Positive Teen Friendships
Your teenager may have 495 friends on Facebook, but does he or she have a couple of close friends? The friends you can tell anything to, the ones you always want to hang out with, the ones who support you no matter what. Does your teen know how to make friends, keep them, act like a good friend? As parents, we hear about peer pressure, and we read the studies that say your child’s friends have a tremendous influence over them, but we don’t know exactly what to do about it. Might we suggest parents offer their teen these friendship tips:
Find the Right Match
Look for friends who like to do what you like to do. Joining clubs or sports that you love is a great way to connect with like-minded people. You want to find someone who has a lot in common with you, including your values.
Beware the Popular Kids
Hanging out with the popular kids isn’t as cool as it looks. It’s very stressful to break into the crowd, and if you do, it’s stressful to stay there. Additionally, popular kids tend to be so interested in maintaining their status that they are not trustworthy, which doesn’t offer the meaningful relationships you want.
For Closeness, Go for a Close Schedule
It’s hard to stay close to a friend you never see. Find a friend who you run into a lot, either in class, church, clubs or sports.
Growing New Friendships
Once you’ve found someone you want to be friends with, help the friendship grow by taking it slow and being available. Experts say that friendships should develop gradually in order to last. The more time you are available to do things with your new friend, the greater likelihood the friendship will grow.
Be a Good Friend and Expect the Same
True friends do not stab you in the back, act like you’re stupid or boring, leave you out of social gatherings, lie to you, threaten you if you don’t do something their way, or try to change who you are. A true friend is honest, supportive, compassionate, loyal, trustworthy, interesting, accepting and forgiving. You should act that way to your friends, and you should expect them to act the same to you.
>How to End a Friendship
Sometimes friendships need to come to an end. Sometimes we realize that a friend is toxic in our life, and sometimes it’s just a natural process as you change and learn more about yourself. If it’s time to move on, it’s better to do so without a huge fight or drama. If you are in an abusive friendship, then talk to the friend in a polite and direct manner and simply explain that this friendship is not working out and it would be better to end it now on good terms rather than in the future on bad terms. If your friendship is not toxic, then let it drift apart gradually, by being less available and spending less time with the person.
A few things I like to share with teens is to hang around friends that are going to push you become a better person. Someone who will encourage you to get the best grades possible, go to class on time, and attend college. Hang around friends that will celebrate your achievements.