Know Your Teenager's Friends
Your teenager will hate that we're telling you this, but we're going to tell you anyway:
You should know who your kid's friends are.
At this age, I know they want their privacy, and I know they're hard to talk to sometimes. But your teenager's friends are influencing them in big ways right now, so you've got to understand who's in their circle of friends — and what they're up to.
Here's a quick checklist to help you do this well:
- TALK TO OTHER PARENTS. Some parents of your kid's friends might love this — others may not. Pay attention to how those parents respond to you because it can reveal a lot about how they parent their own kids.
- ALWAYS ASK, "WHERE, WHEN, WHO?" when your kid makes plans. If they push back, let them this isn't an unreasonable question — it's just about safety and courtesy.
- SUPPORT THEIR INVOLVEMENT WITH HEALTHY COMMUNITY. When your kid expresses interest in friends who influences them positively, make it easy for them to spend time together!
- TALK ABOUT WISE FRIENDSHIPS. Keep the lines of communication open with your kid. Ask good questions, listen to their stories about their friends, and swap insights about how to build great friendships and choose friendships wisely.
Your teenager is beginning to pull away from you and lean more into relationships with their peers. Help them make that transition well. Know who your kids' friends are, and help them learn how to choose those friends wisely.
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