Sign: Change in Friends or Peer Group – Won’t Introduce New Friends

“My daughter always hung out with a pretty good crowd. Kids who were ambitious, got good to excellent grades, were in involved in extracurricular activities. Suddenly I stopped seeing kids who had been her friends since elementary school. She didn’t seem to have any friends, yet she was always out. I drove by a local hangout one day and saw her with this group I’d never seen before. She actually turned away, as if pretending she hadn’t seen me. I didn’t dare pull over and embarrass her, but I confronted her that night. She said her friends are her business and to butt out. I’m really concerned these friends are a bad influence, but I’m more concerned about my daughter and why she would change so much in such a short period of time.”

If your teen has traditionally hung out with a pretty positive crowd, a sudden change in friends can be a sign she is dumping friends who don’t approve of some new behaviors. For example, a teen who hangs out with honor roll students who don’t smoke marijuana would feel more comfortable hanging around with pot smokers if he or she has decided this is something fun to do. Be aware of subtle changes in your child’s peer group, such as a few long-time friends suddenly disappearing from the scene.