You hate to admit it, but you don't like one of your kid's friends. Don't beat yourself up over it, it happens all the time. Sometimes parents' dislike of their kid's friend is based on something small. But sometimes, parents are worried that a friend of their child's can be a bad influence. What to do if you don't like your kid's friend?
If you want your kid to develop social skills, it is important that he or she is capable of picking their friends. You are bound to dislike at least one of them, but it doesn't necessarily mean that your child has befriended the wrong person. Sometimes it is just a matter of conflicting personalities: people have very diverse personalities so it's impossible to like everyone around you. If you dislike your child's friend, it doesn't mean they are a bad person.
So, first and foremost, you need to figure out why you don't like your kid's new friend. Maybe they have an annoying quirk or habit. Maybe you don't like their mother and transfer your dislike to her kid. Maybe you can't even put your finger on it. In all these cases, you just have to learn to control your dislike and get over it. But if your child's friend is misbehaving and/or manipulative, if he or she bullies other kids and is always getting into trouble, you need to do something about the situation.
Probably the least effective thing you can do is forbid your kid to see their friend. Firstly, as long as your kid is behaving responsibly, you have no right to choose who he or she hangs out with. Secondly, kids (especially teenagers) can be stubborn and defiant. If your forbid your child to hang out with their friends, they will probably do the opposite just to piss you off.
So what should you do? If you're concerned about the company your kid keeps, ask them why they like their friend. You should be careful not to show your disapproval, since it may alienate your kid. The answer to this question will help you understand what to do next. Your child may tell you about their friend's positive qualities you don't notice, and you will realize that the kid isn't so bad after all.
If you're still convinced that your child's friend is a bad influence and have evidence (i.e. bullying), don't take it out on your kid because they are not responsible for their friend's behavior. As long as your child doesn't do anything bad and stays out of trouble, everything is okay. However, you shouldn't just ignore the issue.
Explain to your child that you disapprove of their friend's behavior and that you expect them to behave differently. Let your kid know that they mustn't drink, smoke, do pranks etc., even if their friends are doing it, or there will be consequences. But you shouldn't punish your child for the things their friends have done if your kid in particular has done nothing wrong.
The bottom line is, you need to communicate with your child. Your kid is getting older and starts making their own choices. You cannot make these choices for them, but you can become their friend and give them advice. Talk to your child about their friends and get to know them. We also suggest that you meet their parents, it might make things much easier.
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