As a parent, one of your utmost duties is monitoring what your child does. When you take interest in what they are up to, you are able to decode what they are doing and this gives you a chance to guide them accordingly.
When you notice your child is straying, it is your duty as a parent to guide them to the right path.
More often than not, you will find that when children stray they are probably keeping bad company, you either didn’t take interest in finding more about these friendships or warned them against.
Here are some of the common signs that your child could be getting negatively influenced by bad company they are keeping:
1. Keeping things from you
If you find out that your children have been hiding things from you, even if it is something inconsequential, you need to have your radar up as that could be a sign that they are getting into some suspicious behavior. At the very least, they could be only creating new secrecy habits but nevertheless don’t take your chances and let it slide. You could only be helping them nurture and get comfortable with bad behaviour. When children start to keep secrets, it only means they have found new confidants, which could be leading them on the wrong path.
2. They are withdrawn
You can’t expect all your children to be social butterflies. However, when you notice signs of withdrawal that is more than usual then that could be a cause for concern. When an outgoing child suddenly becomes quieter, they could be trying to adjust to a new personality or worse they could be trying to keep things in so that they don’t end up blubbering and exposing some newly acquired negative behaviour. If they are not depressed or suffering from lack of confidence, then it is up to you as a parent to find out what your child is up to that is causing the change.
3. Steep drop in school performance
Dropping grades is always a huge telltale sign that something somewhere is wrong with your child. Other than laziness and need for attention, getting into the wrong company can also impact your child’s learning negatively. For instance, they will now get more concerned with the unnecessary things due to peer pressure rather than putting more effort on their studies.
Some parents might be quick to punish lowering performance, however, the best move would be to find out what exactly is going on with the child. If possible find out if they are having any new friends and try and evaluate the character of these friends.
4. Changes in their dressing style
Trying and experimenting with new looks is okay and normal but sudden changes in the manner your child dresses that doesn’t resonate well with you could mean more than just experimenting. Well, it could be a sign of insecurity but when they start considering more suggestive outfits, they could be yielding to influence towards sexual activity or caving to peer pressure. For instance, when they are suddenly into baggier clothes, they could be hiding things about their bodies.
5. Personality changes
First off, you need to recognize that your children will and may be undergoing puberty. Puberty brings with it a number of personality changes. Nonetheless, you need to keep a keen eye on these changes. In most cases, there is always some negative change driving the sharp changes in personality. While it could be they are engaging in things they know you will not approve, it could also mean anything else including: being bullied in school, depression or just desperate for your attention.
All in all, you need to ask them questions focusing on their changes and find out what exactly is going on with them.