Why Teen Friendships Don’t Last ?

A new study has indicated that the chance of your child’s teen friendships lasting through high school is pretty slim. It shows why teen friendships don’t last. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University decided to investigate why teen relationships tend to be short-lived. The strongest predictors of friendship dissolution were differences in sex, differences in the degree to which children were liked by other children, differences in physical aggression, and differences in school competence. Psychotherapist Karen Phillip says this isn’t really a new finding at all. “In year seven we undergo considerable changes to body, mind and emotions. It isn’t unusual not to keep these friendships forever,” said Phillip. “Often children in the early years of high school move through a number of groups of friends as classes, electives and sports change often,” said Phillip. Instead, the friendships we make at university are the ones that tend to last, “as we mix with like-minded people, similar intellect, and comparable interests.”

How to help a child with a friendship that ends

Enrol kids in new activities. Phillip says, signing your child up for a new activity is the perfect opportunity to help them make new friends with similar interests. Keep kids busy. “Do activities with your child individually and as a family to keep them occupied and busy,” says Phillip. Listen, empathise and look for a solution. “The best involvement a parent can give their child is their time, their ear, their guidance and their understanding.” Phillip suggests talking to the child about their feelings and what they think they should do about the loss. “If the child then needs guidance, offer only two suggestions as to what they could do” and let them decide. “If the parent is worried about their child, it is always a good idea to visit a counsellor to gain a different perspective and guidance. The child can disclose more to a counsellor than they often will to a parent and the counsellor can empower the child to move forward with confidence.” Full article can be read at http://www.essentialkids.com.au

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