‘My teenage son has fallen in with a bad group of friends’

With a young teenager you frequently have to work hard to keep communication open

Try to understand what your child gets from the friendships and connections with this new peer group. Photograph: iStock

Try to understand what your child gets from the friendships and connections with this new peer group. Photograph: iStock

Question: My 14-year-old son has fallen in with a bad group of friends and we are worried. He found the transition to secondary school hard. He was isolated and unhappy in first year and Covid made this harder. It took him a long while to find a group of friends who accepted him.

Now in second year he is hanging around with a group of boys who are on the fringes in the school. They don’t seem to have high expectations of themselves and I fear that this is rubbing off on my son. For example, my son used to be academic and like his study; now he is showing little interest and questioning the point of it. He is a very good footballer, but he has lost interest in this as his new group of friends don’t play. Luckily, he still involved in the team but this is on a thread. The new friends just want to hang out on bikes after school.

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