Taking in their teen’s best friend after his family falls apart

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How involved should this parent get in the troubles of their eldest child’s best friend? And they answered your question for you: You talk to them only if you believe it’s important to. They, in their different ways, are in no position to ask anything of you, and all three are capable of keeping each other informed.

You didn’t ask about any of these other issues, but I’m answering anyway: Assuming I’ve missed college drop-off day … I hope you took B to school as one of your own. Because he is, at this point. No matter how odd or wrong that idea feels, it is no exaggeration to say even temporary pinch-parenting can carry B through life — because there is a protective effect, in our worst times, to knowing what it feels like to receive loving support from an unexpected source.

You can offer to stay on as his sounding board, too, even if he and his parents resume contact. Don’t pretend you’re a disinterested observer but instead apply the awkwardness of your position toward credibility: “As only an emergency parent here, who wants to fix your family situation for you but can’t, I might be uniquely qualified to give this advice — that there will always be times when our best option is the least bad one.” headtopics.com

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