Teens flock to other children for reasons that parents don’t understand all of the time. In some cases, these “friends” are a negative force in your child’s life, and you won’t understand the friendship unless you dig a little deeper. It is important to listen to your child when you ask questions about the friendship, and come up with a real solution that makes sense for your teen.
Discuss Detrimental Behaviors
As teens hang out with their friends, they often develop some of their friends’ bad habits and attitudes along the way. It is important to discuss these behaviors and ask your teen why they are compelled to act the way their friends do. Most likely, the answer is that they want to fit in. Fitting in is great, but not when it affects someone else’s character.
Choose your words carefully, but express to your teen that these behaviors and attitudes are not attractive and can lead them into situations where trouble can occur. Explain that making good choices in friendships is important and that people are judged by the company they keep.
Related: Why Can’t We be Friends?
Ask about Similarities
It’s important to know why your teens hang out with certain people. Ask them about the similarities or common ground that they share with these people. Your teen probably thinks you’re prying for information, and you are, but it’s best to approach it as wanting to understand why they get along.
Teens are likely to get defensive when they’re asked about their friends. Explain that you just want to know about their life, the people in it and why they like them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Inform your teen that it is important to choose friends that complement them, rather than those that make them stand out in a crowd for the wrong reasons.
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