Many parents have a desire for their kids to easily make friends and develop solid social skills. The only downside of children developing a social circle is that parents have no control over who their children choose to become their friends.
At times, parents may notice that their kid's friends, or perhaps one friend in particular, has some undesirable attributes that can rub off on their children: if that happens many parents may feel compelled to comment on their child's friendships. For 5 reasons why parents should absolutely give their honest opinions and 5 they should let their kids figure things out on their own, read on.
If parents notice that their child has a sudden change in character or self-esteem ever since a certain someone showed up in his or her life, this may be a good enough reason to comment on his or her relationship with the new friend. Parents know their children well, and a negative change in character or how they feel about themselves is reason enough for the "I want to protect my child" gene to kick in. Consider approaching the situation in a nonjudgemental way, “Do not criticize the other child at home. This will just make your child have to choose loyalties," said experienced mom Cherilyn.
If you notice that your child seems to be overly influenced by the interest of his or her new friends, so much so that he or she is neglecting his or her own interests feel free to step in. If you notice that your kid may have stopped liking a particular thing they once enjoyed simply because their new friend finds it "uncool."
Partake in a conversation, not a lecture, empower your child and try to show them that it's okay to be themselves and that sometimes although not everyone has the same interests, their interests are still valid and it's okay to be different.
If your once star pupil kid starts acting like a firestarter in part because of the new friends they associate with, it may be time to step in and talk about how you find this new friend. Jenny F, mother of a teen says open communication is the best way to ensure her children are making the best choices.
"Making sure your child understands that he has freedom of choice when it comes to making friends, as long as he stays within the acceptable zone that you discuss with him, is a reasonable way to handle an issue."
If your child starts to perform poorly in school because of their relationship with their friends, parents should take action. An outlook on the future may be the best avenue to have a conversation with your children. Writers at The Guardian suggest talking to your children about their future.
"You may be considered to be the type of person who would do similar things even if you haven't done anything wrong just because you associate with your friend who lit something on fire," says Ari Yares, licensed psychologist on ways to explain to your children how associating with certain children can affect their futures.
Your once respectful child developing disrespectful behavior that mirrors the attitude of his or her so-called friend? If you notice your once pleasant child using profanity or acting out in ways that his or her less desirable friend does, you may want to consider talking about it and giving your honest opinion.
This is a great time for parents to meet the parents of their children's friends, suggests Psych Central. By meeting your child's friends parents, you are showing concern and also allowing your little one to see first hand what acceptable behavior is in your household and what is not.
A really good reason to allow your children to make up their own mind about their friends is to illustrate and build more trust in your relationship with them. Telling your children after he or she already made a decision about his or her friends will show that you as a parent were concerned but that you trust his or her decision making.
As long as your child isn't exhibiting any self-destructive behavior due to his or her relationship with his or her new friend, why not take a back seat and use this as a building and bonding block in your relationship.
Depending on your little one's age, he or she may not quite understand what undesirable traits are. Having a few friends who are bad seeds can help them spot out how not to act in life, this could be particularly useful in self-growth.
Allow your child to learn about what qualities he or she values in his or herself first, and then figure out what traits are good or bad to be around. This is a valuable lesson that may not be learned if parents step in prematurely, says The Chicago Tribune.
Echoing back to defining and rejecting undesirable traits, parents should allow children to make up their own minds about their friends because it may push them closer to identifying and establishing their own identity.
As children grow they develop a stronger sense of self, whether it be likes or dislikes or personal values, or things they will just not stand for, allow your child the time to see what their new friend is all about and whether or not they can even tolerate their friends way of being on their own.
As much as you may find it frustrating, the fact of the matter is, your child's relationships are not about you and not reflective of your parenting style. You may feel uncomfortable about your child's relationship with another child for personal reasons, this is not a good reason to approach your child and encourage them to end the friendship.
"Try to be honest with yourself," says The Guardian– "does a very confident child make yours seem timid, or a different approach to discipline undermine what you always previously thought was reasonable?" If this is the case you may want to take a step back.
Taking the cool route can be risky for some parents, choosing not to say anything about kids who your child knows gets under your skin may spark even more illicit behavior from your little one says Parent 24, but taking the bench on a friend who just bugs you versus a friend who is actually a bad influence could allow your child to get exposure to things he or she would not if he or she just had friends who were similar to her.
This can really help form him or her into a more well-rounded adult.