friend’s birthday party the Saturday of the weekend we’ll be away. Although the birthday girl knows Carly, Carly was not invited. I told Jenny it would be very rude for her to leave Carly’s house to attend a sleepover party that her friend wasn’t invited to. My husband agrees but won’t verbally back me up. He says, “I don’t want to get in the middle.”
I’m trying to teach my daughter to do the right thing, even if it’s hard. She’s angry with me now. Any advice? — Perplexed in Phoenix
A: Ask Jenny how she would feel if she had agreed to let Carly stay with her while her parents were out of town, and Carly left to attend a sleepover birthday party from which Jenny had been excluded. I’ll bet she’d feel as left out and hurt as Carly would.
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The plans have been made, and they shouldn’t be changed. However, depending upon how important it is to the birthday girl to have your daughter there, she might be willing to extend an invitation to Carly if the situation was explained to her. Suggest Jenny give it a try.
P.S. The lesson you are trying to teach your daughter is important, so stick to your guns. I’m sorry your husband doesn’t step up to the plate, instead of making you the bad guy. He seems to have forgotten that parenting is supposed to be a team sport.
Q: I have struggled with severe acne since high school, and my hometown dermatologist was not much help. After moving to graduate school, I found a new doctor and have seen more improvement in two months under her direction than I ever did with my previous doctor. She had blood work done, which revealed that I had a hormone imbalance that was causing the acne.
There’s another young woman I see often on the bus going to work. She has a bad case of acne, too, and I’d like to sing the praises of my dermatologist because I know how painful and frustrating it can be to battle it alone with an unsympathetic doctor. But I don’t want to come off as a Nosy Nancy or make her feel like I’m intruding.
Should I say something and, if so, how can I broach the subject gently? — Pimple Patrol in Oregon
A: Your impulse is kind, but don’t do it all in one conversation. It would be more effective to do it in stages.
The next time you see her, give her a smile and see how she reacts and if she’ll return it. When you see her, say hello and get to know her a little. After that, during the course of one of your conversations, share that you had an acne problem a while ago and found a wonderful dermatologist who helped you. Then ask if she’d like your doctor’s name and phone number.
If you do it in stages, I don’t think it would be offensive and she might be grateful to know that there is help for her problem.