Don’t feel left out
If your teenager makes a load of new friends, it’s very easy for him or her to be swallowed up by all the novelty. As a parent, you can feel unimportant, excluded, which can sometimes be a bit painful. But don’t forget that a parent is always important to a child. Be curious, instead, and happy about all the new friends that your daughter or son has made.
You might feel that your teenager’s new friends are not the sort of friends you would have liked them to choose, but try and keep an open mind and not to lecture them about who is a suitable friend and who isn’t. After all, it’s your teenager who will be spending time with them, not you. It’s better to tell them that their friends are welcome in your home, so that you have the chance to get to know them. And talk about it with your teenager too – talk about why they’ve chosen to be friends with these particular people. Listen, but don’t judge.
If your friends freeze you out because you don't drink, they're not real friends.
Emanuel, aged 16, Umeå
Ask for a name and a phone number
There’s nothing at all strange about asking for the phone number of the friend or the friend’s parents. Ask your teenager or look it up yourself. Make sure you explain why you want the number. It’s not because you don’t trust your teenager: it’s because it’s good to have if something happens. And if your teenager is going to be sleeping over at a friend’s house, it’s always a good idea to check with the friend’s parents that it’s OK. Your teenager might complain a bit, but you can be sure that in their heart of hearts, they appreciate you keeping an eye out for them.