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Teens & The "Wrong Crowd"

     Your teen is now hanging out with their friends more independently than when they were younger. But are you as a parent worried that your child may be hanging out with the wrong crowd?

     The best way to handle this situation is to talk about it with your teen and don't attack their friends personalities. Voice your concerns but not in a condescending way. Give your teen the chance to share their feelings about their friends and perhaps make a compromise about the time they will spend with these friends, the activities they are allowed to participate and not allowed to (i.e., you can go tot he movies with them, but not to their older brothers house party) and resist the urge to forbid things and activities -this may only make them more attractive to your teen. Finally, make sure that your teen feels that they don't need to choose sides (i.e., yours or their friends).

     Only if your teen's friends are directly endangering teen by use of drugs or illegal activities - then it is advisable to forbid them to see those friends for their own safety. Try and offer an alternative when doing so.

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