Friends and the boy code
A glimpse into your son’s social life.
When he’s with his buddies, your understanding of how society is organized may take a beating. He is probably following the boy code, which goes like this:
Is your home boy-friendly?
- Stand up for your buddies no matter what.
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Be there when your friends need you.
- Stay cool no matter what.
- Teasing is an acceptable way to show affection – just don’t go too far.
If the boys are hanging at your home you have a wonderful opportunity to gently monitor their behavior and spot any problems. Plus, if they’re at your house, they’re not on the street, so don’t be too rigid.
Encourage his friendships
- Set aside somewhere they can gather comfortably, preferably where you are out of sight.
- Have plenty of food and drinks that they like and are allowed to snack on.
- There is stuff that they like to do (pool tables, music, video games).
- Know your son’s buddies and greet them by name.
- Don’t criticize him in front of his mates.
Why girls are good
- Involve his friends in some family activities.
- Get to know his friends’ parents.
- Praise his acts of friendship openly.
- Tolerate the loud music and loud voices as much as you can.
- Don’t object to endless lengthy phone calls and Mxit sessions.
- Avoid rejecting a friend unless you have very good grounds to do so, for example you caught him red-handed raiding the booze cabinet.
Having giggling girls around can be nerve-wracking for parents of boys, but vasbyt, friends of the opposite sex serve an important social purpose for your son.
- Boys do not feel the need to compete with girls.
- Girls make it safe for a boy to express his feelings.
- Girls can be powerful allies in social situations.
- Co-ed friendships de-mystify women.
Be concerned if your son is lonely, does not socialise, does not bring his friends home, or does not have friends of both sexes.