Help Your Teens Navigate Their Friends’ Drama
So, what’s going on with your middle schooler’s pals? That’s going to be difficult and emotionally taxing for you both. The advice of a father and school counselor is shared here.
How to support your child in the midst of a tense friendship?
Take the time to pay attention to what others are saying. Your child may have a lot of strong feelings about their friendship troubles, and they may just need to let it out. Listen to what they have to say and don’t interrupt them. You don’t have to know everything.
Don’t be a dummy. Friendship problems and their accompanying commotion are real and significant to the kids involved. Remind yourself of this Adults are more likely to label the scenario “ridiculous” or “dumb” than children. As a result, you’ll rapidly be seen as an adult who doesn’t comprehend and therefore isn’t able to help.
Breathe in and out. When you see your child being mistreated, it can have a negative impact on how you respond. Anger, resentment, and revenge-fueled ideas can quickly surface. Remember that these are young people. Children’s behavior cannot be compared with that of adults because it is so different.
React gradually. If you’re concerned about your children’s well-being, do all you can to help them, but don’t expect them to fix the situation on their own. As a last option, direct parental action is acceptable.
Encourage others to follow in your footsteps with a positive example. The children are never far away. Make a list of how you treat your pals and see if you’re conveying the right message through your actions.
Your child should be reminded of how true friends behave. This person may be described as a trustworthy individual who is respectful of others and empathetic to their needs.
Determine whether or not your child is a contributing factor to the issue. Verify that your child’s conduct is in line with your expectations by monitoring their text messages and social media posts. At this age, even the brightest children can make unwise decisions.
If you’re considering a phone blackout, give it some thought. Your child’s phone, which can be a source of social turmoil, should be taken away from them for a while.
Is it time to form a new circle of acquaintances?
There are a lot of short-lived friendships among middle school students. Children’s interests and maturity levels change at different speeds, which might lead to a sense of isolation from their old pals. All of these changes are accompanied by tears, fear, and grief, but they’re a normal part of growing up.
Helping your child make new friends may be in order if they’re complaining about being lonely or unhappy or if they believe they’ve been treated unfairly. As you assist them in making new contacts, here are some things to keep in mind.
Encourage people to join new clubs or activities. It’s possible that you’ll run into resistance to this. Consistency and patience are essential when making recommendations. Boosting your child’s self-esteem is vital to creating new friends, so help them identify things they enjoy doing.
Reassure them that they aren’t the only ones going through this. Students in middle school have a strong desire to meet new people. It may appear to your child that “everyone already has their buddies,” but this is not the case. They don’t, for the record. Let them know that making the transition from one group of friends to another might be difficult and take time.
Make a to-do list. You can help your youngster by asking him or her to name the kids they find to be friendly. Think of ways people can get to know you better. It’s possible to work together during lunch, recess, before or after school, or as part of a group project.
Maintain an optimistic frame of mind. Despite the difficulties, they will succeed!
What if your child refuses to engage in conversation with you?
Even if your child doesn’t want to talk about the social turmoil, he or she may be fine with showering you with the emotional shrapnel that comes from it. That doesn’t mean you’re bad as a parent because your teen is an adolescent. To promote a conversation with another adult, it may be necessary to carry out covert operations. Make no apologies about asking your child’s school counselor, relative, or close friend to speak with him or her.
Developing close relationships with others is an important part of your child’s growth and development as a person. You’ll have more time to curl up with a good book and some warm naan while the turmoil fades away!