DEAR HARRIETTE: My 12-year-old daughter went to sleep-away camp this summer and made friends with some girls whom she wants to stay friends with. One of them is very wealthy, though she seems down to earth. The wealthy girl has invited my daughter to visit her in the Hamptons before summer is out, which is very kind, but I’m not sure if this is a good idea. I don’t want my daughter to feel uncomfortable because she doesn’t have as much as this girl. We are practical people and have exposed our daughter to all kinds of experiences. Maybe I am overthinking this. The girl’s parents seem nice and grounded. She seems to be genuinely interested in becoming closer to my daughter. Should I let my daughter spend the weekend with them? -- Overexposure, Jersey City, New Jersey
DEAR OVEREXPOSURE: You consciously put your daughter in the environment where she met this other girl. They developed a natural friendship, which you should allow her to cultivate. Spending time with people who have more resources than you is fine. As long as your daughter is being treated nicely and feels comfortable and safe, you should allow her to expand her experiences. Talk to the parents to be sure of whatever she may need when she is with them and to gauge your comfort level. If all seems well, let her go.
In general, I think it is smart to expose your children to all kinds of people and different ways of living. This helps them to see how big the world is and how diverse our experiences can be. You should reciprocate and invite this girl to visit your daughter. It doesn’t matter that you live more modestly. If the two of them are truly to be friends, they should feel comfortable spending time in both environments.