How should I tell my child I don't like her friends? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 09-04-2014, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How should I tell my child I don't like her friends?

My 14 year old girl often invites her friends at home and I don't like some of them. I just don't feel like their good influence of her and don't know how to tell my daughter about it. How should I approach my child about this thing? Any advice would be a great help. Thanks

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#2 of 21 Old 09-04-2014, 08:21 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't. I would ask her in a low key, non accusatory way what qualities she values in her friends. I would comment positively on the friends you do like... especially if she seems happier or more open when she's with them. I would encourage her to get involved in some other activities that would widen her social pool. At 14 though, you risk starting a power struggle over who her friends are and that's not a good move.

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#3 of 21 Old 09-04-2014, 09:08 PM
 
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Totally agree with whatsnextmom. I wouldn't say anything. There's almost zero chance that she'll say "Oh, wow, I hadn't noticed that they weren't nice girls. Thanks for filling me in. I guess I'd better stop hanging out with them." Instead you'll make her angry, and she'll stick by them all the more.

If you've done a good job instilling values, you can bet she's more than aware of her friends' shortcomings and is simply choosing to look past them for the time being, for reasons that are meaningful to her. If she gets hurt in these friendships, or makes some mistakes as a result of them, you'll be in a good position to offer her whatever support or sounding board she needs. She would hardly come to you for support if she risks an "I told you so" sort of response.

Oh, and given that she's probably going to hang out with these kids no matter what, and that you fear they may be bad influences, it is far better that they all feel comfortable coming to your house to hang out, where you can keep more awareness of what their up to. If you make it clear you don't like her friends, they'll just find other places to be together, places where you have no idea what they're up to.

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#4 of 21 Old 09-06-2014, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah that's what I thought too. Glad I didn't make a move yet. Consulted some of my fellow moms too and they have the same opinions as yours too. Thanks again!

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#5 of 21 Old 09-23-2014, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hollyeasterbybb View Post
My 14 year old girl often invites her friends at home and I don't like some of them. I just don't feel like their good influence of her and don't know how to tell my daughter about it. How should I approach my child about this thing? Any advice would be a great help. Thanks
Start by remembering your own childhood and why you picked the friends you did. Remember how your parents reacted to you choice of friends and why. Remember what you liked or didn't like about your own childhood friends and also how you FELT about your parents reactions to your friends back then. Once you recall all of this, you will have a better idea how to deal with your own child now.

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At 14 though, you risk starting a power struggle over who her friends are and that's not a good move.
IMO, the only way a power struggle can occur is if there is some kind of unhappy rift between the teen and her mom in the first place which is affecting the "friends" thing. By the time she is 14, you have already UNWITTINGLY conditioned and trained her to be attracted to "friends" that you don't like but the damage is already done. Now you are faced with retracing your steps to see where and how you influenced your child to make these choices and somehow REVERSE the way you have trained her.

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Totally agree with whatsnextmom. I wouldn't say anything. There's almost zero chance that she'll say "Oh, wow, I hadn't noticed that they weren't nice girls. Thanks for filling me in. I guess I'd better stop hanging out with them." Instead you'll make her angry, and she'll stick by them all the more.
LOL, my parents did NOT like most of my friends which was cool since there was so much animosity and contempt between my parents and me and so I liked anything that they did not like.

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If you've done a good job instilling values, you can bet she's more than aware of her friends' shortcomings and is simply choosing to look past them for the time being, for reasons that are meaningful to her.
Your kid's choice of friends will indicate exactly what those "values" are. If your kid is selecting "seedy" friends, you've instilled seedy values in your kid and if you have instilled GOOD values in your kid, she will select GOOD friends who you will approve of. It's mostly about the quality of your parenting. You reap what you sow.

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Oh, and given that she's probably going to hang out with these kids no matter what, and that you fear they may be bad influences, it is far better that they all feel comfortable coming to your house to hang out, where you can keep more awareness of what their up to. If you make it clear you don't like her friends, they'll just find other places to be together, places where you have no idea what they're up to. Miranda
The parent is always going to be the most powerful influence on their own child - up to a certain age and, if the kid is attracted to the "wrong" kind of friends, it is a sorry result of "wrong" parenting which has set the kid up to go for those "wrong" influences in the first place so, it will make more sense to undo the bad influences you have given your kid BEFORE the kid is tempted to take off with her seedy friends to have their fun behind your back. In other words, correct your own parenting mistakes before you damage you own child further!
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#6 of 21 Old 09-23-2014, 08:56 PM
 
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Your kid's choice of friends will indicate exactly what those "values" are. If your kid is selecting "seedy" friends, you've instilled seedy values in your kid and if you have instilled GOOD values in your kid, she will select GOOD friends who you will approve of. It's mostly about the quality of your parenting. You reap what you sow.

Although I think that as parents, we have tremendous influence over our children, I believe that all human beings have freewill. We've known families where different kids in the family made different choices. I've also seen kids go through stages where they try out different styles of people, like trying out a different hair cut. Sometimes, they come away from what looks like "selecting seedy friends" wiser and more clear in their own values.

I think it is very disrespectful to teens to view all of their choices as solely as reflection of ourselves. That requires a level of narcissism that just isn't healthy.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 21 Old 09-23-2014, 10:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jr37 View Post
By the time she is 14, you have already UNWITTINGLY conditioned and trained her to be attracted to "friends" that you don't like but the damage is already done. Now you are faced with retracing your steps to see where and how you influenced your child to make these choices and somehow REVERSE the way you have trained her.
Jim, I understand that your childhood and teen years were highly dysfunctional, but I can't help but feel like you're projecting a black-and-white mentality upon other people's relationships with their children. I would be surprised if most of the relationships represented amongst caring, attachment-oriented parents frequenting this message board are as dysfunctional as what you grew up with. Are you even a parent?

I'm someone who chose some friends in my early to mid teens whom my parents didn't think were good choices. In some respects they were bad influences, and I did engage in a some risky behaviour as a result of hanging out with them, but at the same time I was learning to dig past superficial affect and behaviour to see the person behind the façade. My parents were good, caring parents. I don't think they were wrong to express disapproval of my choices of friends, nor do I think I was necessarily wrong to care about the people I did during those years. I eventually moved on to friendships with teens who were less 'troubled' and more mainstream, but I believe I was shaped in a positive way by those earlier friendships.

When a teen chooses friends her parents disapprove of, sometimes that's the result of bad or misguided parenting and damaged parent-child relationships. In those cases a complete reversal of parenting strategies might be advisable. But I think that most of the time, with typical teen-parent relationships, there's not much to it: it's an experiment with a new social identity, a trial balloon in the process of differentiating from family, an assertion of independence, simply a step along the way to more mature relationships.

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#8 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 12:15 AM
 
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I addressed this post before and have apparently bothered some people so here's my next best piece of advice.

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Originally Posted by hollyeasterbybb View Post
My 14 year old girl often invites her friends at home and I don't like some of them. I just don't feel like their good influence of her and don't know how to tell my daughter about it. How should I approach my child about this thing? Any advice would be a great help. Thanks
Just bluntly and honestly tell her that you don't like so and so and tell her why. Then tell her what you expect or want and either wait for her to do what you want or MAKE her do it.
good luck
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#9 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 02:19 AM
 
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Just bluntly and honestly tell her that you don't like so and so and tell her why. Then tell her what you expect or want and either wait for her to do what you want or MAKE her do it.
good luck
I have 2 DDs. One is 16 and one turns 18 in a few weeks. I have wonderful, open relationships with both of them.

How old are your DDs and what sort of relationships do you have? I'm curious, because I can't see your advice leading to a positive, open relationship with a teen age girl. Has this approach worked for you?

Raising a teen a more complicated than training a dog.
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 09:23 AM
 
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When a teen chooses friends her parents disapprove of, sometimes that's the result of bad or misguided parenting and damaged parent-child relationships. In those cases a complete reversal of parenting strategies might be advisable. But I think that most of the time, with typical teen-parent relationships, there's not much to it: it's an experiment with a new social identity, a trial balloon in the process of differentiating from family, an assertion of independence, simply a step along the way to more mature relationships.
Yes, and also sometimes parents are wrong. I'm quite sure that I am unable to fully evaluate my DC's friends because I don't spend all that much time with them. My DC sees her friends in all sorts of situations and may well see something beautiful in someone who rubs me the wrong way.

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#11 of 21 Old 09-25-2014, 09:45 AM
 
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One low key idea--if there is a friend you DO like a lot, set up a fun day for just she and that one friend...
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#12 of 21 Old 10-05-2014, 07:23 AM
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I remember the friends my mother did not like. One in particular stands out. I felt her reasons were pretty superficial. Her family had money, and I felt like that made my mother uncomfortable. Her family was very good to me; I went to my first concert with her and her mother. Not that we couldn't afford concerts, but that wasn't my mom's thing (it IS my thing with my DD, and I have been that mom who has taken her friends along, and we are not rich!). They had a summer house, I went with them for a few days at least once. I recall going shopping with her and her mom, and the mom treated me to a really nice, named brand top- one that was about $40 in 1986 This was right after our 6th grade graduation, and her mom said this is a gift. The mom was "cool" I guess, but not a bad mother at all- had a husband, another child, worked (her family owned a business and yes the mother contributed). Never saw her drink, smoke, didn't party, etc. a family woman who just enjoyed doing things with her kids.

The child was a bit outspoken, but absolutely not rude or disrespectful in any way. She had a fun personality. I can attest that she NEVER did anything questionable when we were friends (she switched schools in 8th grade). She was semi-boy crazy, but was not acting on it in any way. I guess my mom just thought she should be more prim and proper for a girl with means, lol (my mom is very big on appearances, and she did get a wacky haircut in jhs).

Anyway, it bothered me that she didn't "care for" my friend. She didn't stop me from hanging out with her, but I knew it wasn't her first choice of friends.

My dd14 and I have a pretty open relationship so far. She has already told me about people who she doesn't like in her new HS, the "bad girls" as she put it (girls who are trying to attract boys in certain ways she would t consider). When we are at camp (where I am The nurse) I see who she gravitates towards and away from. She tried very hard to be part of the "in crowd" who were just plain mean back in (private, catholic) elementary school. She was burned a few times. I was actually equally duped by one, who I had coined as one of her nicest friends, turned out to be a (insert expletive here). I never forced the friendship though (she lived kind of far, and her mother was always late picking her up). So there, I liked and approved of the kid, and was wrong!

The other thing I am trying to wrap my finger around now, is that I will not know all of her friends now that the social and geographic circle has expanded. She goes to a special HS where kids come from all neighborhoods. But she has been very open about sharing who her new friends are, showing me pics, their Instagram pages (I snoop anyway), and she talks about them a lot. I just keep on listening and gathering data in my head
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#13 of 21 Old 10-11-2014, 06:59 AM
 
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It is hard to say because I don't know your relationship with your daughter. With my daughter I would gently and honestly tell her what I think and ask her opinion on it. I would mention for her to keep her eyes open and explain that I am watching out for her because I love her. But that is my daughter and I. Not sure if all young girls would benefit from a conversation like this.
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#14 of 21 Old 11-06-2014, 01:04 AM
 
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You should NOT try to choose your teen's friends. Let her have whatever friends she chooses to have!
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#15 of 21 Old 11-06-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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D'ya know, whenever I come across an issue like this I 'try' to remember how I felt or how my mother approached it and how I felt reacting to her reaction if you see what I mean.
You can't choose her friends, you know that. She HAS to make a few cock ups! It's life, it's learning, it's hard. If she doesn't mess up and get hurt once or twice, she won't know what happiness is when she finds the right friends.

I also try to take faith in the fact that 'hopefully' I've raised my guys well early on and set good examples with my own choices and choice of friends.

Time will only tell ;-)
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#16 of 21 Old 11-06-2014, 03:06 PM
 
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My 14 year old girl often invites her friends at home and I don't like some of them. I just don't feel like their good influence of her and don't know how to tell my daughter about it. How should I approach my child about this thing? Any advice would be a great help. Thanks

At that age some friendships changed quickly for my daughter. A few weathered the teen years but most of them were left behind.

Sometimes it was a combination of my daughter seeing in her friends (after awhile) the same things I did. In other cases everyone matured and the friendship became more healthy. Fourteen is a really tough age for this. Kids are still figuring out how to treat one another and how they fit in with the world.

I used a discourage/encourage approach. I talked to my daughter about her friends and asked her to tell me more about them and what about them she enjoyed. I gave my honest (tactful) perspective, with the qualifier that I don't know her friends the way she does and it's just what I see in my limited time with them. I helped her to sort out what aspects of relationships work for her and which do not and how to handle it. Sometimes a relationship could be improved if a certain dynamic changes (a new person in the group, someone growing to become less passive or more cooperative, a different venue). At that age my daughter had some friends that were better suited for some activities but not others - some better at school sports events, others for dinner & movies at home(s), some for day trips, some for overnights etc. We worked together on this. Sometimes I said no, other times I gave limitations, suggestions, etc.

Something that helped was to draw out her friends occasionally; usually I would take them out to dinner so conversation was inevitable. It gave me a better sense of what the kids had in common and how their personalities meshed.

Unlike most other parents, I found, there never has been a "hideaway" option in our home. People in my house do not entertain in their bedrooms, for example. There are a few public areas for socializing and the kids had their privacy, but it was clear that there was an expectation of decency and civility here. How people responded to that helped my daughter to see her friends in that environment.
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#17 of 21 Old 11-18-2014, 01:15 PM
 
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Be Honest

I would be honest with her. Tell her what concerns you about her friends. As parents we see things that our children don't. It's nothing wrong with telling her how you feel.

Hope everything works out.
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#18 of 21 Old 11-19-2014, 04:16 AM
 
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I don't think commenting on general dislike is called for. Sometimes we don't like people, just don't get along, and it's not due to anything bad on either person's part- there's just a general dislike. If you can't put your finger on any reason that the kid is bad for your daughter, there's not a lot of reason to bring it up unless you have that close and open a relationship.

If you feel they're a bad influence or are treating her badly, comment specifically on those traits. Treat it similarly to if your own child had behaviors you felt were inappropriate- you wouldn't say "I don't like you anymore, I refuse to spend time with you now", you'd address those concerns while remembering (and reminding her) that she's a full person with wonderful attributes. It's very unlikely you can forbid the friendship, most teens are friends with people from school or activities that they see very often.

There, the issue isn't so much that the friend is bad- the issue is why your daughter wants to spend time with someone who mistreats her or tries to get her to do things she knows is wrong. And not in a judgemental way, there could be a legitimate reason that you just weren't aware of. It also could just be your daughter trying out different friends and social groups that's a very normal part of development.
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#19 of 21 Old 01-02-2015, 01:37 AM
 
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Modelling friendships

Hi, I haven't experienced this with any of my kids yet (daughter 9 and two sons 11 and 13) so please take or leave what I have to say

I love role modelling - I use this in all aspects of my parenting and friendships are no exception.

I talk about the different friendships I have with my children (I am a home school mum - so they are very involved in my friendships) what I love about different people, how different people make me feel, the values we share, the directions we are going, the relationships which are mutually beneficial (both parties are getting something positive out of it) etc.

There have also been friendships which I have distanced myself from/redefined the boundaries/ended and talked about why I have done this with the kids. This is a non threatening way to bring up friendships as it isn't directed at your daughter, you are just sharing your own experiences of different friendships you have had.

I also talk about different behaviours/attitudes/habits that different people have and what the consequences of these are likely to be. I'm trying to make them aware in their friendships (and all relationships) - how other people make them feel, how they make other people feel, how they are treated (and treat other people), where their boundaries are, what friendship means to them, where the friendship is likely to go in the future etc.

This wont be a quick fix solution but will help start the conversation in a non confrontational way

Hope this is useful!
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#20 of 21 Old 01-13-2015, 10:48 AM
 
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My daughter is 13 now and has a friend I didn't really like a year ago. I remembered how I felt when my parents didn't like friends and instead of showing disapproval about one of the few things that really is her choice I just made sure she was clear of what my expectations were of her and made sure she knew she was to respect our rules even if we did things differently. It turned out that when her friend got over her head she trusted me enough to call home to get her and had the confidence to tell her friend her behavior made her uncomfortable (older boyfriend issue). A year later she still has the friend who has grown out of the acting out, and I have a daughter who knows I believe in her ability to make her own decisions to handle her social life.

Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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#21 of 21 Old 02-09-2015, 12:29 PM
 
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I dont have teenagers yet. Ive got a tween in the making.

If i didnt like my child friends for whatever reason, particularly if i saw that they mistreated my child,or somehow made him or her feel bad about themselves, i would want to know why they like this person. I would respect their choice and feelings, but i would certainly make my own known. Teen, tweens, adults , i dont care how old they are.

As for bad influence, i dont know what that means. I would rather a 'bad influence' would happen under my roof, and within my view, that somewhere else.

Bad influence is very subjective. I get images of smoking, or screen addiction. So what. My children can choose to be influenced or not.

If they were the kind of people that did things that were contrary to my values, such as using racist/sexist language, then i would definitely let my views known.

In theory though, i want to trust my child's choice while leaving communication open.

Yep, i'd let my views and feelings known whatever the situation, just as I expect my kids to let theirs known.

No offence to the OP, but i have heard people describe one of my sons as a 'bad influence' because he was particularly active-and made other kids less prone to listen to their parents and keep still. I just saw it as kids having fun, and the parents in question as too controlling and judgmental.

I do not mean that about you. Its just been my own experience.
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