Teen friends play the most important role in your teenager’s life. Without a doubt, it needs to be you. Your son and daughter’s parents. Unfortunately, with most teenager’s this isn’t the case. It’s not mom and dad. It’s your teenager’s friends. And you must determine without a doubt if your teen friends are an asset or a liability.
Your Teen Friends Are Miscast
The problem with your teen friends being the primary influence in your’s teen’s life is twofold. First, you need to be the primary influence but you lost that responsibility somewhere from along the way. From when your child went to grade school. In middle school. Or in high school. Probably early on in grade school when both mom and dad’s primary focus was jobs. Putting food on the table and a roof over your family’s heads. Teen friends then took your place and became their primary influence.
The second problem with your teen’s primary influence is obvious. Their teen friends are clueless. Just like your teenage daughter and son. Earlier you were asked to determine if teen friends are an asset or liability. Let’s save you the trouble of doing that. They are a liability as the primary role model. They are good kids. Just like your teenager’s a good kid. But they’re playing the wrong role in the game of life. They’re miscast as the teacher. Their role is the student. And you, mom and dad, must play the role of teacher.
Let’s look at your son and daughter, their friends and you
Don’t trust what teenager say. Trust what teenagers do. Actions never lie. This doesn’t apply to only teenagers. It’s true for everyone. Including you. You may think and say you’re a good parent. But what are your actions? Are you involved with your teenager? Do you do things together? Take walks with each other? Do fun things as a family? Or even eat dinner with one another? Or are you almost exclusively involved with yourselves? Mom and dad going out for dinner and a movie. Leaving the kids at home.
Even worse. Mom and dad living separate lives. Mom has her job. Dad has his. Dad plays golf. While mom shops with her friends. Like passing ships in the night. Never the twain shall meet. What about your kids? They fend for themselves. With their friends as their primary influencers. Definitely not a pretty picture.
Stop what you’re doing. Being all about yourselves. Start doing what you need to do. Being great parents. Get involved with your son and daughter. Face facts. They will reject you the first time you ask them to let you know what’s happening or go out with you for a burger and shake. They’ll come up with the standard excuse. “I can’t I’m really busy.” Acknowledge them by saying “I understand. Let’s get together soon.” They’ll reject you time after time. Be respectfully persistent. Acknowledge and come back a day or two later with another invitation. Eventually, they’ll give in and let you into their world. Then it’s time for you to listen and learn. Start now. It’s never too late.