Your child’s friends are going to influence them, positively and negatively. Do you know who they are? Do you know anything about them? It’s important to know something about the friends your children choose so that you can help them discern right and wrong as they make choices.
Here are 6 things you should observe about your child’s friends:
What type of home do they come from? This is not referring to the makeup of the family, but to the environment. Are the parents permissive? Are they there when your child is there? Do their values align with yours? When your kids are young, it’s important to be picky about who you let influence them.
What type of friends do they have? You can tell a lot about a person by the people they spend time with. If your teen’s friend hangs out with kids who drink or do drugs, you can be pretty sure your child will eventually be influenced by the same crowd. On the other hand, if your child’s friend is friends with kids who come from families who have similar values as your family, you know that those influences will be positive.
Does this friend bring out the best in your child? This is a question that your child may not be able to objectively answer. But when you take time to listen, learn, and expose yourself to your child’s friends, you will observe how they are impacting your son or daughter.
What sort of student is your child’s friend? If your child’s friends are good students who prioritize academics, it most likely will influence your child to do the same. However, if your child’s friend thinks that school is a waste of time, that apathy may rub off on your child.
How do your child’s friends treat you? Are they respectful of you? Your home? Do you feel they are sneaky, encouraging your child to do something that’s prohibited in your home? Beware of the “Eddie Hascals” (character in the old show Leave it to Beaver who was a total suck-up when the parents came into the room) who act one way when you are around, and another way when you leave the room.
Does your child’s friend show any bully or control tendencies? If your child gives in easily to their friend’s wants or is overly eager to please them, this indicates an unhealthy friendship, where one child likes to exert power over the other.
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