And they should.

Middle schoolers want to fit in so badly, they will follow the crowd. And hanging with the “wrong crowd” can lead to big trouble.

But telling your child who she can be friends with isn’t the answer. Say, “I don’t want you to be with those kids,” and your child will find them more attractive.

It’s best to help your child come to her own conclusions. Help her think about what’s good, and not so good, about her friendships.

To get her to think, ask her questions like these:

  • How do you feel when you’re around those kids? (Or you could name a specific friend.)
  • Do you like that feeling?
  • Why do you want to be with them?
  • What do you like about them?
  • What can happen if you hang around them?
  • Do you want that to happen?
  • What might you do to avoid that?

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