Friend's hands together

In my coaching practice, I am seeing two different types of friendship issues with children at the moment. Both are linked to a children not being fluid in friendships in terms of making friends and creating social groups at different stages of development. One of the issues affects children that have just started year 7 and are trying to make new friends. They are sticking with the first friends they make and not talking to enough people or getting to know others. Hence, they possibly won’t get to meet the right friends for them. The other problem is year 9 children not being able to let go of old friendships because they are not working for them anymore. As teens they are changing  – their focus, the way they learn, how they want to hang out etc. and it can be hard to admit that they’ve grown apart from old friends and make the break away from them. They need to learn that being fluid in friendships will allow them to have great friendships.

Being Fluid In Friendships And Accepting They Change

Fluidity is needed in both situations – friends in year 7 will not always be the same friends as in year 9. Children in year 7 need to be able to move around their peers seeking out who is like them and finding those they have things in common with. Who can they trust, have fun or share interests with?

There’s no need to commit to one person or one group of people so encourage your child to keep on talking and engaging throughout the first term to lots of different people. Their friendship group will form over the coming months but some fluidity needs to remain. One child may leave the group and one may join for example.

The older children will be come more settled in their friendships in year 9 and this is another time I would say where acceptance of fluidity is needed. I have seen many friendship group changes where a completely new group has formed or a larger group has split into two as a result of a fallout or preference to be with other people. Some children have even gone back to the friends they made in year 7. Friendship groups will adjust and change but I would say by the middle of year 9 they are pretty much concrete.

Help your child whichever year group they are in, to being more fluid in friendships and go with the flow. I found a great article on friendships to see if your friends are right for you. Discuss the article with your child so they can decide if they have the right friends for them.

For more help with friendships take a look at my friendship ebook – available for download.