Oct. 2, 2019

When Other Kids Are Bad Influences

What is it about the kid who throws sand that other kids find so irresistible? How do we keep our kids away from bad influences in their lives, especially as they get older? And why do parents sometimes peg exactly the wrong kids as good influences?


What is it about the kid who throws sand that other kids find so irresistible? How do we keep our kids away from bad influences in their lives, especially as they get older? And why do parents sometimes peg exactly the wrong kids as good influences?

In this episode we discuss what age groups are most susceptible to peer influence (good and bad), how to approach the parent of a suspected bad-influencer, and how to teach our kids to approach these situations on their own. As Timothy Verduin, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU, explains:

"If you want kids who are resilient, you can’t isolate them from social pathogens. Think about the long view, that you’re training them to handle less-than-ideal people and solve their own problems."

Here are links to research and other writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Jennifer Bleyer for Real Simple: 9 Bad Influences on Your Child (or You)

Diana Simeon for Your Teen Mag: When to Call Another Parent About Teenage Behavior Problems

Laurence Steinberg and Kathryn C. Monahan, Developmental Psychology: Age Differences in Resistance to Peer Influence

Laurence Steinberg, Temple University: Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: an experimental study

George Packer for The Atlantic: When The Culture War Comes For The Kids

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