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- 1 The importance of friendships
- 2 What does getting older mean
- 3 When things go wrong
- 4 Group pressure
- 5 What can parents do?
- 6 When do you have to ask for help?
- 7 In summary
The importance of friendships
Our children's friends serve them to establish links beyond the family environment and allow them to identify with a group of peers who are experiencing similar experiences.
But sometimes we wonder if this group really helps our child to grow up in a healthy way, or it is an inappropriate identification model. In the worst case, our son may surround himself with unhealthy friendships that manipulate, humiliate or induce him antisocial behaviors or self destructive, how can they be alcohol consumption, drugs, or doing small acts of crime.
What does getting older mean
In the maturation process of our children there comes a time when there is a certain distance in our lives, at least, this is how parents feel. The children stop needing us almost for everything and we stop being the models and obligatory references. They they must finish building their personality and define their identity, and they must do this largely on their own. On this trip, the group of friends will be of paramount importance, who will become route partners. Boys and girls must be tested, they must experience their desires and know their limits, which entails a risk and the opportunity to grow and strengthen their personality.
When things go wrong
The maturation process has ups and downs, and the formula “if my child is mentally healthy and has not had problems in childhood will not have healthy friends in adolescence,” the truth is that there may be surprises, something may have been damaged and not previously perceived. In these cases, parents should not blame ourselves or try to find what we fail, we have to go ahead and try to help them in the best possible way. In other cases there are no surprises; a dysfunctional family, a traumatically lived childhood, an aberrant or non-existent education, a childhood disorder of difficult treatment and other circumstances of the past will easily take him to the young person in search of unhealthy relationships.
Our children, especially in the adolescence stage, are subject to unquestionable group pressure, and it takes a lot of willpower, social skills and personal security to say "no" when necessary, so as not to be involved in situations and actions that later cost to go back. And this is not the only pressure that young people endure: the new social trends, the uncertainty of the future and the crisis of values do not help our sons and daughters to find healthy friendships in their vital trajectory.
What can we parents do?
The first of all is not to cut the communication pathways, we must make them partakers of our activities and decisions, respecting his silence and his intimacy, valuing his successes, taking interest in his projects, listening to his opinions and criticism, censoring their negative behaviors, but not themselves.
Do not disqualify your friends, try to meet them and if possible, also their parents, let them understand that we will remain by their side when they need us, we can ask for forgiveness when necessary, and above all, we are the model of behavior that will remain in your inside until you recover it to redirect your life.
With all this we do not mean that we have to be perfect and exemplary parents, we are all wrong and there are circumstances in life that we cannot control, we just have to try Know them, love them and keep us by their side, waiting for fate to be favorable.
When should you ask for help?
If, despite trying to communicate with them and understand their fears and concerns, the warning signs persist: they are isolated or become irritable or violent, they are often absent from home or school, their school performance is low, they are very passive and tired or too active and excited, your mood changes radically, and we suspect that your friendships are negatively influencing you, so it will be necessary to consult with a child or youth mental health specialist.
- You have to be interested in your things.
- Know how to listen, talk and share experiences.
- We must learn to trust and support. In this way we will promote their autonomy and strengthen their self-esteem.
- It is important that we continue transmitting values, setting limits and giving affection.
- We must try not to disqualify your friends, even if we don't like them.
- You have to censor their negative behaviors, not themselves.
- We have to control what our children do, but from respect and distance.
- Be very patient.