What if your teen has befriended some kids you just do not like? These new friends do not have curfews, seem to be disrespectful, look and/or dress inappropriately, and your teen is beginning to act just like them.
The first thing is not to panic. Trust in your past parenting. Remember that during the teen years, your teen is making choices, asserting independence, and trying new ways of doing things. You do not have to let situations get out of control. When your teen begins hanging out with kids you do not think are good for him or her, you can take some quick actions.
- Do not complain to your teen about these new friends, it will only make your teen defensive. Your teen is asserting independence, and will now defend his or her new friends because the friends are a reflection of the teen’s independence.
- Parents can refuse to pay for inappropriate clothing and refuse consent for piercing and tattoos.
- Monitor your teens’ time away from home more closely. Be aware of where your teen is going and whom he or she is going with. You may want to consider a stricter or earlier curfew to limit your teen’s time with these friends.
- Encourage your teen to invite these new friends over to spend time at your home. Spend some time talking with the new kids about what they like and what their parents do for a living. They could be nice kids who just look odd.
- Check on your teenager’s school attendance and grades. If these are not suffering, there may be no cause to worry. If you find your teen is skipping school or his or her grades are dropping, confront your teen about these. Revoke your teen’s social privileges and let your teen know that until he or she raises their grades, they will not be allowed to go out during the week. If your teen is skipping school, revoke all social privileges.
For many teens, this is just a phase. Teens are testing limits, and seeing how much parents will allow.