Be a Good Role Model For Your Child
Identifying your specific grievance with your kid's friend is important, and being a good role model for them is even more so, despite your feelings.
"Parents [should] stay consistent and be a good model for others, and not let a small child know that you don't like them," says Sharma.
If you see your kid starting to emulate some of the bad behaviour that their friend is engaging in, have a direct, face-to-face conversation about the behaviour without bringing up their peer.
"It's always important to set your child up with your expectations and then to provide feedback to them in the moment about what you like about their behaviour," advises Sharma. "Keeping messages focused on your child is a good long-term solution and teaches them the behaviors you want to see."
Although these conversations can certainly be awkward, including some discussion about how said behaviour can hurt other people's feelings makes kids consider the bigger picture.
"Talking about how behaviours make others feel and teaching how to take perspective are more conceptual ways of talking about 'issues' and widen the scope," says Sharma. "This reduces tension on the specific child-child relationship and potential power struggle that can happen between parents and children."