When our kids are young it is easy for us to take them out of a bad situation and place them in a better one, but it gets a little bit trickier when they become a little older.
If you are worried about your youngster hanging around with friends you don’t trust or think are a bad influence, it is important that you thread carefully. Have a read of the following tips before you do anything about it:
1. Don’t take the hard line approach
If you ban or tell your child that they are no longer allowed hang out with certain people, it is just going to backfire. Whether they see where you are coming from or not, they will rebel against your wishes and either ignore you or go see them without you knowing.
2. Understand why they are friends with them
Before you go in guns blazing, you need to understand what it is about these people that your teenager is drawn to. Could it be that they know they aren’t good for them but are feeling alone and isolated? Subtly ask your child what it is about these people that they like – you never know, they may have a good side that you haven’t seen.
3. Set limits
While an outright ban won’t work in your favour do set limits about how much your child can hang out with this person or group of people. Make sure they know they aren’t allowed out on a school night and give them a curfew for the weekend – limiting their time can help in subtle ways.
4. Don’t simply say you don’t like them
While it can be hard to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself, it is important you don’t lose control. Don’t criticise the person but rather their actions and if they do something that you don’t agree with, ask your child whether they think it was right or wrong. This can encourage them to question their own reasoning for being friends with this particular person.
5. Remind them how you expect them to behave
As they grow, your teen will start to push boundaries and distance themselves from you – but it is important you remind them every now and again about how they are expected to behave. This works by making your child question the influence their friend has on them rather than you telling them that this person is not good for them.