How Can I Help My Teen Develop Healthy Friendships?

Read Transcript

Hopefully by the time you have a teenager you've really instilled in them the values and morals that you would want them to instill in themselves and they've taken them on and they've built friendships and relationships that are around now. But we know of course that, that doesn't always happen the way we like.

So you really want to be able talk to them in an ongoing way with open communication about what makes a positive friendship. What kinds of qualities do they want in a friend? What kinds of qualities do they want their friends to see in them and how can they find those opportunities through activities that they may do in and out of school, sports, church, camp any of those places where they find positive people, and you want to promote that as much as possible.

If you insist that your teen not see that bad group of kids they're going to find a way to see that bad group of kids because you just say no more wash your hands of them. So you need to have discussions and explanations about why that group of kids is not one that you really would love for them to hang out with, and then help them find alternatives because if you don't provide an alternative, they're just going to go back to the kinds of kids they were hanging out with before.

So as many times as you can opening doors and opening opportunities, the better and if you really stick your heels and say absolutely not they're going to lie, they're going to sneak, they're going to be untrustworthy to be with the people that they feel are good for them. And so you want to be there when they fall down because that group isn't good for them and talk about how they can choose other people down the road.