Do you know some of your kids’ friends pretty well? If you have “that” house, you probably know a lot of those friends as they always seem to be gathering there. As you learn about their lives, you’ll hear lots that you enjoy, and some stuff that makes you laugh, but also some details that make you worry.
A big struggle as a parent is deciding when you need to step in. What if you hear something about this friend that they are engaging in risky behavior, or they are depressed? What if your teen has shared something with you because they are concerned for their friend but asked you to not tell their parents?
This is hard stuff. We want to have an open line of communication with our teen and we want them to trust us. We don’t want to betray that trust because the next time, they may not come to us. On the other hand, if the situation was reversed and your child was in trouble, you would want that other parent to come to you.
If your not sure whether to contact the other parent, ask yourself these questions:
What do you actually know?
Did this friend actually confide in your child with this problem or did your child hear it through the grapevine? If it’s just a rumor, you may want to investigate further before contacting the other parent or have your child talk to their friend about the things they heard.
Is this dangerous to their health or well-being?
Look at the problem itself. Did the friend fail a math test? Sure, that’s bad but you wouldn’t get involved. Are they contemplating suicide? Yes, you would get involved and contact their parent. If there is an imminent danger to their health or others, you need to get involved.
So, how do you get involved? Watch this video and I will give you some tips on what to do (even if your child begs you not to get involved).
Have you been in a similar situation? How did you handle it? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.