Your Friend Is Too Old

Dear Mike,
My 15-year-old son has become friends with a 25-year-old man. My son is very defiant when I tell him he shouldn't be riding around with the guy. My son has had two episodes with pot and swears it is not this guy's fault.

Bewildered in Burrillville

If your kids are hanging out with people who bring out the worst in them, explain to them it's not about this other guy, it's about your child's behavior. Try saying "You're smoking pot, you aren't taking care of yourself. I need you to walk the straight and narrow. I need to be able to trust that you aren't susceptible to these influences." It takes the onus off the friend.