Amirah. Age: 27.
Having friends, finding new friendships and friendly relationships is an important part of preteen and teen development. Talking to your teen about how to be a good friend and what a healthy friendship is can help them as they mature. While they have learned to 'play well with others' during their childhood, developing independent friendships is a different matter.
Lindsey. Age: 22.
Choosing the right kinds of friends is important. Your friendships are changing because you and all of your friends are changing. The teenage years are a time of physical, emotional, and social growth and change.
Kaia. Age: 24.
How to Deal With Teen Friendship Problems
Friendships are important to teenagers on many different levels - from being a support network to providing both positive and negative influences. Learning to start, change or maintain friendships is a skill teenagers all need to learn and work on. As a parent, taking the time to understand how your child is experiencing their world, and knowing how to remain connected, can help them to navigate these relationships successfully and independently. Friendships can be a network of great support and can offer protection against negative peer relationships such as bullies.
The friends that adolescents select, the influence they have on each other, and gender may all play a role in establishing friendships that can help, or possibly hurt, teens, according to new research. In a new study of adolescent friendship networks, researchers found that for both boys and girls, friend selection and friend influence guided the adoption of risky behaviors, says lead author Cassie McMillan, a doctoral student in sociology and criminology at Penn State. Gender also plays a role in how selection and influence shape a few of those behaviors, including smoking and delinquency, she adds. The researchers found that, compared to boys, girls tend to be more influenced by their friends to engage in delinquent behavior, which includes skipping class and fighting.