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Getting To Know Your Kids’ Friends

How well do you know the kids your children hang out with?  How easily would you recognize some of your children’s classmates if you saw them in your neighborhood?  It’s an important question to ask yourself each and every year your kids are in school.

But you and your family are so busy, you might wonder if you really need to get that involved.  You have good kids and they can pick good friends, right?  Maybe, maybe not.  There’s plenty of teenage sex, underage drinking, negative influence, bullying, and peer pressure to go around.  You’ll do more good than you might expect by getting to know your kids’ social circles.

Many Benefits Of Understanding Your Kids’ Social Connections

How many benefits can come from knowing your kid’s friends?  Here’s a list of my ideas:

  • You can understand how their social circles work.
  • Your kids know you care by getting to know the peers they spend so much time with.
  • You can head off potentially harmful alliances.
  • You can help your kids navigate through the ups and downs of friendship and social issues.
  • When your kids need a friend to lean on, you can know which friends would be appropriate to connect with.
  • You can get to know the parents of their good friends and watch out for each other’s kids.
  • Your kid’s friends may look to you for guidance some day.

How To Get More Involved

Everyone has different schedules and challenges, but even the busiest parents can find ways to stay connected with their kids’ friends.  The list below contains several ideas for you to consider.

  • Volunteer at sporting events like at the concession stand or taking tickets.
  • Get involved with the parent teacher organization in your school district.
  • Volunteer in the classroom whenever possible (mostly for younger grades).
  • Participate in community or church events near your neighborhood or school buildings.
  • Become some kind of booster for your kids school activities – sports, performing arts, and other competitive or leadership groups.
  • Invite kids over to your house so you have control over the environment, make conversation, and observe how everyone interacts.

No matter how you do it, it really matters when you take the time to really know who your kids hang out with.  Kids friends are huge parts of their lives, so why miss out? 

Please share your ideas here.  What ways have you or your neighborhood schools had parent involvement with kids, especially with everyone’s busy schedules?

Creative Commons License photo credit: theloushe

Getting To Know Your Kids’ Friends

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Getting To Know Your Kids’ Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Sep 2010
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