This is where parents need to remember that they are in charge and must take control in situations like this. The most important relationship in a child’s life should be that of the child with his parent or guardian. Our job is to do everything in our power to keep our relationship with our children as strong and reliable as possible. That way they will follow our lead, take on our values and learn about life from us and not their peers.  You may want to limit and monitor your son’s interaction with his buddy from across the street and have the play dates carefully supervised so that the play is appropriate and reflects your views on healthy play. Do not get trapped into thinking that kids need a lot of time with their peers. They get ample at school without any extra help from us.

There are many things you can do to strengthen your relationship with your son. These are just a few suggestions:

·      Reduced number of play dates

·      Plan one-on-one adventures to the park or beach after school and on weekends with your son, giving him ample opportunities for healthy physical activity

·      Sit down family dinners EVERY night

·      Family game nights once a week

·      Lots of closeness each evening, reading to your son and talking with him about things that are important to him and how we need to live our lives

·      Limit all screen time

Peers can be a competing attachment for your child and the last thing a parent wants is for their child to take their lead from their peers. Parents can take back the lead by making sure that the relationship with their child is as strong as possible. It is terrifically hard work, but a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding.

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