By: Carolina Pichardo
According to a recent survey by Self Magazine/Today, 84% of respondents claims to have had a “toxic friend” at some point in their lives.
Out of a pool of 18,000 women, that’s a large number.
Which only makes us wonder, are our daughters susceptible to these types of friends too?
With the rise of cyber bullying and mean girls’ stories, the answer to that is more than likely a resounding – yes!
For parents, however, recognizing the signs could be a lifesaver for your child. Sure some are only kids, and we shouldn’t judge them by mild misbehavior (even adults have them). But there are others, unfortunately, that have more than just a few bad days.
If we find our kids’ toxic friendship in the early stages, we could influence just how much influence this friend has over them. We could show our girls early on that this friendship might just not be in her best interest after all. Whether it’s encouraging our kids to be aware of these toxic behavior, such as making fun of other kids or even belittling them, it’s good to let them see the toxicity for themselves. Of course, if that doesn’t work then try to find ways of keeping your child away from this friend. Get a teacher’s feedback, create activities that involve other children, sign them up for program and family events that keep them occupied.
Just remember that – depending on how quick we are to notice these friendships – prying our girls from these relationships is not going to be easy. But continuing to build on their circle of emotional support and companionship, communicating and reinforcing the values that we’ve taught them will help in the long-run.
Do you have tips and stories to share about your child’s toxic friendships?
Young Urban Moms’ co-founder, Carolina Pichardo, is a digital marketer by day, writer and community activist by night, and mom to Lulu always. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @c_pichardo.