“You don’t under­stand peo­ple well”, “You should not com­mu­ni­cate with this per­son because he does not suit your inter­ests”, “You should not be friends with him, he is a bad influ­ence on you”, etc. Does any­one rec­og­nize them­selves in these words? ☺

Adult peo­ple believe that from the height of their every­day expe­ri­ence they know and under­stand bet­ter with whom the child should com­mu­ni­cate and with whom not. Is it real­ly?

At the moment, I am faced with two approach­es by psy­chol­o­gists to the ques­tion of whether a par­ent can deter­mine with whom the child will be friends, and who does not fit our stereo­types.

The first approach gives an unequiv­o­cal answer that the par­ent has the right to choose the cir­cle of com­mu­ni­ca­tion of the child.

The sec­ond approach, in my opin­ion, more real­is­tic and expe­di­ent, is that par­ents should give the child free­dom of choice when it comes to social­iza­tion and inter­ac­tion with soci­ety.

How­ev­er, in the first case, it is worth con­sid­er­ing the age fac­tor. In my opin­ion, par­ents have the right and should deter­mine the cir­cle of com­mu­ni­ca­tion of the child based on fam­i­ly val­ues, views, tra­di­tions, etc. as long as the child needs it, that is, up to sev­en years. After sev­en years, accord­ing to my obser­va­tions, the chil­dren them­selves are already select­ing “good” and “bad” friends. Impos­ing is use­less and fraught with con­se­quences, such as psy­cho­log­i­cal imma­tu­ri­ty of the indi­vid­ual (infan­til­i­ty), dif­fi­cul­ty in adapt­ing to liv­ing con­di­tions, inde­ci­sion, low self-esteem. In oth­er words, if we take care of, con­trol the child, inspire him with the only cor­rect opin­ion — our own, “adult, wise, proven”, it is unlike­ly that we will be able to see a suc­cess­ful, self-suf­fi­cient, hap­py per­son in adult­hood.

The sec­ond case is obvi­ous­ly suit­able for ado­les­cence. And here you need to act care­ful­ly, with­out unnec­es­sary emo­tions, unob­tru­sive­ly. The pri­ma­ry task is to once again not cause aggres­sion in a teenag­er.

In the case of a teenag­er, psy­chol­o­gists offer the fol­low­ing algo­rithm of actions:

  • First you need to find out what is so good and attrac­tive “unde­sir­able” friend for your child. Most like­ly they could bring togeth­er com­mon inter­ests. In what their inter­ests con­verged, the task is to find out for you.
  • Try to make con­tact with the “bad friend”. For exam­ple, invite him to vis­it for din­ner, take him to the coun­try or for a walk. In such sit­u­a­tions, obser­va­tion is the surest and safest way to get to know a per­son bet­ter. Maybe it’s not as bad as we imag­ine it to be? Again, do not for­get, if you “put sticks in the wheels”, in every pos­si­ble way pre­vent friends from com­mu­ni­cat­ing, you can get a con­flict and a con­sid­er­able dose of aggres­sion. You need it?
  • Give the child the right to choose with whom to be friends and with whom not. After all, we learn from mis­takes through­out our lives and adapt to real life based on sit­u­a­tions. If any­one is not famil­iar with the film direct­ed by Ilya Fraz “You nev­er dreamed”, I advise you to watch and take note. I believe that between the plot of this film (about the love of two school­child­ren) one can draw a par­al­lel in rela­tion to “unde­sir­able” friends.

Sum­ming up the above, in any sit­u­a­tion, atten­tion, under­stand­ing, trust, sup­port and love are impor­tant for a child, which, by def­i­n­i­tion, should come from par­ents.


By Yara