It's an interesting process to come up with blog topics. I chose this one because I am continuously aware how easy it is to be influenced by other people; sometime without our permission. As far as our children are concerned, they are influenced much more easily and depending on their age, they don't have all the tool to defend themselves against negative influences.
We have an opportunity, as parents, to help determine how and by whom our children will be influenced. The 'Circle of Influence' is made up of a group of individuals that they choose to trust. Their Circle of Influence should be made up of four roles: The Intellect, The Challenger, the Confidant and the Jester.
The intellect is needed because your child perceives them to be smarter than themselves. This individual will challenge your child to be and do better.
The Challenger's job is to help keep your child in line. This individual confronts your child when they are engaging in negative behavior. They care about your child and don't want to see them get into trouble.
The Confidant is the individual, other than you, that your child feels comfortable enough to share their real self with. This is a person they feel they can trust. It may take some time for this role to be filled and some trial and error may be required.
The Jester makes your child laugh. The Jester allows your child to see things from a different perspective. He also helps your child not to take themselves too seriously.
This is a suggested make up of friends for your children. It is imperative that you know your child's friends. Invite them over, spend some time in conversation with them. Later ask your child why they have chose this particular friend. Continuous conversation with your child will afford you the opportunity to help your child select the best friends for them and also help them the eliminate more negative influences.