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Helping Your Tween Identify Bad Friends

by T Akery | August 7th, 2014 | Behavior, Tweens

DSC_0127Your Tween is often immersed in their own social life. Sometimes, your Tween can pick the wrong friends. While it is important to protect them from bad friendships, it is also important to help them identify when they are in a bad friendship. Learning the difference between a good friendship and a bad friendship will help them later on in life. While they may want to keep these friends, it is important to sit down and help them consider whether their friend is really just an enemy in disguise.

One of the things that you should discuss with your Tween about friendships is identifying how their friends are treating others in face to face communications and in social networking communications. It is especially important with the social networking communications to address the type of comments that are being put forth by their friends. If the comments put people down, criticize them for their appearance, make fun of them or are constantly negative toward other people, then it is important to point out that this is a huge red flag that their friend might not be really their friend.

While many of these type of comments might be borderline, it is important to discuss how this makes other people feel. More importantly, you have to talk about how this could eventually turn on your Tween. While they may think that it couldn’t happen to them, ask them if this friend has turned on other people. This is a sign that their friendship is not a healthy one. Even though your Tween may want to be their friend because that person is highly popular, you need to address that what this friend is doing to other people can just as easily happen to them.

Another thing to look at is your own friendships with your peers. While this may not seem to be a big deal, your Tween is learning from you about different relationships. If you have an unhealthy friend who is constantly critical or seems to continually take more than they hand out, then it is time to reevaluate your friendship with these individuals. The example you set is definitely influential in the decisions that your Tween makes, even if you don’t realize it. While you don’t want to complain about a person, it is important to address the aspects that made the friendship unhealthy, such as a constant demand for money.

Even if your Tween has good friends, a discussion of what makes a bad relationship is important. Your Tween’s friends will change as they grow and change. So, this is something you should address over the course of their childhood so that they can make good decisions about who they are friends with in the future.

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