A Parental Dilemma

MY DAUGHTER has been talking about her eighth birthday party since she was seven and a half. It will be a small party, on a Saturday at noon, with just her closest friends. Last night I found out her BFF won’t be there, because the girl attends a class Saturdays at noon, and her mom is unwilling to have her miss class—even just this once.

My daughter will be hurt. I’m powerless over another parent’s decision, and I must be cordial about it to preserve the smooth functioning of the BFF relationship (and also because it’s not my place to judge). My problems now are to find the right time to let my daughter know her friend can’t attend, and to manufacture positive life lessons in how we handle the disappointment.

Photo: Olivier GR

By Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek.

Designer at Automattic, Inc. Co-Founder, An Event Apart. Publisher, A List Apart & A Book Apart. Author. Father. He/him.

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