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Ask Me Elyse: How to Handle a Bratty Teenager Demanding a Graduation Party

Friend's daughter proclaims that we "owe" her a substantial graduation present.

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Ask Me Elyse is a question and answer advice column dealing with a wide range of topics including relationships, friendships, work, and family. Ask Me Elyse tries to give advice that is saucy yet practical, empathetic yet honest. Do you have a burning question that you would like to ask? Is there an issue that you can't seem to figure out? If so email your questions to

Dear Elyse,

My friend's daughter is about to graduate from high school. When my daughter graduated from high school, my friend's present to her was to host the graduation party at her house. My friend's daughter told my other daughter that she expects a substantial present and it better be more than just a book or money. In addition, she adds that since we only treated her parents to ice cream instead of dinner as thank you for her mom's gift the gift better be extra special. I haven't seen her or her mother in a long time; we don't have the luxury of a house suitable for hosting a party nor do we have buckets of money.

Yours, Accosted by Bratty Teenager


Dear Accosted by Bratty Teenager, 

How dare this spoiled child practically demand a graduation party - a gift is meant to be something that is voluntary and from the heart, not something that is given under duress. Your friend's daughter is not a debt collector. It sounds like you are feeling a combination of guilty, attacked, and inadequate. Stop feeling that way! I personally wouldn't give this girl a dime but if you are inclined to give a gift here is my advice: give your friend's daughter something that is tasteful and you feel she will enjoy. Don't even mention the threats or why you aren't complying with her mandates. Her antics don't deserve a response. 

Yours, Elyse



Elyse Bradshaw Seinfeld is a writer living on Long Island. She is working on her first book, Stripper on The Loose which will be coming out soon. She considers herself a student of life: from her experiences as a recruiter, a student advisor, a masseuse, a chef, a tennis professional, and a radio show booker, she has seen and lived it all! For more of Elyse's helpful tips, be sure to check out her blog, at