Are Your Teens Choosing Good Friends? Tips For Parents Who Feel Left In The Dark

It’s not easy to keep track of a teenager’s friends. Texting and the Internet allow them to stay in contact with hundreds of people without ever leaving their bedroom. It’s important to keep track of their friends despite the difficulty, because a few bad influences can lead a teenager to make choices that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. You can never be certain that you know everything that a teen is doing, but there are a few ways to keep track of the biggest dangers. 

Watch Their Social Media

Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, are important forms of communication for the modern teenager. Sometimes they are harmless, but other times they allow teenagers to meet the wrong kind of people. It’s tempting to simply make your own account and add your child as a friend, but most of them will respond to that by moving anything they don’t want you to see to some other platform. Watch the sites for any public posts that look suspicious, and try to make friends with some of the same people as your child. That will usually prevent them from noticing that you’re keeping an eye on them, so they won’t feel the need to hide.

Keep an Eye on the Bills

Watch your phone bills as long as you pay for your child’s plan. A sudden increase in texting fees is a sure sign that the teenager has met somebody new. That won’t be enough to tell you if the new friend is a good or bad influence, but it will give you a sign that you should be looking for any changes in their behavior.

Know Where They Go

The Internet is a powerful tool for socialization, but people still meet in the real world. Keeping track of where your child goes is easy if you drive them around, but harder if they have their own car or bike. Ask where your teenager is going before you let them borrow your car, and try to know how long they should be gone. If you don’t ask questions and set clear rules, they may make dangerous decisions like drive with someone who is under the influence, or do it themselves. According to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, a DUI can have serious consequences. You should always know who they are with, and where they are going.

Invite Their Friends to the House

While your teen may love or hate this idea, allow them to bring their friends over for a movie, dinner, to hang out, or whatever else they want to do. When they are at the house, you can see for yourself who their friends are. From small talk to their behaviors, you can often tell if something is seriously wrong and could cause your teen to make bad decisions.

Peer pressures is tough for teens, and even good friends can get your teen into some trouble. It’s important to be vigilant in knowing who your teens hang out with, and encourage them to make good friends.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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