Home > Kids > Childhood Development > Social and Emotional Development > Social Skills > Parent Disapproves of Daughter's New Friends

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Parent Disapproves of Daughter's New Friends

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: My 12-year-old daughter is very well liked by the girls in her grade. However, she's not into sports like most of the girls, so they don't include her in their lives. This is very difficult for my daughter, and now she seems to be associating with some girls I don't approve of. I keep telling my daughter that she's a wonderful person with a heart of gold, and that she needs to quit lowering herself to these other girls' level.

A: One big mistake we parents make is putting down our children's friends. We don't realize that our children infer that we think they are incapable of making and choosing friends. When we do this, we drive our children right where we don't want them to go. Her sports-playing peers have rejected her just because she doesn't play sports. Here is a group that has welcomed her. Perhaps see her heart of gold because she has accepted them for who they are and not what they do.

Children at the middle level have to determine and learn what makes a peer a friend and how to get along with others. Instead of putting your daughter's new friends down, I would suggest that you ask her with genuine interest what she likes about them. Let her talk. Get to know them. Let your daughter invite one or two of them over after school for snacks, to listen to music, or for some girl talk. Not only do you get to oversee the relationships, but your daughter gets to learn about them in a protected atmosphere.

If you are accepting and open with your daughter, she will tell you if these girls really are bad. If she determines they are not true friends, she will stop associating with them on her own as long as she knows you are respecting her decisions and not going to say, "I told you so."

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks