If your children are telling you that they want to go shopping at the mall with their friends or to go with a group to the local pizza parlor, your children are reaching for independence. When they say, “Everyone will be there” or “Everyone is doing it,” you do not necessarily have to comply. Still, teaching them how to make good choices when they are out with their friends is valuable.
Know What Your Children Are Doing
Your teen may be very mature for their age, but they do not have the wisdom that comes by experience. They need parents who will provide solid rules that are consistently upheld. One of the main rules should be that you will always know where they are. This rule is for your children’s safety whether they like it or not.
Know Where Your Kids Are
You should know where your kids are at all times. You may give them phones with special devices like cell phone spy programs that must remain enabled if they want to have the privilege going places on their own. Without nagging them you can check to see if they really are where they said they would be.
Family Rules Are in Play at all Times
Even when the kids are out with friends, established family rules are still valid. When children know this, they can blame their parents for having to go by family rules. This gives teens a safe out and an excuse to say “no” when they should.
Teach Your Children to Leave Questionable Situations
You can teach your children to trust their instincts. They need to know that it is OK if they want to leave their friends when something doesn’t seem right or comfortable. You can let them know they are always welcome to come home.
Agree upon Code Words
You can agree upon code words that they can use when they call you in front of their friends. These words can help you know when they need help. Then, you can give them a good excuse to leave or for you to pick them up.
Keeping Your Children Safe
The job of a parent is to care for and bring up children to adulthood and eventual total independence. You should not place the pressure on your children to prove to you that they can be trusted under peer pressure. Give them the security, the rules and the tools that keep them safe.