Ensuring Your Kid is in Good Company
By Laura McElroy

There’s no doubt about it – peer pressure and friendships can cause a lot of brain strain. You want to look and be cool all the time and it’s a strain. Maybe as a teenager, to be accepted as a social butterfly, you’re drinking every weekend to be relaxed for all the parties you’re attending.  

Some parents allow their kids to booze even though they know it’s illegal. We look at ways to handle your kid’s friends. 

Don’t criticize them too much 

Every parent has a right to say they don’t like the friends their children are hanging out with. The idea is not to go on and on moaning and ridiculing your child’s friends. Ultimately it will have the opposite effect and drive your child into their company.  

Whether you like it or not, your child is hanging out with them because of being like-minded – he or she is similar to them. The funny thing is their parents may well be saying the same things about your child not being a good influence.   

Birds of a feather flock together and your child feels comfortable and accepted by them. All you can ultimately do is to quietly go on giving warnings of certain behaviors. 

Spy phone app 

Most parents want the best for their kids. They want to keep them safe. With the knowledge of your child, you can install a spy phone app on their phone and monitor their activities from the range of features it provides.  

The phone has great GPS features to locate the whereabouts of your child and keep tabs on their calls and messages. This way, you can also be sure that no-one is bullying them into drinking or getting up to things that aren’t the way you’ve raised them. The software helps you protect your child by knowing more about what’s going on in their lives. 

Be clear about the consequences 

You can’t be going on and on saying you don’t like your child’s friends because of their alcohol abuse and drug-taking. Be strong about your warnings. Tell your child that if they persist with their alcohol and drugs, unlike other parents, you don’t have the money to send them to rehab and they, therefore, might find themselves on the streets. 

If they want to ignore your repeated warnings, they will have to face the consequences. Too many kids ignore the warmings because a cozy life in a rehab isn’t such a bad thing after all.  

Don’t be half-complicit  

Too many parents try to be friends with their kids instead of there being a distinct parent-child relationship. They’re afraid to make rules in case they’re looked upon as being fuddy-duddy.  

Teenagers need to be accepted by their friends but they need to know boundaries too. Unfortunately, some parents, afraid to impose rules, will say ‘ok, try it at least and then you at least know.’ Parents need to make their rules and stick to them. They can’t be slackers when it comes to rules.   

Maybe time to spend a little? 

As a parent, you may have watched your child break all your rules about drinking. You may have covered for your child several times to get him or her out of trouble. Booze can end in death and you need to do something for your child so that both you and your child’s life aren’t wrecked.  

Maybe it’s time to explore another outlet for your child that you’ve been denying him because of costs. Maybe it’s time to dig deep and buy him that set of drums or golf clubs he wants as his interest in it might well alienate his pals at last.

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