By Robert Winterson

Expert parenting is usually sought when you want to know what are the activities you can help your child to choose. The other area is much more difficult and is aimed at what to do when you notice your teen is hanging out with the wrong crowd. You may see some red flags when you notice a change of behavior and especially if it has got any worse since forming these new friendships.

When deciding about activities, it is usually a great idea to sit with your child and go through what are their strengths and their weaknesses and which activities they could really do well. Now if you can match that with one of their passions, you have a winner. The aim should always be to help your child to grow to the best of the ability and their talents. If they can do that through a sport or activity that they love, then this is a great building block to build self esteem, motivation and self confidence.

Expert parenting advice is always sought when kids start hanging out with people who are going to lead them astray. Now if you start to criticize these kids, your teenager will do his utmost to hang out with them even more. Peer pressure is enormous at this age.

But, if you are worried, the best thing to do is the following. There s no need to criticize their friends but you can observe that their behavior has changed for the worse and you are concerned. You can say that you have noticed that they have started to smoke since hanging out with that crowd. This is a good chance to restate your family’s values and to remind them of the house rules.

If you have had calls from their teacher about certain questionable behavior in class which is connected to changing their seating arrangements, then you can ask why this is happening and note that it has only occurred since they started sitting with their new friend. According to the expert parenting advisors, it is always better to home in on the behavior, rather than the new friend.

But if there is a chance that hanging out with this group could damage their health or security in any way, then you may have to take more drastic action. Could they perhaps get into trouble? Certainly if you notice that they are reckless and self destructive, you may have cause for some concern.

Look out for some red flags when you notice that your teen’s behavior has changed. Is he oversleeping and are his grades going down? Have you noticed any suspicious or shifty behavior or even moodiness and bad temper? These could be indicators that things are going wrong and that according to the expert parenting advisors, you may have to step in and take action.

If you are worried about your teen, try to get expert parenting advice.  Robert Winterson has written on parenting and other problems for many years

 

Books

The Ultimate Teen Book Guide (Ultimate Book Guides)

How to Raise Your Parents: A Teen Girl’s Survival Guide

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: Miniature Edition

Shara has been active in the scientific community for over 30 years. She started as a member of the British Association of Young Scientists at the age of 15, obtained her first science degree at 21 and her Immunology PhD at 25. She has been a research scientist and lecturer in prestigious institutions around the world [including Addenbrookes' Hospital (Cambridge), The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (London), The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) and The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (London)]. Shara left mainstream in 2001 research to follow her passion of science communication and established Euroscicon Ltd in 2001 and Mums in Science in 2005

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