DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU’RE UNIMPORTANT
If your teenager makes a lots of new friends, it’s very easy for them to get swept up in all the novelty. As a parent, you can feel unimportant and 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 teenager has made.
You might feel that your teenager’s new friends are not the sort of friends you would have liked them to choose. Try to keep an open mind and not to preach 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 want 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.
Armin, aged 16, Umeå
ASK FOR A NAME AND A PHONE NUMBER
There’s nothing strange about asking your child for the phone number of their friend or the friend’s parents. Start by asking 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.