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My teen has a friend who is really self-destructive and makes a lot of bad choices. Should I talk to their friend’s parents or should I just keep quiet? I don’t want to jeopardise my kid’s friendship.
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Communication is the key. Although this kind of situation might be a little tricky because more often than not, you will be misunderstood. I am not suggesting you keep quiet because I feel that as parents, we should be able to empathize with other parents, right?
First and foremost, you should talk to your child and explain to him what the situation is. Avoid judgmental comments and exert effort to listen to all sides of the story. Give some advice and sympathize without glorifying the bad behavior. For sure, your child will appreciate that you are listening instead of invalidating his or his friend's feelings. If you can and it is the best time, tell your child that you are planning to talk to his friend's parents not to put him in a bad light but for them to deal with the problem as a family. Reassure your child that this is a good step to take and this will not jeopardize their friendship.
Have you had a conversation with your teen about their friend? I think getting a sense of your child's awareness of their behavior could open a window as to if it's a good choice to talk to their parents. Of course, if the safety of the child or anyone around them is of concern, then I think it's time to have that conversation with their parents.
But, maybe your child can shed some light why their friend acts that way. There could be some underlying issues that can help both of you understand the situation better.