My mum doesn't trust my friends. She always asks me where I'm going and wants to know who else will be there. I understand that she's just looking out for me. But every time I mention this one guy, she gets angry and tells me not to hang out with him. She thinks that he's bad news because he was asked to leave our school. He did have to leave, but he isn't as bad as everyone makes out. He's just going through some stuff at home and I don't want to ditch him for no reason. How can I get my mum to stop asking about him?
Bad boy's buddy
Dear Bad boy's buddy,
Your mum is worried that you'll be negatively influenced by someone she doesn't know - and who has a bad reputation because he was asked to leave school. Her fears aren't entirely unjustified.
You say your friend is going through something serious, and if he needs help, he needs good friends like you. Instead of making your mum angry by mentioning you've hung out with him, why not invite him over? You need to prove to your mum she can trust your taste in friends, so invite home people she knows and likes, or could potentially like, and include this guy. Prove that, just because he was asked to leave school, he's a good person who needs help and support right now.
Maybe being at your home will be a good break for him, to get away from the place that's causing him trouble. Maybe your mum will actually be able to talk to him, and help him out. She clearly is raising you to be a good, responsible person. Ask her to help you help your friend be the sort of person she wants you to hang out with.
Email your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch for Alex's answers. And don't worry, you can remain anonymous.