Dear Miss Emily:

I am terribly sorry to put this on you but i can't find any advice anywhere.
Anyways,  My friend (we live in U K) is currently living with her stepfather, after having problems with her mother. Previously she had nothing to do with her mother until recently. Her mother has written  a letter to college saying that she will now be "my friends" next of kin, will come to all parents evenings and she must give permission for my friend to go on trips.  As you'd expect my friend is furious at this, she wants to be with her stepfather whom she has lived with for a while now. Her mother wanted nothing to do with her life but now she's doing it to spite my friend, and she's also accused my friend's stepfather of not been able to control my friend. Which is not true! My friend is very well behaved, good mannered and is an all round lovely person for anyone old/ young to be around. My friend doesn't want anything to do with her mother, nor does she want her mother to be involved with anything (such as the college issue)  My friend is 17 if that helps in any way, and has got really upset over this whole situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-----------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------------

Is it possible for your friend to go to the school and ask them how old you need to be in order to remove her mother as "kin"? That would be a start. If the school would allow the stepfather to be considered "kin" (after all, she lives with him -- he's her guardian, I would assume), that would solve the problem. Is her mother contributing any financial support? Her mother is playing a power game and, by doing this, she hopes to control her daughters life, indirectly, no matter the greater wedge it places between them. It's a foolish move if she ever hopes to mend fences, because it only serves to create more tension and acrimony. Hopefully, your friend will be able to declare some emancipation regarding this, and live her life on her terms.