October 31, 2013 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR DAD’S OVERPROTECTIVE Today’s question came in anonymously. It reads: My friend is having a birthday party at a hotel (pretty cool!) and she invited me, along with some others, to stay for the night. Her mom and dad are going to be there for the whole time. I already asked my mom and it’s fine with her, but I have a terrible feeling that my dad is going to say no. I think my dad is really overprotective. He won’t even let me go to the movies with my friends. How can I convince him to let me go to this party/sleepover? My Advice: Hi there! I’m so sorry to hear about this super stressful sleepover situation. It seems that your dad’s trying to look out for you, but it totally stinks that he’s overprotective like that. Clearly he doesn’t realize that, for girls, going to the movies with friends is like golfing in ugly plaid pants for Dads…WAY up there on the list of fun things to do! I know you’re trying to plan in advance in case he hears the word “hotel” and spazzes out, but the reality is you haven’t actually asked him yet. AND your mom’s on your side. That’s huge! There’s nothing worse than TWO parents saying no together. You’re more likely to get to a party by a pumpkin carriage from your fairy godmother than find a way there when BOTH parents say no. So here’s what I think you should do: Sit your mom down and tell her how much you appreciate that she trusts you to have fun at this party without doing anything wild and crazy, like getting a tattoo or trying to jump into the pool from your balcony. (Actually, skip the examples…she might actually change her mind when she hears that stuff!) Then tell her how much you wish your dad would trust you too, and ask her if she’ll stand by your side when you ask him for permission. This way, you don’t have to whine, “C’mon, Dad! Mom said it’s okay!” Instead, she’ll be standing right there next to you and she’ll have your back the whole time. If he STILL says no, you could ask him to let you go for some of the party to prove that you can handle it. I know, it would be WAY cooler to actually stay overnight (since that’s the whole point of having a party at a hotel!), but maybe if you show him how mature and responsible you are, he’ll start letting you do more stuff. Oh, and one more tip: He might say something like, “I trust you. It’s everyone else I don’t trust!” You could say something super clever like, “I hear you, Dad. We live in a scary world! But a girl has to learn to handle different situations and people, don’t you think? And how else can we learn if not through experience?” (I got that from Zoey…probably from self-help book or something!) I hope this helps and you get to go to the party…or at least some of it! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for our new friend?