Here's one of the most important pieces of Christian parenting advice I can give you: Teach your kids how to resist peer pressure.
I came across this humorous story that illustrates the wisdom of this:
A farmer, troubled by a flock of crows in his corn field, loaded his shotgun. He crawled unseen along the fence-row, determined to get a shot at the crows.
Now, the farmer had a very “sociable” parrot who made friends with everybody. Seeing the flock of crows, the parrot flew over and joined them (just being sociable, you know).
The farmer saw the crows but didn’t see the parrot. He took careful aim and BANG!
The farmer crawled over the fence to pick up the fallen crows, and lo, there was his parrot badly ruffled, with a broken wing, but still alive. Tenderly, the farmer carried the parrot home, where his children met him.
Seeing that their pet was injured, they tearfully asked, “What happened, Papa?”
Before he could answer, the parrot spoke up: “Bad company!”
Scripture warns us to be careful about who we hang around with, for “bad company” can have a “bad influence” on us. This is a crucial lesson for our children to learn.
A Principle to Remember: Choose your friends carefully.
• “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
• “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).
God’s Word reminds us that children tend to become more and more like their frequent companions. Indeed, as Norman Bull put it, “the nature of a child’s morality will depend upon those around him — upon, that is, the identifications he makes.”
Make no mistake about it. Your child’s friends will influence his or her behavior. And your children will seek to avoid rejection or humiliation in front of their peers at all costs. This concern for peers will in the future motivate your child to do things you’d never think they’d even consider doing. For this reason, as much as possible, it is important that you as a parent steer your child toward the kinds of friendships that will be healthy for him or her.
~ Shortcut to Understanding ~
Feel free to share this story with your child:
Steve, Frank, and Gary were good friends. One day Steve and Frank asked Gary to come with them to a construction site on a weekend. A new house was being built, and none of the workmen were there that day.
The site was marked with a “No Trespassing” sign. Right then and there Gary knew that it was not a wise thing to do. He went along anyway.
They went inside the house to explore. There were lots of tools laying around. There were some nails on the floor too.
Steve and Frank decided they wanted to break a few windows with a hammer. Gary didn’t want to do this. But they teased him. They called him a chicken. They said they’d tell the other guys at school that Gary was a chicken. So, Gary joined Steve and Frank in breaking some windows.
They didn’t plan on getting caught. But a neighbor across the street saw what they did and called their parents.
Gary’s dad asked him, “How do you think it makes your mom and I feel that you did this? And how do you think the Lord feels that you did this?”
Gary answered, “I guess it makes everyone sad. I’m sorry for doing it. I shouldn’t have listened to Steve and Frank.”
Gary had to pay for his share of the broken windows with his allowance.
Gary learned a good lesson that day. He should have walked away while the walking was good. God wants us to always do right, even when our friends try to make us do wrong.
 Bible Illustrations, electronic media (Hypercard stack for Macintosh).
 Norman Bull; cited in Lawrence Richards, A Theology of Christian Education (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979), p. 82.
— Dr. Ron Rhodes