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?

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12  Answers

55 19

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.
Good luck!

173 27

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..

16 5

Thumbs-up! That's what I said in MY comment; how easy it is to point fingers, when it could be YOUR kid being that bad influence in the group.

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16 5

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.

1 14

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.

0 1

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.

9 27

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.

0 3

Dear Daniela; I sense your frustration and want to encourage you towards a different approach: 1. "Rules without relationship leads to rebellion." She sounds a lot like our oldest son. And this leads me to point #2. Bad fruit = Bad root. What I mean by this is you're seeing bad/negative/contrary actions and choices coming from your daughter's heart. Band-aids on these actions only attempt to change the outcomes, but what's really going on is a heart issue. By addressing our son's heart issues (lack of self-confidence, feelings of not belonging, lack of empowerment to make his own decisions and facing the consequences) and also changing MY approach with him I am finally seeing him turn his ship around. I tried to force his ship before, now I approach it with a guidance angle, and looking towards the future with affirmation when I see him making right choices and just helping out with regular things {"Wow Cameron - when you move out on your own for college, you're going to know how to do the dishes/laundry/cleaning. And when you have a job your boss will be glad you already know how to do this..."}. The counselor we saw was encouraging - this is normal stuff and to work on helping him figure out his: A} Independance B} Identity and C} Self-worth. In the heat of the moment I have to stop and ask myself this question: "Do I want to have my own way and fight for power OR do I want him to develop a healthy identity and mind-set so I'll help him work towards these things?" Daniela - be encouraged and search out some info to equip yourself! The teenage years are quite the ride, and we're not the first ones to go thru it. Talk to another Mom you have a lot of respect for and you can see her kids have struggled, but grown into responsible adults. She'll likely have a wealth of wisdom from her own experience. Blessings!!

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2,093 0

Parents blame too much on friends. Yes, peers can have a huge amount of influence, but you need to ask yourself why your child is drawn to kids you don't approve of. You need to raise your child to want good friends. Moreover, filtering your child's friends too heavily when they're young can lead to problems later - your kids feel they have to keep friends you won't approve of secret, your kids think it's okay to judge and snub people, your kids miss out on learning to choose friends through experience. Our children go to school with a lot kids that many parents wouldn't approve of as friends. I've been very pleased with how our children have been able to choose good kids they can develop their closest relationships with, but also how they have been able to socially navigate situations with kids who don't always set the best example or make the best choices. They can find some good in most kids and be friends with most everyone, but they can recognise a bad example when they see it and understand that you can be friends with somebody without being like them.

512 54

be the voice of reason because brain developmentally a child doesn't have any. Approach the subject objectively, as a third party or educator would, not a protective and worry wart parent. Then, pray they learn the lesson quick and painless as possible because the lesson will need to be learned. if not know, someday...your day is just sooner than others, and it's always sooner than we'd think.

6 11

You're child is YOUR child.You have 18 years to make something of him/her . Figure it out .

23 0

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.

79 37

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

5 20

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.

1 9

not sure what your daughter is into or what area you live in maybe try signing her up with something she would like to learn?? is there any place in your area that does horse lessons or riding lessons? often done in age groups they can be a good way to meet a different type of people...maybe go for a ride with her and see if she likes it..or sign her up for self defense class also done in groups where she can make new friends?? just thinking from a different perspective

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