group of teenage girls hanging out together outside

As children settle into the new school year and possibly a new school too, they will hopefully be maintaining existing friendships and possibly have started to form new friendships. I am finding that many secondary school year group children are making and changing friends. For example, Year 10 children will be forming new friendships as they start their GCSE options as they start to speak more people in their year who are doing the same options as them. As these changes settle in, parents should remind their children that to maintain friendships they may need to put some energy into them. They need to learn to nurture their friendships. How can we help children to learn how to do this? 

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. Encourage them to 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. Suggest that they continue to communicate online and make plans with their existing 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 – which is something they want. Most children need good friends, so if your child’s groups are changing, encourage them to keep in touch with their old ones whilst making an effort to make new ones. WQhatever they do, don’t let them take for granted either of them.