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My son is 13 yrs old and will be turning 14 this summer. Being a single parent, my son and I have moved from school system to school system. We just moved again and hopefully the last time. My son is in the 8th grade and started a school that has approx. 1300 students that attend. There are drugs and violence just like any other school. But I am concerned that I haven't given him strong enough tools to make it without my protection over him. My son is wonderful with picking the right friends but the children that don't get enough attention at home seem to cling to him? What do I do? How do I know that he will be ok without me watching him like a hawk? I do trust him but I am concerned that he will follow the others just to fit in.
Hoping that you have equipped your child with the right "moral" compass is something almost all parents worry about. It sounds like you have done your best to instill in him good decision making skills. It is time to trust him. Make sure he knows that he can talk to you about anything. Help him understand that he will be faced with peer pressure and decisions, but that you have faith that he will make the right decisions. It sounds like some of his peers realize this already. The children who seem to cling to him do so for a reason. It is highly possible that that reason is because he does have good judgement and self-esteem. Just keep doing what you have been doing. Guide him, teach him, and trust him. Good Luck.
Posted On 2007-03-07 19:14:34
I hear that you're concerned, as are many middle school parents in America, but I don't especially see any cause for concern at this particular time. What's triggering it for you? The reason I ask is that you haven't indicated in your letter that your son is having any special problems. From what you say, it seems that despite the transitions he's experienced in the family and at his various schools, this young man has a good head on his shouldners. The ability to "pick the right friends" demonstrates solid judgment and healthy values and priorities. That will serve him well throughout life. You want reassurance that he will "be ok without me watching him like a hawk"... let his past good behavior help to reassure you. Continue to monitor him (he's still only an 8th grader and he needs to know what's expected of him and that you will be there without fail) but give him opportunities to show you that you've obviously done an excellent job so far parenting him. If he continues to be trustworthy and follows your family rules, then there's no reason not to trust him. Get to know his new friends and their parents. Build a network of friends within your new community and I'm sure you and your son will be fine. In friendship, Annie Fox
Posted On 2007-03-05 22:24:45