Life with a teenager can be very interesting. One day, you understand each other perfectly and the next, it is like you are living on two different planets. One subject that parents and teenagers have trouble agreeing on is their friends.

Parents have to tread lightly when it comes to likes and dislikes concerning your teens. Most teens go through various phases between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Hanging around with friends that you don’t approve of could be one of those phases.

Determine why you don’t approve of their friends. If the reason for disapproval surrounds their appearance or mannerisms, you may have to put up with it. If your teenager is having a hard time figuring out who they are, the chances are that someone else’s teenager is having the same trouble. Asking your son or daughter to drop a friend because of their looks sends the wrong message.

If one of their friends is disrespectful in your house, handle this situation directly with the offending teenager. This is your house and you lay the ground rules. Kindly tell the friend that he must change his tone and word usage in your home. If he agrees, then the problem is handled.

Teens often do things that they have been taught. Propping feet up on the coffee table or drinking from the juice carton may be okay at their home. Talk to your teenager’s friends with respect and tell them that you don’t allow certain things to be done in your home. The reason they didn’t do it before was because he or she just didn’t know.

If you suspect that one of your teenagers new friends is into drugs or something else that is not above board, action may be warranted. Keeping an open line of communication with your teenager should alert you to any changes in their behavior that may have prompted their new relationship with this friend.

Ask your teenager if their new friend is into any risky behaviors. Before your child can object to the question, reiterate that you are concerned about them. You can suggest that they may want to distance themselves if this new friend is doing something that could get them in trouble. If your teenager insists that nothing is going on, trust them. You have raised them to be aware of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and sex. They have all of the tools that they need. The rest is up to them.

Teenagers will have all types of friends. It is okay to be concerned if a friend doesn’t click with you. Take the time to understand the reasons why you don’t approve of the friend before jumping to conclusions.

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