Social Groups for 17 Year Old

Updated on May 03, 2009
S.W. asks from New York, NY
5 answers

Hi Moms, I need to find a place where my child can socialize without fear of her peers using drugs and alcohol. It seems to me that all her friends are into experimenting with drugs these days and she doesn't want to be involved with it. Unfortunately, in her social circle it's all around her. I suggested she go meet new friends, but at the tender age of 17, it's not so easy to do. Does anyone out there know of a very friendly, welcoming group that deals with this type of situation or other groups that socialize and discuss situations like this? We live in NYC. My fear is if she doesn't find a place to make friends where there is no drug use at all, and that the teens there are welcoming, she will give in to peer pressure and use herself. Any help will be appreciated!

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answers from New York on

Hi S., This is a problem in most neighborhoods. The 17 year old is so in-between as far as night life etc. Are there any church teen groups? Sometimes there can be dances that are chaperoned. Where I live a place opened up called Ice-cream U-scream. They sell candy, flavored coffee and other things besides ice cream. It has become a hang-out for the in-between ages (13 to 17 or so) My youngest sons are now 26 and 27 and I remember the night they came home early because suddenly their friends were smoking pot and they were not interested. Do you belong to the PTA in her school? Maybe other parents can get together and find a place that would be willing to have a social night. You have to be willing to volunteer to help. You can also have her invite some friends over for a movie night and serve soda and chips. My best, Grandma Mary



answers from New York on

That's tough. I too grew up in NYC and the only people that never drank or smoked pot were the nerds in 'Campus Ministry' at my highschool. And you know what- come to think of it- half of them drank too. Pretty normal stuff, really! There is no one-type-of-crowd where this type of behavior doesn't occur. We are all individuals capable of making our own choices.
Does she work out? There's probably less 'substance consumption' amongst people concerned with their bodies- but then again, there's probably a higher instance of body image issues, eating disorders, etc...



answers from New York on

Hi S., I have a 20 yo and an almost 16 yo, so I can relate. I suggest the YMCA in your area--they have a program called Strong Kids, it's free, and teens ages 13-18 can attend teen night on either Friday or Saturdays, where they can socialize in a supervised, safe setting, play games, sports, listen to music, etc. I would also check with local fitness clubs and dance studios b/c they often have stuff--raising a teen in NYC can be challenging. Hope this helps.



answers from New York on

Hmmm, I grew up in nyc so I know how hard it is for a teen to find the right group of friends...I would suggest looking into volunteer groups like reading to young kids ( or thru your library or other volunteer projects that may interest her...habitat for humanity or planting in a local garden...where she will meet more people and be well-rounded enough to know better what choices will limit her world and what choices will expand them. Frankly, a teen tour abroad should be the biggest bet to let her see beyond the immediate peers you want her to avoid. I am still friends with a large group I met overseas when I was 17 and that was 20 years ago!!

Good luck. Also, of course you talk to her about trusting her to make her decisions and how you want to offer her the world. Maybe ask her to choose where to travel...give her 3 options and research together.if its expensive, try it thru a cvolunteer group


answers from New York on

Hey S.,

This is really a tough one because after raising two teens myself I can relate. What I did with both of my kids was keep constant communication and also be realistic meaning never say never. Example when they went out I would tell them if all of their friends were drinking etc. they had choices they could text me and I would call them to get them out of there. Blaming me was always a great way out. Or they could say that my mom waits up for me and smells my breath and checks my eyes so I can't party. Most times it worked I had no problem being the bad guy as long as it helped my kids to get through the terrible peer pressure they are under. If they did have a drink do not take a ride home with anyone, I was always open to come get them no matter how late it was. Both of my kids were going away to college so I had to trust them and hope they would make good choices when I wasn't around. Some parents are so naive into thinking their kids will never drink, or do drugs, or be promiscuous I was not one of those moms. I always talked to my daughter about sex and taught her to have respect for her body and not to let anyone talk her into anything she does not want to do. I also have an older son so he would also talk to her from a man's point of view as well as my hubby. I have to say I was very luck my son was more of a challenge then my daughter but on the whole both of my kids came though pretty great. It isn't easy because you want them to be able to socialize and have fun after all this is supposed to be the most fun time of their life. I think having a strong family connection, good self esteem, and strong values is key. And even if they do stray your words will always be ringing in their ears so never stop talking, stay close, keep the communication open and you should be fine. This is a tough time but short of locking them up I really don't have any other answers. Good luck!!!

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