What do you do when your child's friend is a bad influence?
If you feel like your child is hanging out with the wrong crowd, how should you react?
We have that very situation right now. We limit the time our 16yr old daughter hangs with these kids unless they are with us. We play board games - corny, maybe, but they seem to enjoy the time spent with us. We also take bike rides, drives to events in our area, go to church, etc. Instead of saying to her "you can't hang out with that person or that person", we're saying, "that person can hang out with us!" We've seen positive changes in our daughter and her closest friends. They are open with us and I am certain that wouldn't be if we said they couldn't hang out at all. Your child will value the limits you put on their friendships - they won't give you any indication that's what they feel until later - if at all.
What age are you talkig about? You also have to remember that bad friends can definitely influence your child in the wrong way, but a teenager is going to hang out with them if that's what they are determined to do. What is so bad about these friends? Drugs? Violent? If so, instead of focusing so much on the firneds, you should focus on your child. "Birds of a feather flock together". It is so much easier to blame it all on the friends, but most people don't realize that it's our own children that are also in this bad crowd.. and that is for a reason... there may other issues, much bigger than just the friends, that you might need to deal with, i.e. behavioral, addiction, etc..
I had a few friends in middle school that weren't on the up-and-up--not serious drug users or criminal, but they smoked or fought with their parents all the time, defiant, what not. My mom knew about it all, and hated it, but she'd tell me, "I can't tell you not to be friends with them; I don't like them and don't WANT you hanging out with them, but I can't stop you." She basically summed it all up in letting me know that it was on me to make the right judgment calls, and that if I ever DID sense trouble to leave or trust her enough to ask for help. Because of that (and the fact that I was a relatively good kid, and they weren't "bad kids", just troublesome) I knew that if my mom could trust me to do the right thing, she'd let me make my own decisions more and more.
I think it can be detrimental to prohibit your kid from who they can and can't befriend. It's basically saying, "I don't trust you, and think you can't make the right decision." With every scolding and finger-wag, defiance grows and they WANT to get you angry. When my son starts exerting his independence and wants to do more things with friends (without me), and I'm not entirely sure of the others kids' intentions, he's simply going to know that if he gets into a sticky situation, it's him that has to deal with the consequences. And really, we so easily deflect our own kid's behavior on his or her friends; how do we know our own perfect angels aren't the ringleaders themselves? Too many parents say "My child is so nice," when that child is the biggest bully at school, or "she'd never do drugs," until you find a dime-bag in a jeans' pocket she forgot to empty. This issue is much deeper than at first glance.
And if they DO mess up, they need to know that even if they're going to get in trouble at home they can *always always always* call you for help (i.e., they get drunk with friends and know they're too drunk to drive = call Mom and Dad.) If they have the maturity to fess up and accept the fact that they're going to be grounded, I'd be so proud it hurts. I'd say, "You're grounded for a month--but first, let's go out for dinner," lol.
Yea, I'm wordy. I know. Lol.
Do any of these teenagers attend church or church groups? Start going to church and meeting new friends. Is there a Boys & Girls club in your neighborhood?Do you have your child in sports? This will change the environment they are in.
You ask your child what is so special about the friend and attempt to get to know what is so attractive about this friend. Extend yourself. The child might just need some attention and guidance.
I tried banning them from after school interactions, grounding indefantly & delegating Facebook accounts after my daughter was caught up with the wrong crowd, nothing works. She is 14 and out to break all the rules regardless of the consequences. Just last night I changed her phone from post pay to prepay where she has to pay for it. I'm hoping that motivates her to make some positive changes to her life. Ultimately it's up to her. I can't do any more then I have and her teachers can't do anymore then they have.
You're child is YOUR child.You have 18 years to make something of him/her . Figure it out .
How bad? Like they say, there is no book in raising children, each individual person responds differently. Children later go there own ways, seperate, some maturing, some becoming drug addicts, some in courts, some succeeding and some getting by. They fall apart due to others they meet on their travels, travelling out of areas with their parents, finishing school, getting employed. Its pretty usual we all pick up the bad ones without knowing but wanting our own independence to make our own decisions, and then learning of others. There's emotion if you feel disrespected by your childs friends or/and their parents. How many home rules are being broken and how disturbed can the relationship be with your child, with these other influences of behaviours going on? Its bonding vs discipline. A solution maybe to go to your childs school and have a chat with the headmaster about your concerns and request that legally a child is a child until 19, so the child should have no say, and so to have a councellor your child can talk too, and look up to, so as to follow this councellor by way of example. What about a really cool guy for a boy, who has his life together, and believes it is not cool to do certain things, that a boy will copy.
My children are 6 and 10 and they are not allowed out on their own but if i believe that any child is a bad influence, my children are not to play with them, especially if i feel the parent(s) arent good either
OR...what if your child's friends aren't necessarily a bad influence but are just not a good enough influence to change your child's lazy behaviors? My quiet teen has very few friends that she actually communicates with. But the ones she has share the exact same behaviors: lazy, irresponsible, unmotivated, visibly apathetic. They don't have driver's licenses or jobs, they are doing minimum school work, and they're not going away to college - all of them are 16-19 years old! This is not what I pictured for my daughter. She needs to be around people with a more positive outlook on life, with energy, goals, ambition, and drive. How can I wipe the slate clean and find new friends for her? Her psych says her friends are her biggest influence and I need to arrange situations in which she can meet kids I would like for her to hang with. But should I be setting up play dates for my 17-year-old??? I need suggestions.