How can I keep my 8 year old from hanging out with the wrong kind of friends?

I need some advice: my daughter is 8, we have our struggles with her (lying, manipulating, etc.), but we’re aware of it, and we’re doing what we can to get control of it. Lately, she’s been hanging out with these friends who are NOT good influences. Specifically, the one girl who is a year or two older and has been known to steal money from her parents on more than one occasion (this was told to me directly from her mom, so it is not hearsay) and when my daughter was caught stealing gum at school, this friend said: “what’s the big deal, it was just a teeny tiny piece of gum?” She’s also looked me dead in the face and lied to me. ANYWAYS, What do I do about my daughter hanging out with this girl? I don’t want to offend the parents because they are very nice people from what I can tell, and I don’t want to say, “my child isn’t allowed to be friends with your daughter because she’s a bad influence,” but I also don’t want to leave it up to chance and just hope that eventually they naturally grow apart. My daughter doesn’t have many friends, so I can’t really distract her with different friends either and just hope this one goes away. I just feel like I’m at a loss. Has anyone been in this situation? What did you do?


Nah I’d be honest with the parents, eff thier feelings you need to worry about your daughter not some grown folks feelings. Been down this road before and I dont care whos feelings I hurt in the process I gotta do what’s best for my child not thiers thats thier responsibility not yours

There’s nothing you can do to stop them from hanging out at school. You can control outside of school but during school hours, its up to her to make the right choices. Talk with her about why you think this girl isnt the best person to hang out with and let her decide.


Get her involved in other things where she can meet other kids. Soccer, Girl Scouts ect.


I mean no disrespect but…she needs you to be her mother, not her friend.


I have twin boys who are also 8 years old and I will say that I only read half of your post…no disrespect but your daughter is 8…so where is she having time to be hanging out with these so called friends???


Come on !!! Who’s the PARENT :thinking::sunglasses:


Maybe find another school to send her.

I completely understand my daughter was hanging out with a child I was not a fan of… but she was in her grade I made sure that they weren’t in classes together and thank god they grew apart… I had to talk to her about why hard conversation…I even had issues with the mom once…my daughter was invited to a bday party and we had family up from out of town and I said u can go to it but u need to have time with the family and the mother was offended…

You cannot do anything about school… but outside of school stick to a firm no for hanging out
When my daughter was younger I was in the same situation and when I told her that I did not want her hanging out with said “friend”, her answer to me was she is my friend and you have to respect me, my answer to her was I am your mother and I cannot control who you play with at school but in no way is she allowed in our home or you in hers or to get together outside of school
I explained to her all the reasons why this person was not a nice person, and one day she came home and told me that I was right and this person was not a very nice person and that she was not friends with her anymore.
We ended up moving a couple years after so they were not in the same school anymore anyways but she never went back to hanging out with said child after she realised for herself who this person really was

Ever thought about maybe your daughter is the bad influence??? Just a thought :woman_shrugging:


Its hard with kids, especially ones who arent really social with tons of friends. But she is 8 and u r the parent. U need to ensure she understands what is right and wrong behavior and enforce it. U have to b firm and resolute in this. If she steals, even just a piece of gum, she needs to b disciplined. If she lies, discipline. Whatever wrong she does u cant just blow off. I would also consider seriously talking with this girls parents. Not being mean but trying to find a solution that helps both of the girls. Its not easy. I raised 4 kids and had kids on both sides of that at one time or another. What i found is being consistent with the expectations for behavior and consistency when disciplining bad behavior works in the end. Its gonna suck. She gonna have fits. But this is what u have to do for the best interest of ur child

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Ok nothing to do with this post lol but does anyone know where I’m able to send a fan question in at ?

The more you jump up and down or forbid it the more defiant and will want to hang out with her more … What u can do is when she is caught lying or stealing u can punish her take away devices ect
But u cant choose her friends as u said ur child doesnt have many friends how do u know that friend isnt the one who is her solid i got ur back friend ???

Just teach urs right from wrong. Ive had bad friends but they respected me enough to leave me out of the bad things, if i did get envolved its because i wanted the experiance & not hecause they pressured me into it. Being pressued into it & wanting to do r 2 differant things.
But dnt yell at urs if she chooses it, probly just sugest that itd mean yalld have to find someone for her to talk to.
Some of those bad influence friends parents, did thank me fod being their childs friend because even though they werent the best, the parents felt they were better ppl because of me.
Childs r just lil ppl with minds of their own, it sucks when yhey dont do things our way, but we can be the safe ppl for them to go to so that we can intervene when its over their head.

Have you ever considered that your daughter might be the bad influence?
I have a feeling that is the case.
Parent her.

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Get her involved with a good youth group. Talk to the youth leader about your challenges. Make sure you take her to school, pick her up. No computer or tv in her room

No cell phone at night.

Make a contract with her. Let her express her rules for privileges so she feels on control but in reality your doing it together. List consequences with her if she disobeys the rules.
You and her both sign the contract.

Set weekly goals. Reward her accordingly.

Take her out and let her tell you what she doesn’t like about you. You listen.

Take her to a prison, hospital and funeral home.
Her choices determine her destiny.

I hope these suggestions help.

Read the Bible with her.

My advice to u would be if your daughter really likes this girl maybe you could talk to her parents and say my daughter really likes your daughter however I have some concerns as to some things thier daughter does and afraid it will rub off on your daughter what can we do to address this problem. Explain about the stealing of gum it could lead to bigger things. They r only.8 years old they may even drift apart with age. But that’s my advice good luck

You can’t control who your children click with and choose to hang out with - what you can do is teach your kids morals & respect. Children aren’t puppets for you to control - they are little people for you to love and teach.


When I pointed out to my mom that she couldn’t control my friends she reminded me that she could and would come sit beside me everyday at school if need be.

You are the parent. If she is under socialized put her in clubs, extracurricular, or social support groups but do not ever think that you do not have the power and authority to tell your eight year old that she is not allowed to do something. It is your responsibility to make her a productive member of society and wringing your hands about bad influences at eight instead of managing it is going to lead to wringing your hands that she’s pregnant at thirteen, addicted at sixteen, and locked up at nineteen. You have to teach her boundaries and enforce them for her if she doesn’t have the capability to do it herself.

This should be done and accompanied with massive amounts of communication and patience but you’re the grown up. If you aren’t strong enough on your own, enlist professional services from your local behavioral/mental health center and nip this in the bud before it becomes too large for you to handle. This will help you learn to be concrete and effective, her to learn the tools to make good choices, and an outside observer to determine if she’s the follower or the leader because they’re two totally different sets of problems. I’m saying this as a behavioral clinician, it isn’t controlling your kids to step in and make choices for them when they are unable to do so for themselves, its parenting. You have given her options to make her own good choices and she has demonstrated that she is unable. Now is the time to start limiting those choices and explaining the consequences of her decisions. You don’t have to beat her or even raise your voice to be an effective parent, but you do have to have boundaries that you are willing to enforce or she’ll end up as a file across the desk of someone like me anyway, likely with a court order.

And talk to the other girls parents with both girls present. Stop shielding them from who she may be or your daughter from being contradicted if she’s being dishonest. Get to the bottom of it and explain in front if all four of them that this isn’t who you want your daughter to be, you hope it isn’t who they want theirs to be, and show the girls you’re all on the same page. If they can’t be on the same page with you, that may be a good indicator that your daughter shouldn’t associate with them anyway.