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Discouraging friendship(11 Posts)
DS 14 has recently started spending more time with a particular friend within his wider friendship group. Although this friend hasn't done anything wrong as such he just gives me a bad feeling when I meet him and I have noticed a change in DS when he has spent time with him - cocky, argumentative, negative. The friend has a reputation for being a bit mouthy at school and his parents seem to allow much more freedom than we give DS. I have noticed that DS spends less time with his other friends since hanging out more with this friend. My gut feeling is that I need to somehow discourage this friendship but I know saying to DS he can't hang out with him will cause arguments because he hasn't actually done anything wrong.
Have any of you lovely MN people been through this? Is there anything I can do?
Invite him around for tea. Once he sees ds has boundaries and isn't in his league he will likely stay clear. . Been there. Done this.
I don't have a teen, but when I was a teen, my parents trying to discourage a friendship made me more determined to keep the friendship. Nothing like someone saying 'you can't have' to make a teen want... Just saying. If you leave it alone he is more likely to come to the same conclusion as you than he is to cool off the friendship at your suggestion.
Is he blatant enough where you can call your DS's attention to what he does and the consequences of behaving like that? I can't think of a good example unfortunately. How about 'I don't like how X is rude to the cashiers when we are out shopping, it makes such a difference to people working behind the counter. They must feel like dirt after dealing with him'.
If you reinforce manners and how you expect your DS to treat people because people deserve to be treated nicely (until they don't), he may decide on his own that his friend is embarrassing to hang around with if his behavior is annoying to the world at large.
Thank you for your replies.
I agree Thebig and I am trying very hard not to blatantly say 'you can not be friends with x' as I know it could have the opposite effect.
It's difficult as said friend hasn't done anything in particular, other than look at me like I'm his worst enemy so I can't really point anything out to DS as an example. I am also hoping that school holidays will be a good way to cool things a bit.
OP, how about you tell DS that he may hang out with anyone he wants, including this friend. But YOUR expectations of him -- his behavior, attitude towards others, academic performance, etc -- stays the same.
Oh, and let him know you do not like this friend, and therefore, while DS is free to hang out with this friend, you will not have him in your house.
I've been here to. Really only thing I have learnt is trying to discourage it pushes them closer to said friend. My gut feeling was spot on and now wish that I made a stand before I knew what she was like. Agree with above comment invite them round for something to eat so you can make judgement take it from there. Unfortunately as I have learnt 14 year olds know everything and don't like being told who they can be friends with. Good luck
Yeah. Mine are very small but I'd definitely say that you should switch on the charm, invite him over and make your son see for himself.
I have been through exactly this, nothing I could put my finger on, just wasn't very keen on this friend that DS had. I think my son was drawn to this other boy because he was a bit different and his parents allowed a lot of leeway.
I invited the friend to ours, made him welcome and never said anything against him. I did have worries when DS went there to sleepovers but they get to an age where they have to work things out for themselves and all you can do us keep an eye on things and try to guide them.
Remember that you have brought your son up to know right from wrong and he is unlikely to go far out of line. My son's friendship dwindled out after a time and I must admit I was relieved!
I have had a similar situation. At primary school my DS was often paired with a boy who came from a tough background and whose parents were ex addicts and they became friends. The boy is a nice boy,a bit of a loveable rogue and both me and my DS have a soft spot for him. However at high school he has been acting up, shouting out in class, showing off and generally getting into trouble. They have been streamedinto different classes but still hang about in a wider group. I have tried to encourage my son to keep looking out for him while also widening his friendship group. I have also put boundaries in place such as he isn't allowed to this boys house but he is welcome to ours. It is a tricky minefield as I feel this boy just needs help and a chance but I know the family is getting a lot of support from social services and the school and I also have my DS to look out for. I have noticed over the summer holidays the friendship has naturally cooled. It is so hard as at this age they will choose their own friends but if I was you I would offer to take a few of them to the cinema or swimming and get him to widen out his group of friends x
I have been in this situation recently and tbh I stopped my ds from hanging round with his"friend". In the space of 8 wks he went from a normal teenager into a moody, nasty horrible to live with boy. Turns out this friend was hitting him, asking him for money, threatening him yet he still went out with him and after me stopping it he still was sneaking out to knock around with him. That's the short version.
Now I feel guilty because ds is struggling to find other friends. I've wobbled a few times and almost given in and let him out with this boy, but I know I did the right thing he's back to his normal self.
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