Parenting is no child’s play—especially when it comes to monitoring your childs’ friends. How do you know when to intervene and when to let kids just be kids?
Thankfully, you don’t have to handle your child’s friendships alone. Here are 10 parenting tips—five regarding children, five regarding teenagers—that can help your family in cases of “friendly fire.”
Kid Talk: Ages 6–12
1. Look Inward
Before you play the blame game, examine your feelings.
“If you’re uncomfortable with your child’s choice of friends, the first step is self-reflection to identify if there is truly cause for concern or if your discomfort is rooted primarily inside of you or your past experiences,” says Julie de Azevedo Hanks, a licensed psychotherapist. “So often, a parent’s own unresolved issues and insecurities cloud the perception of what’s going on. It’s important for parents to have an awareness of their own emotional vulnerabilities.”
2. Ask Questions
“If there’s a friendship concern you want to communicate to your child, start by asking questions about the friendship,” Hanks says. “Questions like, ‘What do you like most about Josh?’ ‘What’s the most difficult part of being friends with Josh?’ ‘What kinds of things do you do together?’ After you get a good feel for your child’s experience in the friendship, then you can express your concerns to your child.”
Read the rest of the article at LDS Living.com