There is a popular saying that says, “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are“. That is it!
The influence of friends on every human can never be over-emphasized. The kind of friends you keep will create an environment that will either support or restrain your growth.
It is worse for children because they go through a stage of learning known as Social Learning. During this stage, children acquire a significant portion of their behaviours and values by observing and imitating adults, siblings, and peers. That is why parents need to be fully involved in children’s choice of friendship.
With that being said, let’s quickly itemize why you should know your child’s friends as a parent.
1. Influence on Behavior
I have addressed this in the introductory part of this content. Children imitate what they see and practice what they hear. They are inquisitive and seek to learn new things. Of course, this will go a long way in enhancing their behaviours which in turn form their habits and you know what that means as a parent.
Getting to know your child’s friends will open your eyes to the kind of influence they are exposed to and you’ll be able to decide if it is a friendship that should be sustained or terminated.
2. Safety Concerns
Knowing your child’s friends allows you to gauge the safety of their social interactions. In today’s digital age, children often connect with peers through various online platforms, making it even more important to be aware of who their friends are. Being familiar with their friends can help you identify potential risks like cyberbullying, peer pressure, or unhealthy relationships.
3. Open Communication
Knowing your child’s friends will create a stronger bond between you and your child. Your child will automatically see you as a friend and can easily confide in you. It is such a great way to establish a good relationship with your child.
If your child can freely and honestly communicate with you, then rest assured that you are on a safe end as a parent.
4. Early Intervention
Sometimes, problematic situations arise within friendships, such as conflicts or disagreements. When you have insight into your child’s friend circle, you can detect issues early on and intervene when necessary.
Addressing conflicts promptly can prevent them from escalating into more significant problems that could harm your child’s emotional well-being. This will also help them to learn how to live with people as they grow older.
5. Supportive Network
Do you know that knowing your child’s friends can foster a good relationship between yourself and the other parent, allowing you both to create a supportive network?
Building relationships with the parents of your child’s friends can be beneficial in several ways. It will enable you to share information, discuss common concerns, and collaborate on organizing safe and enjoyable activities for your children.
6. Positive Role Models
Positive friendships can introduce your child to valuable role models who inspire and motivate them. By knowing your child’s friends, you can identify individuals who have a positive influence on your child’s life and encourage these relationships.
These role models can help shape your child’s character and aspirations in a positive direction.
To further help you, here are some friendship elements you need to look out for as a parent:
Knowing your child’s friends is not about being overly controlling but rather about being a responsible and involved parent. The friends your child associates with can have a profound impact on their development, behaviour, and overall well-being.
In conclusion, by actively getting to know their friends, you can create a safe and supportive environment for your child to thrive, encourage positive relationships, and be better equipped to guide them through the challenges of growing up. Ultimately, being an informed and caring parent is the key to helping your child make healthy and beneficial friendships that will positively shape their life.
Researched By: Safiya Onayi Ahmed