While it’s in most of our nature to want to intervene, experts advise the following to overcome what can be a difficult hurdle in raising kids…
- It’s best to welcome these friends into your home as you would any other. If you try to intervene, it’s likely she’ll want to see that child more. Very subtly keep an eye on things when you have the child over and reinforce the message that your child has your support. Then she’ll feel if and when the time comes that she wants to walk away, she’s free to do so without losing face.
- Give the friend a chance – she might turn out to be not as bad as you thought. Aim to respect your child’s choice in friends.
- Try not to be perceived as angry with her as she’s more likely to alienate herself from you. It’s vital she be able to share her experiences with the friend with you, and that you discuss and help her manage the friendship so that it remains healthy.
Aim to steer, rather than drive, your tween away from trouble!
- When peer pressure turns bad however, it’s vital you state clearly where you stand. Offer her boundaries – of course you want her friends to like her, but not at the expense of her changing herself at their will.
- The more self-esteem you can foster in her, the more likely she’ll be unscathed by the friendship.
- Speak to your child’s teacher if you’re seriously worried about the friendship to gauge what you’re feeling. She can then monitor the situation in this setting, and possibly keep them apart if necessary.
- Bear in mind the fluidity of friendships while growing up and feel assured that this more than likely will be a passing phase.