You’ve heard that old cliché a million times. “Birds of a feather flock together!” I’m not certain I believe it 100% but I do believe that “who we associate ourselves with” can impact our behavior. That applies to adults as well as children; the only difference is as an adult we make our own choices, as parents we are responsible to “oversee” who our kids associate with!
It’s important as parents you are aware of who your son is “hanging around” with. Peer pressure is real at this stage of your son’s life! Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Have you met the parents of the friend your son is spending time with?
- Have you asked yourself, what do I know about this family?
- Have I met the family?
- Are they(the parents) home after school and on the weekends when my son is over?
- Is there anything suspicious that I should be concerned about?
- Is my son spending an enormous amount of time at “their house?”
In my new book “Saving Our Sons” A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success I write about the “tendency of adolescent boys to hang with the friend that has little to no supervision at home.” I do that because it’s true! Think back to when you were a kid, you probably did it too. A young boy is searching himself to discover who and what he is all about. It’s entirely possible he can connect and be drawn to the wrong set of friends and be subject to peer pressure. Their are a million scenarios that can result in trouble for your son, that’s why it’s important to pay attention to who he’s spending time with.
Give yourself permission to check out your son’s friends, and his friend’s parents to be sure he is not making bad choices!
Everything in Moderation
Keep in mind – MODERATION is a good thing, and that does include friend time! An unhealthy friend has the potential to become your son’s mentor and role model. If you read my blog last week titled Play Ball I talk about sports and the benefits to getting your son involved in this type of activity where he has the potential to make friends and hang out doing something healthy at the same time.
What Type of Parent Are You?
There are 3 types of parents, for the sake of space basically it goes like this:
- The Bad Parent – disconnected and uninvolved with their kids
- The Good Parent – over-connected and involved, friend, spoiling their child
- The Responsible Parent – connected, interested, loving, nurturing (including tough love) and consistent “boundaries and limits” to keep their child safe
Your son needs a responsible parent to set up a discipline system and follow through with commitment and consistency to feel safe; that means you want to know who his friends are too! The result is he can then, more than likely, grow up healthy, happy and grounded.
Have you had a bad experience with your son’s “BFF” and peer pressure?