One of the things that plagues many teens is the problem of their parents not liking their choice of friends. As a teen you feel like it is your life, and you should be able to choose whom you spend it with. As a parent, you feel like your child may not see the long term ramifications of choosing friends poorly. The following is what to do if your parent’s don’t like your friends:
First, listen to what your parents have to say. Do your best to not listen with an open mind. It is difficult at times not to put up a bias, but it is worth listening to what they have to say. Usually a parent is going to have your best interest at heart. Sometimes they are mistaken, but if you do not listen to why they object to a friend, you never have a chance to put their objections to rest. Sometimes parents think that a friend may be a bad influence on you. They may have observed things you haven’t because you are too close to the situation. For example, they might see your friend manipulating or using you, when all you see is the attention and time they give you. Listen to their concerns with an open mind, and if you disagree with what they have to say, move on to the following steps.
Second, talk to your parents. Your parents likely have valid concerns, but you have to reassure them that your friends are not a bad influence on you. After hearing what they have to say, take the time to reflect and consider it. Then give them some things to think about. Help them see why you chose the person as your friend. Often times parents only see one side, just as you only see one side. So, help them see why you are friends with that person.
Third, spend time at your house with the friends your parents do not like. Often times a parent pre-judges the people who their kids hang out with. They may judge them based on their appearance. They may judge them based on what they know of their family, etc. They may see you hang out with a certain person, and then come home and give them an attitude, or dress less modestly, or use bad words more, etc. They want to think the best of their child, so they place the blame on your friends. You have to give your parents a chance to get to know your friends so that they can see they are not a poor influence, that you are responsible for your own choices. So, have your friends over at your house once in a while so your parents will have a chance to observe them, and form an opinion based off more than what they look like, or how you act.
If your parents don’t like your friends, don’t sneak around with them, or let it become a fight. If you feel that their dislike is unjustified, try to help them see it, and enjoy your friendship while still respecting your parents and their authority.