Negative Friends

If a teen begins hanging out with negative friends they will soon be doing the things that the negative friends are doing. It is unlikely that a teen will hang around others that do things he or she doesn't approve of. If a teen changes friends they have associated with for a long time it is important for parents to pay attention. A change in friends is one warning signal that a teen may headed for troubled. A parent may even want to contact their teen's old friends to see if they will help. The advantage of this scenario is that the teen's old friends will usually want to help their friend that is heading down the wrong path. The positive friends will usually know more about what is going on than the parents will be able to find out on their own.

Negative Friends the Beginning

Some may say that it is not appropriate to label some teens as negative. This is a valid concern, we could use the term less positive friends but the significance is the same under any label. The label is not as important as the result of what is really going on. In most cases the teen has started doing things that his or her old friends don't approve of. This is where the new friends, negative friends come in to play. People don't associate with people that don't approve of what they are doing. If a teen is going around with kids that drink alcohol, use drugs, skip school, disrespect their parents, etc., etc., it won't be long until the teen begins to do the same types of things. If a parent can disrupt a teen before they become too deeply entrenched in the new negative lifestyle the teen may have a chance.

Negative Friends and Relocation

Some parents will try to relocate a teen with an extended family member or Grandma and Grandpa. This doesn't usually work as the teen will gravitate to the negative group of kids in the new location. If a teen is already too entrenched in the new negative life style parents may be forced to have an intervention or place the teen in a more restrictive environment.

Negative Friends and Parental Involvement

If parents are not involved in the life of their child they will more than likely not pick up the indicators that their teen is in trouble. Parents should always know who their teen is with and where they are. Parents should know all of their child's friends are. Some parents even go a step further and become acquainted with the parents of their teen's friends. This alliance can be very helpful. When parents work together there efforts are multiplied.