It's Chicken-Scratch Saturday here at the Funny Farm, and I have another wonderful guest-post for you today. This is from Agnes Jimenez, who wrote a piece for me (a few months back) entitled: How to Help Kids Live a More Simplified Life. Do you remember it? I do, it was wonderful.
Take it away, Agnes!
How to Stop Your Child from Hanging out With the Wrong Crowd
Parenting is difficult, especially when teens become involved with the wrong crowd. It is important to approach the situation with care. There are ways to convince a teenager that hanging out with the wrong crowd will cause more harm than good. Here are ways to intervene.
It is essential to discuss the situation with the teenager, but it is important not to condemn the friends. This can alienate the child and send the teen even closer to friends who can potentially influence him or her to make the wrong choices. It is vital to speak in direct words and outline specific actions. A parent should ask why the teen likes the friends. Getting insight into the thoughts behind the friendship will help a parent down the line.
A parent is meant to be a figure of structure and less of a friend to a child. A parent must set limits, but allow a teen to hang with friends of choice as long as no trouble is occurring. However if rules are broken, it is important to let the child know about the consequences of his/her actions. This way, the possibility of doing the wrong deed again and again will be lessened.
If a parent still does not feel comfortable with the teenager's friends, it may be wise to get to know them better. One of the best ways to know them is by inviting them over to the house. Letting them hang out with the kid at home can give the parent an opportunity to observe and analyze their behavior. Also, this will let them know that the child belongs to a decent family, which can prevent them from thinking or doing anything that can result to punishment or worst, the severance of their friendship.
Sometimes a parent must give a teen an alternative to hanging out and getting into trouble. It may be helpful to offer different activities to the teen. A parent may invite other friends from sports, clubs, or the church over for a movie or to play video games. It may also be nice to dedicate one night a week to a family activity like bowling or playing board games. This will instill better values into a teenager and show them that there are better ways to have fun.
Keeping communication open with a teenager means that the child will not be afraid to confide in a parent or call when trouble is near. For example, this will help a teen be more likely to call a parent for ride home when other teens have been drinking. Not judging the teen or the friends will keep everyone safe.
There are many ways to stop a teenager from hanging around with the wrong crowd. A parent must be watchful, but not forceful unless extreme danger looms. A teen must have limits, but be free to learn from mistakes. In the end, a parent can support a teen and show them how bad behavior can cause more harm than good.
About the Guest Author
Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and currently partners with HelpYourTeenNow.com in spreading awareness about troubled and depressed teenagers (and how to deal with them). Help Your Teen Now aims to increase awareness on the current psychological and societal stresses of today's teens and how these factors affect the future of our society.
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