Adolescent years are an exciting time for you and your child. This is when she will be transitioning into a teen and experience changes in her body, mind, and personality. However, they could also bring forth many challenges, such as encountering unhealthy relationships with her friends. This could be true whether or not she goes to an international school in the Philippines.
At this age, your child will begin to seek greater levels of trust and intimacy with her friends. She would want to cultivate deeper relations that go beyond playing with toys. With this being said, she may end up having problematic connections with her peers that could be a concern for a parent like you.
Let’s discuss this further below.
If it is apparent that your child becomes obsessive with trying to please her friend, then there is a good chance that she is dealing with someone toxic. Pay attention if her peer treats her parents or any other adult figure with resentment and disdain — this is not a good sign as it entails issues with authority.
Another indicator to watch out for is if the friend wouldn’t allow your child to talk about their time together. In other words, she may come off as hesitant when you ask her about it.
Other signs you need to be on the look-out for are:
As a parent, one of the first things that you can do in this type of situation is to have a talk with your child about her friend’s behavior. Make it a point not to attack or speak inflammatorily about the friend, but be honest and firm with your observations.
If they tend to hang out outside of your home, be sure to implement strict but reasonable rules like having a curfew. If you could, list down all the places they can visit (the mall, the park, or the friend’s house). Once the toxic friend invites your child to stay beyond acceptable hours or go to another setting, she may be able to realize the unappealing nature of their relationship.
Although it may be very tempting to flood your child with all your wisdom, keep in mind that children generally resist this kind of approach. Instead, you have to help her come up with the answers herself.
Sadly, she may initially try to push you away. This is why you must be patient and why you must continue to ask objective questions regarding her situation and how it is affecting her. Eventually, she will feel comfortable enough expressing her feelings about this friend.
Being concerned for your child’s welfare is completely understandable. However, keep in mind that there are certain actions that will not help the situation. They are as follows:
Whether parents want to or not, there is a possibility for their teens to experience toxic friendships — regardless of the fact that they go to an international school in the Philippines or not.
The best thing that you can do is be there for them and provide them with the right guidance so they can come up with the answers in their own way.