Back to School Tips, Part Five – Get to Know Their Friends

I’ve always been a big believer in getting to know my children/stepchildren’s friends. Particularly as kids get older, their friends are huge influencers, and can impact their school success.

I recently heard a children’s minister say to a room full of children, “The two most important decisions you will make at this age are: your decision to follow Christ and your decisions regarding your friends.”

I don’t always like my children’s friends. But we still invite them to our house. I want my kids to know their friends are welcome at any time (and there is always food – it works every time with teen-agers).

My stepson had a friend in high school who I thought was leading him astray. I couldn’t control how the friendship developed but I could express my concerns. The friendship lasted over a year, at which time I prayed diligently that my stepson would make wise choices and not be influenced down the wrong road.

After the two boys parted ways, my stepson admitted he should have ended the friendship sooner. I knew there were things they did that we, as parents, wouldn’t approve of but thankfully, he recognized it before it led to a lot of trouble.

My daughter had a boyfriend in high school that I didn’t approve of either. He was controlling and distrustful with her. I had several conversations with her to express my feelings of how he was mistreating her. She often reacted defensively and angry toward my concerns. But she eventually got the message and figured out that the relationship was not healthy.

If we don’t know our children’s friends, we can’t help them in their relationships.Childhood friendships are a breeding ground for teaching  what healthy relationships look like. And they can directly influence what kind of school year our stepchildren/children have.

Do you know your children’s friends? Are they welcome in your home?

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