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When you don’t like your child’s friend

In your child’s eyes, his or her new BFF is the most amazing person on the planet. But you think otherwise. That new friend is impolite and insensitive—nobody you’d choose to have your child pal around with. But you can’t always pick your kids’ playmates, especially as they get older. The following tips will help you navigate through this less-than-perfect alliance.

Remember your child’s values. The positive lessons you’ve taught can’t be undone. Reassure yourself of that.

Talk about it. Explain to your child that you don’t always like the way the new pal acts. Give specific examples. This will get him or her thinking about the friend’s behavior and the impact it has on others.

Compromise. Think about best-case scenarios. Allowing your child to see the friend only at your house when an adult is present instead of attending a movie together or going to the mall unsupervised will give you a sense of control.

Just say no. If the friend’s behavior is simply intolerable—or dangerous—tell your son or daughter that you want the friendship to end. Your child may be grateful that you stepped in and provided an easier way out of the relationship.