Most parents are leery of the “un-suitable friend/s”, the one who takes our child down the wrong path. Monitoring our children and who they chose to befriend is particularly challenging in an era where social media rules. Our children can reach and relate to others across the globe. Their choices can be as varied in age, gender, philosophical orientation, interests and most importantly intentions, as the numerous internet options that are available to our children. Adolescence is a time of individuation from parents and self discovery. This period can make connecting and communicating with teens most challenging. The most important role a parent can play in assuring healthy friendships for their children is that of a role model. To do so, parents can focus on the following:
Promote and maintain healthy relationships:
Be involved with your teen and his/her friendships by:
Most if not every healthy parent wants and looks forward to becoming a person of significance their child’s life. My fantasy is that when my college freshman daughter is asked who the most important influencers are in her life, I want to make the list in the company of Gandhi, Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt. To do so requires a healthy relationship with both myself and her. It demands self awareness, self improvement and the willingness to listen and learn from our children.