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Thread: Bad Influence

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  1. #1

    Talking Bad Influence

    As a mom, is it right to tell to your child that the kid that he is playing with is a not a good person? Since I'm a single mom I decided to double my time to take care of them and I don't want them to be influenced by other bad kids out there.

  2. #2
    Hi Chay,

    This is an excellent question.

    You will be very wise to choose the influences on your children until they are old enough and have developed enough self confidence to stand for what's right in a world full of "wrong".

    However, I would suggest that rather than telling your children that their friend is not a good person, that you phrase it differently. Truly, it's not so much that any child is "good" or "bad", but more that what a child does is either good or bad.

    In this light, you would not want to say to a child "good boy" or "bad boy", but rather "good job" or "bad job". If your child sets the table when they are told to, you would praise by saying "good job - thank you", you would not want to say "good boy". Praise the action, not the person.

    Alternatively, if your son eats a cookie without asking, you would say "That was not okay - you didn't have permission to eat that cookie." You would not want to say "Bad boy" - again - correcting the action, rather than making the child feel like they are a bad person (i.e. bad boy).

    So back to your original concern. It is your responsibility to oversee your children whenever possible. If you surround your children with families that hold the same values as you do, your children will naturally learn what is right and will want to spend time with others who have those values. This also spills over into the television programs, movies and games that you allow your children to be influenced by. Choosing educational programs for them to watch is going to go a long way towards forming their choices of friends and their choices of entertainment in the future.

    I noticed in another post that you are now a single mum. You also mentioned that the children's father is completely out of the picture now. If we look for the good in this situation, one very good thing is that you now can have full control over the influences on your children.

    If the children are in school, they will naturally be influenced by others. If all of their home time is influenced by people attitudes that you want your children to emulate, they will eventually choose to spend time with friends at school who have the values you are teaching at home.

    If there is a neighbor child that you don't think is a good influence on your children, then you'll have to be creative in coming up with alternate activities when your son asks to play with the neighbor child.

    If there's one thing you take from this post, I want it to be this. Whenever you take something away from a child, you need to replace it with something else. If you don't like the videos they are watching, you'll take them away, and replace them with videos that you approve of. Books and music and games are the same way.

    If you're going to take away a friend, then replace it by doing something with your child, yourself. Maybe you'll sit down to play a board game together, or maybe you'll go and get an ice cream. And start to look for other families that have similar values, or values that you want your children to have, and try to spend time with them.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions or if you need help with this. We're here to help and support you.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  3. #3
    This forum always brings to mind things that I have not had to deal with just yet. My oldest child is 7, so we are only now getting into socializing and cultivating relationships with other children. However, my gut feeling is that YES you absolutely have the right to tell your child that you think someone is a bad influence, but you should be careful about how you handle the situation. I wouldn't want to push your son into rebellion.

    First, I think you should include him in extra curricular activities, and pay close attention to what he is doing after school and in his free time. Whenever possible, have the friend that is in question play over at your home, to make sure you are not making too hasty of a decision.

    If you still find that this other child is a bad influence, or you are already past this point, then you need to sit down and explain to him exactly why you feel that this child is a bad influence.

    Best of luck to you mama!

    Angela

  4. #4

    Some thoughts on child influence

    The power and influence another child can have over another one is endless! I have an eleven year old, and a nine year old. They are both now getting to the age where other children are really starting to influence them. My nine year old boy is very influenced by other children and what they think. If the child he is playing with uses bad words, I will find that his sister will come home and tell me that she has heard him speaking the same way.

    It is SO important to be mindful of who other children play with, and the type of influence that child has on your little one. Take the time to invite that child over to your house, and watch their mannerisms. Watch how your own child responds to them, and if their behaviour changes, you will know something is awry.

    One thing I want to caution you about is to remember to be kind to the offending child, and remember that some behaviours you can change if they are playing in your home area. Sometimes a child has a home life that is unpleasant, and their parents demonstrate bad words or actions. You could just say "Joseph, when you play here at our house, we do not use words like that." or "Joseph, when you are here, the rule is that we share our toys." As mums, we have the power to be a good influence on others as well. Of course, though, if the child is a very bad influence, and you can have no control over how they behave, then just set the boundaries with your own child--and tell them they are not allowed to play with Joseph, and explain why it is i important to make good friend selections.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  5. #5
    Excellent insight from Mom2Many and EmilyLou21. Always so important to spend time with your child and their friend, so that you can steer conversations and provide structure/activities which often times can alleviate problems.

    Kate

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