Some have argued that peers have a greater impact on teens than their parents do. Adolescence often means independence and new friends entering your child's life. It is very important that dads know and connect with their child's friends. Consider these questions as new friends come into your child's life:
- Do you know the parents of your child’s best friends? If not, invite some of them over for a get together.
- Do you send your child off to youth group, playgroup, 4-H, scouts, sports practice, etc. without ever engaging the other kids or parents? Make plans to connect with the people your kids spend time with. If you can’t be a regular participant, plan to hang around when you drop them off or go early to pick them up.
- Instead of trying to “solve” your child’s next relationship issue, coach him or her through the problem instead. Don’t forget to follow-up to see how their ideas worked.
- Check your style of parenting. Which do you tend to be? permissive, authoritarian (drill sergeant) or authoritative (a healthy balance of structure and support)? Need some help to be less of a drill sergeant? Follow this link to a free online course on Responsive Discipline.
- Ask your child how things are going with their friends. Help them think of ways to build supportive friendships.
Know Your Teen...and His Friends
Resources from the National Center for Fathering
Navigating the New World of Social Media
Help guide your children as they communicate with their friends and others online.