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Kid Caught Up in the Wrong Crowd
"My 16-year-old son runs with the wrong crowd. What can I do to discourage these friendships?"
You really cannot dictate to a teen who his friends should be. But you can steer him toward friends you think will be positive influences. For example, you might plan a special outing, and casually ask him, “Would you rather invite Mark to join us, or Steve?” If you’re worried about what he and his friends are up to, encourage him to invite them over to your house—so you can keep an eye on them. And get to know his friends’ parents. Collectively, you may find it easier to encourage good behavior.
Some simple ways to stay close to your son are to have meals as a family, and to spend time together doing things he enjoys, like shooting hoops or playing a video game. A solid parent-teen relationship is the best insurance against serious teen rebellion.
Chris Zeigler Dendy, M.S., is a former educator, school psychologist, and mental health professional with 40 years of experience. Chris was inducted into CHADD’s Hall of Fame for her outstanding contributions to the field in 2006. Dendy is the author of Teenagers with ADD & ADHD and Teaching Teens with ADD, ADHD, & Executive Function Deficits. Dendy, along with her son, Alex, created a popular DVD titled Real Life ADHD! A DVD Survival Guide for Children and Teens.