Concern about friends: younger students

Question: My son is hanging around with kids who are not polite and they seem to have different goals than my child. I worry about him getting into trouble with some of them. What should I do?


Answer: This is a difficult question because so many factors are involved.  First, it is important to know your son’s friends. Sometimes, first impressions and appearances are not always accurate. Spending time with your child’s friends can turn the “I think” to “I know.”

After spending time with them and you are sure your child’s friends would be a bad influence, you must monitor his free time. You won’t be able to control who he spends time with during the school day, but fortunately, younger children must rely on their parents to coordinate “play dates.” When your son asks to see a certain friend you can guide him to one who is more appropriate. It is important that you do not openly disapprove of his friends because he may push harder to see the friend you don’t like. Guiding your children toward good friendships is fundamental in their growth.  Friends provide modeling that become integral in their development.  Helping them find good friends, with similar expectations, is an important part of parenting.