My teen is struggling to make friends

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The importance of friends

You need friends, and so does your teenager. Friends share your secrets and interests, make you laugh, listen when you need a shoulder to cry on, and encourage you. And for your teenager, their friends also help them figure out who they are and where they fit in. But not having friends can be very lonely and isolating, especially for teenagers. It's helpful to know why friends and peer relationships are important so you can help your teenager build friendships, keep the good ones, and learn to walk away from the ones that aren't.

What makes friends so important?

As your child becomes a teenager your relationship with them will change. Once, they would have relied on you for advice. Now, they seem to value their friends' opinions more. But while healthy peer relationships come easily for some teens, they can be difficult for others to manage.

Here are some signs that your teen is finding it hard to make friends, keep them, or fit in. They:

  • Have low confidence and self-esteem
  • Don't want to participate in social activities
  • Change things about themselves to try and fit in
  • Are extremely introverted or shy
  • Don't want to talk about their friends

Why do some peer relationships lead to problems?

As your teen relies more on their relationships with friends and peers you may feel like you are being pushed aside or are no longer needed. But you are needed. And how you handle your changing relationship with your teen can have a major effect on family life.

There are some common red flags to look out for:

  • Teenagers want (and need) to go to parties, concerts or other social events. They need to socialize. But if you are too strict about what they can do, or alternatively, if you push them into going places they don't want, you'll be inviting conflict.
  • You may think your teen is mixing with a 'bad crowd', or following a good friend's questionable judgement. It's normal to worry about what they could get up to, but there are ways to calmly talk about it.
  • Having strained, or non-existent friendships or peer relationships is usually distressing for teenagers, and probably would be for you too. The stress can also affect your other family members.

…or maybe all of these things are in play at once!

It is not always easy knowing how to help your teen make friends

A lonely teenager, a shy one, or a teenager mixing with the wrong crowd… Do these seem a little too familiar, and are they even causing conflict in your home? Help your teen find the friendships and peer acceptance they need and you’ll not only have a happier, more confident teen, but a more relaxed family life too!

4 million+ parents
have been helped to encourage friendships…
and much more!

You can achieve your parenting goals with the Teen Triple P's toolkit of parenting solutions and strategies. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program® is the world's most widely researched parenting program with 35+ years of scientific testing and re-testing, and hundreds of clinical trials and real-world studies that prove it works for most families. It is used in 40+ U.S. states and can work for you too—and it is available online!

Find out more about Triple P

Why is Triple P's positive parenting program so different? Because it gives you proven strategies to help you set up your child for life—so they will be happy, confident and successful. In the meantime, your home life will be better too… with rules followed, relationships stronger and parents who are much less stressed! Do you want to find out more about Triple P and how positive parenting can make that happen for you? It's all here…

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