What to do if You Don't Like Your Teen's Friends

Dr. Karyn Gordon shared three tips on how to deal with your teen's friends.

Often parents can have an issue with the friends that their teenagers choose.  Be it friends while a teenager goes through a “phase,” or friends deemed “poor choices,” Dr. Karyn Gordon shared three tips on how to deal with your teen’s friends.

Tip #1:  Understand That Kids Choose their Friends

It’s important to understand that kids choose their friends! Often parents focus on the poor qualities of their kids’ friends instead of understanding that our kids have chosen that person for a reason! The saying “Friends are a mirror of ourselves” is important to remember.  At an unconscious level, we are drawn to people who have the same self-esteem / level of confidence as we do (so if I have low self- esteem – I’m often going to be drawn to others with low or false self-esteem).  So instead of focusing on the ‘bad friends’ as the problem – focus on developing your child’s confidence! When kids / teens feel good about themselves, they are drawn to friends (and dating partners) who will treat them well!


Tip #2:  Discuss, Don’t Dictate

When you don’t like your kid’s friends, try to discuss this with your kids. Do NOT dictate or forbid your kids to hang out with them (often this creates a ‘Romeo & Juliet’ situation where teens do it behind their parents back). Find out why your kids are drawn to certain people. What are the qualities about them that they like and admire? You can voice your concerns but be very careful in how you word it (teens are extremely protective of their friends as they see them as an extension of themselves).

Tip #3:  Make Your Home – “Teen Friendly”

Get to know your kids’ friends! Sometimes parents have placed judgments on their teens’ friends without really getting to know them. And the best way to get to know these friends (and even your kids) is to make your home “teen friendly”. If possible, create a space that is just for them. Make yourself available but be careful to give them plenty of space, and be friendly to their friends without asking 100’s of questions.

Courtesy Dr. Karyn Gordon – http://www.drkaryn.com/