Parents always want to make sure that their kids are safe and don’t get into trouble. Parents can keep an eye out for a kid’s safety and prohibit him or her from doing things only till a certain age. It becomes difficult to handle a kid when he or she becomes a teenager. Teenage is a tricky time for both the kids and their parents as both have to navigate some choppy waters before they get to a serene place. Kids at that age seek out freedom and generally choose their friends by themselves. But sometimes, kids can get involved with wrong kinds of kids. As parents, it is hard to see your kid go down a path of self-destruction. But there is very little control you have as parents to teenagers. So, you need to find constructive ways to deal with this problem as kids in their teenage years tend to rebel when forced to do something. And as history has taught us not every rebellion can bring about great revolution. So, it is important to find effective ways to communicate to your kids without making them feel like you don’t trust them. Here are 4 things you can do to deal with this problem.
1. Don’t Declare ‘I Don’t Like Your New Friend’
You need to find a better way to declare this. You can’t really say this out loud to your kid and expect the kid to take you seriously. You need to be logical while dropping a truth bomb like that. You need to understand that even though your kid is a teenager, he or she is still a kid and needs to be explained to about grave things like this. You need to have specific reasons and logical answers.
Avoid badmouthing your kid’s friend in front of your kid. You can end up alienating your child this way and your child might end up taking his or her friend’s side over you. So, enable your child with an easier path to get out of the friendship. Tell your child that you know that he or she doesn’t want to be part of a bad situation and he or she can totally use you as a reason to excuse himself or herself from the friendship.
2. Ensure Limitations
There are times when it is not in our hands what our kids are doing and we need to accept that. But if you are grossly incapable of taking the matter into your hands, then you can set limitations. You can tell your child that he or she will be held accountable when things go wrong even if he or she wasn’t involved in the act. You can control the situation when they hang out with their ‘troublesome’ friend by allowing them to mingle only either at home or in group settings.
3. Communicate Effectively
Effective communication will help your kid to open up more easily to you. You need to tell your kid that he or she has complete freedom of choice when it comes to picking his or her friends as long as he or she understands what kind of behavior is acceptable. Let your child know that he or she can come to you at any time and you both will figure out a way to get him or her out of a tricky situation. You need to trust your child and make sure that he or she trusts you too.
4. Take A Hard Stand
Sometimes teenagers can be hard to deal with. And different parents use different methods of parenting to deal with a difficult situation. In this scenario, you can communicate openly and tell your child why his or her friend is a bad influence. After this, you just have to trust your child and give him or her the time to see the true colors of his or her friend. Some parents can also take the hard road in this one and nip it in the bud by forbidding the friendship altogether. But whatever it is, make sure to stop and consider the effects your decision will have on your child.
Raising a teenager is no cakewalk. It comes with its own share of challenges but make sure to keep a window of communication open to solve the problems.