What you can do if you do not like your kid’s friends? Many parents face the dilemma of a child choosing friends unwisely. So, here is how to handle it:
1. Never make a big deal out of it. Usually child friendships are short lived, even in the teenage years. So, if you can help yourself, just grit your teeth until the friendship dies out. Chances are it will be over soon.
2. While you are grinning and bearing it, improve the situation by setting limits and boundaries. For example, only allow them to play with or hang out with that friend at your house. This means you can monitor behavior, and help encourage what you want to see. However, when doing this, you have to be sly. If you make a big deal out of it, or badmouth their friend, it will backfire on you.
3. If your child has a friend that you dislike, or that is a bad influence on them, then set some rules about friendship in general that can help remedy the situation. For example, you can say that they can only hang out with the same friend one weekend a month. Do not apply these rules to just one friend, just in general.
4. Encourage other friendships whenever possible. You have to do this with caution as a child is a master manipulator, thus can sense when you are trying to manipulate. So, find ways to introduce them to new friends, and find convenient reasons why play dates or activities will not work with the kids you do not like, and will with the kids you do.
5. Monitor the friendship carefully. If your child is going to spend time with the friend you do not like, then keep tabs on things. Do your best to get them to hang out at your house, and in common areas so you can keep an eye on things without being intrusive.
6. Do not judge too quickly. While most parents have a sixth sense about friends, and which ones should be avoided, sometimes they let their personal prejudices and biases stand in the way of good judgment. A boy with earrings, long hair, or a tattoo, for example may instantly be judged as a bad influence on your child. Whereas the clean cut kid that is addicted to prescription drugs may have no outward signs of being a bad influence. So, do your best to get to know the kids before passing a judgment.
7. Involve them in activities where they will meet positive friends. Sometimes your child’s friends are friends you do not like because your child is not finding friends in the right places. If you want your child to find the right friends, then involve them in the right activities. Sports, church groups, etc. are all good places to help your child make new friends.
With a little careful planning, and some good parenting, you can limit the amount of time your child spends with friends you do not like, and how much influence that kid can have over your child.