Dear Harlan: My mom is all over my friends’ Instagrams. Not only that, she has started to follow my friends’ private accounts and she comments on their posts. She thinks this is perfectly fine. My friends think it’s hilarious. I find it embarrassing. I’ve asked her to stop, but she refuses to listen. I’m a sophomore in college, so it’s not like I’m a teenager. I’ve asked her to respect my wishes. She says I’m being too uptight and I should be happy I have a mom who is cool. She doesn’t get that this isn’t cool. It’s weird. How can I get her to stop?
Dear Embarrassed: Her Instagram interaction is the equivalent of your mom walking up to you and your friends, sitting next to them and hanging out. Basically, she’s part of your friend group. It’s hard for her to see this. Two ideas: The first is to ignore her comments. Stop looking for them. Stop obsessing over them. Hope she’ll get bored and stop. The second is to have a heart-to-heart with your mom. Have dinner with her. Show her you love her. Explain that you appreciate that she likes to be involved in your life. Then explain that you would like your friendships to be separate. This isn’t about being cool. It’s about helping her to see that parents aren’t part of the conversation because it’s a place for friends to connect. She can look and observe, but when she makes comments, it’s uncomfortable. It really bothers you. Your friends will comment about her comments and it’s uncomfortable. Ask her to listen. See if this works. If not, move your conversations to Snapchat and ask your friends to hide her comments.