Monitor your children’s close friends
If you have children, you’ll never have a more important job in life than being a parent. And as long as your children are under your roof, you are responsible to God for them. With that in mind, do the following:
(1) See who influences your child most. Your child will move towards certain friends for a variety of reasons. They ‘hang out’, text, talk with them on the phone, invite them home, sit with them in church, and so on. You can’t monitor every relationship your child has, but you need to know the ones who influence them most.
(2) Get to know their close friends. Notice the way they talk, dress, show respect or a lack of it, and how they play and interact with your family. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their parents, the church they attend and, if they’re old enough, their relationship with Christ.
(3) Check your child’s overnight stays. If your child is invited to a friend’s house, talk with the parents and become aware of any activity that might be planned outside the home. Make sure they have adequate supervision. Tell your children you expect them to show courtesy and respect, and ask them to inform you if there’s a problem of any kind.
(4) Look out for warning signs. When your child is running with the wrong crowd, chances are you’ll observe signs like indifference towards spiritual things, an openly defiant spirit, and an attraction to music, dress, and entertainment you don’t necessarily approve of.
‘Isn’t that very demanding?’ you ask. Yes, and it’s also very loving and protective!