You may very well know some of your teenager’s friends already because they grew up together. But, as they grow into their teen years, most lose some of those friends and gain new ones to take their place. You might be wondering, at this point, if it’s worth getting to know their new friends or not. The answer to that is simple. You should. This blog has been a work in processfor over 2 months. I think you’ll find some great info inside.
The reason is because you don’t know what kinds of influences these new friends could be bringing into your own child’s life. This is not to say that all new friends will cause your family trouble though. This is why learning a little about their friends, is so important.
Your teen’s moods may change dramatically in a short period of time. If so, you may be quick to judge the new friends; when they may not be the problem. If you don’t know them very well then you aren’t able to accurately determine the reason those changes have taken place within your child. If you get to know them at least a little, you might be able to figure out where these changes in your child’s moods are coming from.
Don’t automatically accuse your teen’s friends. If you put the blame on them, without knowing them, your child may rebel even harder. Those problems could escalate to ones that could be harmful to your child or your family. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
Don’t jump on your teen and say, “You’ve changed so much since you made new friends. I think you should stop being friends with them.” Your teen is independent and quick to rebel. If she feels that you’re trying to control her life by telling her who she should be friends with; you’re only succeeding in pushing her away from you.
Ask your teen if they want to invite their friends over to play video games or watch a movie or whatever. Show your child that you’re interested in getting to know who he/she hangs out with. By opening up yourself and your home to them, you’re showing your child that you’re not trying to control who their friends are; you just want to meet and greet.
Don’t tell your teen that they will not see that new friend anymore and then expect that to work.
If you know or suspect that the new friend will be a bad influence, then tell your teen that you don’t think it’s a good idea to hang out with them and then tell them why. Share what your thoughts and feelings are; what you’ve heard or seen. Your teen will ultimately have to come up with the decision to not hang out with them anymore- on their own. Forcing the issue will only cause them to want to see that person just to spite you.
Allowing your teen to bring their friends to your house serves another purpose as well. The new person can get to know you and your family. Your good habits and kind demeanor could rub off on them and they may not be as willing to go along on with any inappropriate activities that some of the other kids might want them to do.
Do what you can to discourage any relationships that you know to be unhealthy either because of drug or alcohol use. Again, don’t force it, but try to limit the amount of time they can spend together; or do whatever it takes to keep them apart. Just don’t try to control by flat out saying they can’t hang out with that person anymore, as it may back fire on you!
Getting to know your teen’s friends is important because you may be able to recognize a bad influence before they do. You might be able to determine that it may not be the new friend causing the mood changes in your child as well. It could be something else entirely, so you need to be able to know what’s going on in your child’s life to meet any troublesome challenges head on when they arise cause surly they will come!