group of teenage girls hanging out together outside

As children settle into the new school year and possibly a new school too, they will have maintained existing friendships and may have started to form new friendships. I am finding that many secondary school year groups are making and changing friends. For example, Year 10 children will be forming new friendships as they start their GCSE options in new groups.

As these changes settle in, parents should remind their children that to maintain friendships they may need to put some energy into it. They need to learn to nurture friendships in order to maintain them.

How can we help children to learn how to nurture friendships and realise why it’s important to put some energy into maintaining friendships?

Tips for Injecting Energy into Maintaining Friendships

  1. Remind your child to greet their friends at the beginning of the day and say goodbye at the end of the school day. Even if they don’t sit together or are in different classes, try to connect when they can throughout the school day.
  2. Get involved in discussions and chats their friends are having and be a part of the group, rather than say nothing. Encourage your child to initiate conversations with their friends. Asking them about themselves and sharing who they are will deepen their friendships as they learn more about other people.
  3. The next level would be suggesting to your child that they put their energy into chatting with their new friends online and then progressing to making plans with friends at the weekends and in the holidays.

If children do not take care and put their energy into maintaining their friendships, they could fall apart, or simply find they don’t have very close friendships. Most children need good friends, so if your child’s groups are changing, encourage them to keep in touch and make an effort to keep any valued friendships. Don’t take them for granted!