MIDDLE SCHOOL FRIENDSHIPS: HIGHS AND LOWS
When a child reaches middle school, the importance of friendships has surpassed that of family life in a child’s growth and development. It’s common for middle schoolers to rely on their peers for support as they transition into puberty and all that comes with it. Friendships may brighten even the most dreary of days.
At this stage in a child’s life, friendships can also be challenging. Getting your tween ready for the ups and downs of middle school friendships is easier than you think. Educating your preteens about the ups and downs of friendships will help them deal with the difficulties they will inevitably face.
Benefits of Maintaining a Close-knit Circle of Friends
Tweens naturally prioritize their relationships with their peers, and they may even prefer the company of their peers to that of their parents and other family members at this stage in their development. I encourage you to enjoy this rather than be alarmed by it.
Keep in mind that it is perfectly natural for your child to place a great deal of value on their friendships, and it merely indicates that your child is expanding their circle of trust to include people beyond the family. At this stage in their development, children require a solid support system of peers to assist them in navigating life’s challenges and having a good time.
Middle school may be when many long-lasting friendships are formed and deepened through discovering common interests and shared experiences. There may be enough in common between friends who attend different schools or are in different grades to enjoy each other’s company. Your tween’s life can benefit from strong friendships at this age. Among the positives are:
- Taking on school issues (such as a tough teacher or a school bully) as a team
- After school, we had a good time hanging out together.
- Taking a look at a situation from another angle
- Being defended by a third party
- Being able to confide in someone else
- Staying out of each other’s way
- Being aware that you are not doing this on your own
- Associating with others who share common interests
That doesn’t mean that friendships in middle school are always simple. Friendships in middle school may transform as people drift apart or create new bonds. Students in middle school may lose touch with former friends as they explore new hobbies or interests, or if they move to a new school, they may never get the chance to reconnect.
However, the difficulties don’t stop there. During the middle school years, even the strongest of friendships can be put to the test. Friends may argue, disappoint, or even damage one another’s feelings during their friendship. Many friendships can tolerate periodic disagreements and even grow from them. Encourage your adolescent to resolve arguments amicably.
A simple “I’m sorry” can mean a lot to a youngster because it teaches them that their actions affect how other people perceive them. Strong friendships can falter from time to time, but if they are worked through, they are more likely to last than not.
Characteristics of True Friendship
- Real friends don’t get envious of each other.
- You can rely on true friends.
- True friends pay attention to one another.
- The kind of friends who make an effort is called real friends.
- True friends may occasionally be “jerks,” but they warm up to you with time.
- “I’m sorry” is a word that only true friends use.
- Friendship is based on mutual respect.
- Real friends help each other out.