Getting to Know Your Child's Friends

One of the best ways that you can positively influence your child’s friendships is to stay involved. By getting to know your child’s friends, you can gain some insight into the relationships that your child is involved in—and keep an eye on those relationships to make sure that they stay positive. There’s a fine line between being involved and being nosy, and your kids may complain that you don’t give them enough space, but it’s important to maintain a presence in your child’s life and in their friendships.

 
Create an Inviting Home- Make your home a place where your children’s friends like to hang out. (Snacks and soft drinks in the fridge always help!) Get to know them while they are relaxed and open to conversation.
 
Know Their Names- Learn the names of all of your child’s friends. Some parents list their child’s friends in the family address book along with the names of their parents and contact information.
 
Do: Monitor how your child reacts to you getting to know his friends. Some kids are okay with their parents getting to know their friends’ names, but they may not be too happy if they become overly friendly.
 
Know Their Parents- Get to know the parents or guardians of your children’s friends. You will often find that they share your values and priorities and that you can work together to ensure that the friendships are positive for everyone.
 
Attend Their Events- Whenever possible, attend school events. Ask your child to introduce you to her friends. Spend a few moments asking her friends about their likes and dislikes. Show that you’re interested in getting to know them.
 
Vacation With Them- Young teenagers often don’t like to spend much time with their families, so allow them to invite a friend along during family activities. This can make family getaways and reunions more appealing, and it will give you the chance to get to know your children’s friends.

 

Comments

5

My child’s best friend comes from a well-to-do family. They are a great family and invite him to do a lot with their family. They spend a lot of money on my child (dinners, ball games, entertainment). It seems like there are no limits. We appreciate their generosity but we cannot afford to repay, nor do we want our son to begin thinking that money grows from trees or to get into bad habits. Any suggestions? Should we speak with the parents of our son or just continue to address the issue with our son?

5

Hi Anonymous,

You should be able to openly communicate with your child about money, and explain that every family has a different budget and income. More gifts/vacations/material things does not equal more love. More information about talking to your kids about money is available here: http://www.parentfurther.com/parenting/money

5

same problem i am facing,and thanks for ur suggestion,it helps too much.

My daughter is 12 and obsessed with boys. We told her she cannot date until she is older but she continues to act as if she has a boyfriend. She chats online with her friends all the time. Lately she “broke up with” this guy and now she is “seeing” another boy. The stress this has created has caused her to scratch her arms. We are concerned but can’t seem to get through to her that this is not appropriate. She is an awesome child in every other way but seems to go overboard in this area. Any suggestions as to help her are greatly appreciated.

you should keep your 12 year old child off the internet!! Free roam of the internet is a no-no in our house. Talking to boys on the phone is a no-no, so why allow it online?? By not letting these problems evolve in the first place, she wouldn’t be stressing about boys. Take the stress away and change your rules. We went thru the EXACT thing with our 12 year old girl… then we realized WE were the ones who made the mistake in the first place by allowing her to talk to boys, and in turn get hurt when its not something she can understand or handle at the fragile age of TWELVE! So we broke the news to her that her parents screwed up and we’d be making some changes in the rules. We made it VERY clear she was not in trouble and that WE were the ones that screwed up. She wasn’t happy at first with the rule change, but a year later, she is much much happier and stable minded.
I am now a firm believer that 12 year olds should NOT have cell phones, facebooks (any social media), and free internet access. Let them grow before throwing the world at them.
Hope that helps

I have a kid in every school, early elementry, upper, middle school and highschool. we have an open door. I sit down with all the teens that enter my house and explain the rules, they are posted. We consider them all part of the family. Its embarrassing to my highschool son that I hang out when he has a few friends over. I don’t really care. I tell them we have an open question home and if they need a person to trust they can ask us for help on any subject. Most of their conversations are around girls, but if you don’t know what they are blabbing to each other about , you don’t have the chance to correct the rumors about everything they are learning wrong. The goal is to prepare them to go into the world. I taught first year college science, and you would be amazed how many 18 year old kids have no common sense or clue how to deal with failure, or to encourage themselves.

6th grade is when kids start liking the opposite sex. Friends that are male or female is practice for relationships later on. Its more important to teach your children to not put so much into another person liking them and breaking up is going to happen. The chances of marrying your high school sweetheart and staying married for 50 years is slim. The worst thing you can do is to not prepare your child for being let down. That is why kids can’t cope with rejection. I have seen in in my nephew who had no reality, and when his girlfriend dumped him, he was suicidal and devastated. we all know he will be ok, buy he thinks his world is over. They were not taught that its most important to love you for yourself and thats it.

Encourage them to have friends of the opposite sex but by learning that your marriage is a friendship first. Being infatuated by looks isn’t getting them anywhere ,but the reality is , you are connected to a person usually first by how they look.

We allow free roam with monitoring on the internet with friends because that’s how kids communicate. No phones though. We keep the computer in a public place. Sadly growing now means understanding how to maneuver through social media. Its a requirement in most schools to have access to friends for group projects and many of them communicate through social media.

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