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Should I get boring friends?

My parents grounded me because my friends were a bad influence. Do I need new friends?

Erm… not everyone who doesn’t do drugs is boring, says our elder.

Dear EWC

I’m 14 and smoke occasionally, drink and do weed. My family is very disappointed in me as I’m not learning from my mistakes. They’ve told me off many times for this and each time I say that I’ve learned and that I won’t do it again but do. Their trust in me no longer exists and I worked so hard to get it back. They think my friends are to blame as they all do the same and worse than me, so they think I’m influenced by them and should get new friends. But now it’s the summer holidays, I’m grounded, have no gadgets or anything and my parents are “truly upset” with me. Help. I don’t know what to do. I know they want me to get new friends but I really don’t want to so shall I just keep my friends and stop the drugs and smoking or somehow find new boring friends?

Hedwig replies

It really does not have to be an either/or decision. If you stop the smoking and drugs, are there any people in your current group of friends with whom you would still be comfortable? If your friendship can go beyond what is forbidden, then you could keep them. Meanwhile, do seek out others. Not everyone who avoids smoking and drugs is boring!

Look for other activities that you would enjoy — and seek people who could share them with you. Right now, it sounds as if the only thing you enjoy — or have in common with others — is what is self-destructive.

I think that is what your parents see and fear. Think about what you want from life — five or ten years down the road — and find others who share and are working towards the same goals. Join some special interest groups — extracurricular in schools like clubs, sports, musical groups or even political ones — and find new, exciting people to be with. And if you are currently grounded and without gadgets — do try reading a good book!

Letter #: 444553
Category: Friendship

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