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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

When you just don’t like those brats

Here are some parenting secrets to help you navigate your way around your child’s friends.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Aug 07, 2013 11:56 IST


You're turned off by the wise-guy tone of your son's best buddy. You're concerned about the aggressive pal your three-year-old adores. You can't stand the come-hither look of your daughter's boyfriend.

In a nutshell, you're not happy with your child's choice of friends. Here are a few parenting secrets to help you raise your kids, keeping your relationship cordial.

Make your house kidfriendly: Get to know your child’s friend. In addition to feeling more comfortable because you know where your kid is, you'll also be able to keep your ears open to determine if your concerns are really grounded.

Ask other adults: Talk to a parent, teacher or coach who knows the kid.

Do they share your same concerns? The school counsellor can often offer a fresh perspective.

Monitor closely: Stay in contact and know where your child is going at all times. Also, try to get to know the pal's parents.

Keep her busy: The best way to limit the time your child spends with an undesirable friend is to find other things for her to do. It doesn't always work, but arranging activities your child enjoys and filling her social calendar is worth a try.

Watch for red flags: Look for changes in your child since he/she began hanging out with this companion. Have you noticed slipping grades, missed curfews, raunchy language, hitting, or a new level of defiance? Those are signs of a pal becoming a negative influence.

Share your concerns: Instead of judging or criticising your kid’s friend, describe the changes you see like slipping grades or bad attitude. The restate your family values and consequences for unacceptable behaviour.

When to step in: If the pal is clearly a "bad influence," it's time to draw a halt to the relationship.

This may be easier said than done. You might need to consider the extreme: a new school or a month at a relative's home. In some extreme cases, moving may be the only option.

The parenting secret: A friend can influence your child by putting him in trouble. If this kid can damage your child's character, reputation, or health, step in.

First Published: Mar 14, 2007 14:14 IST