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Strict Parents Influence Their Kids’ Friends Too

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Does it feel like what you tell your kid goes in one ear and out the other?  Take heart: What you have to say may be reaching a wider audience then you think.  A new report published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine suggests that strict parents can influence their child’s friends’ behavior for the better. 

Researchers found friends were 40 percent less likely to get drunk, 38 percent less likely to binge drink, 39 percent less likely to smoke cigarettes, and 43 percent less likely to smoke marijuana, compared with friends of teens whose mothers were less strict reports HealthDay

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Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services at Zucker Hillside Hospital in New York, also points out that troubled teens often seek out other teens who come from stable homes, perhaps actually seeking out strong-handed guidance.

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The authoritative parenting style encourages academic success, positive peer relationships, risk avoidance, and better ability to make mature social decisions.  Experts believe the results of this study should be encouraging to parents who think their influence holds little weight.  "We may need to change the concept of parenting to include the indirect effects of the adolescent's friends' parents," said Goldman.  

Did a friend’s parent’s values effect your decisions as a kid?  Leave a comment.  

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