Son’s friends have bad habits
June 7, 2012 12:50PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:00AM
Dr. Wallace: I’m a single mother of a 17-year-old son. He is very bright and if all goes well, he will be attending Indiana University next year. His father has set up a program for him for four years at IU, if he chooses to go there. His father teaches at the university.
Lately, Ted has been hanging around with a group of guys who smoke and drink beer. I don’t believe that they are doing drugs. I don’t like the idea of Ted having friends who have bad habits, but he assures me that just because they smoke and drink, it doesn’t mean that he does.
Still, I don’t like the idea. I like to think that I’ve steered my son in the right direction and that he can make good choices, but peer pressure is strong. I’d like your thoughts. I’d really like to trust my son.
Mom: Peer pressure is a strong influence. A teen often takes part in negative activities when with friends, not because they are necessarily encouraged to join in the “fun,” but because they don’t want to feel like an outsider with the group.
Parents should trust their child until that trust is broken, but they should also discourage friendships with friends who engage in unacceptable behavior. The longer he hangs out with these friends, the better the chance that he will willingly do what they do!
It would be wise to contact Ted’s father and share your concern regarding his friends. Ask his father to show concern and to discuss the negative activities of his friends. With both parents in harmony, the chances of Ted finding new friends who share his anti-alcohol and tobacco lifestyle are much greater.
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