Making friends is a personal affair, so can you help your tweens with that? Well, let’s just say yes to that. Forming a friendship requires a child’s emotional abilities, social competence, and self-regulation skills, and parents can play an important in the development of these skills.
You can help your tween make friends and keep them in several ways. Tweens of their age repel their emotions from their parents, instead, they need all the support they can get from their parents. Let’s discuss a few strategies that can help you manage your kids’ social years.
Encourage Healthy Friendships
Many teens face trouble in making friends because of their shyness and insecurities. Help them understand the importance of good friendship and how they can be a good friend to someone. Teens indulge in gossiping unknown of the consequences, make sure your kid understands why gossiping is not healthy for their friendships.
Maintaining a friendship requires a lot of effort at both ends, teach them how you put the effort into your friendships, and how they lead with an example. Tell them how you feel about their friends, tell them about the times you liked what they did for you, and make them learn how to appreciate these little things.
Include your child’s friends in your family gatherings or a game night at times, to show them how much their relationships mean to them. This will help you build a trusting bond with your kid. Show them how to respect one another and their choices in life.
Help Them Choose Better Friends
Tweens make mean friends often, later regret their decisions, and shy away from making friends again. What teenagers look for while making friends is the appearance of the person, help understand the importance of positive minds and empathy. Show them the signs they need to look for when deciding on a friendship.
Body language says it all, and knowing this should naturally come to your kid, respect, talent, and opinions are what they need to learn and see in the person when making friends.
Don’t Push Popularity
Popular kids in school have a lot of friends around them, but are they all the friends they need, even the popular ones who need that one close friend they can always count on? Every parent wants their tween to stand out in the crowd, as they would have wanted the same for themselves. Don’t make your kid carry that baggage of yours, rather let them decide what they want and how. Giving your child the freedom to choose their ways while taking friends is always important.
Forcing your child towards popularity is just doing otherwise. Support your tweens’ choices with a positive attitude.
Keep Them Active
Host gatherings and activities that encourage cooperation and healthy competition. Keeping them engrossed in fun activities with common goals in which they learn great deals like learning the art of compromise and negotiations, making amends, learning to forgive, and empathy. Making these learnings fun will make them remember these lessons for life.
Having a limited social group limits your learning and growth. Teach your child the perks of having friends from diverse backgrounds. Tell them to choose someone with common interests and see how much they will appreciate the friendship. Encouraging diversity without losing their individuality is the main motive behind this.
Drama queens are mostly associated with girls in their teens. Tweens are known to be moody, furious, and extremely difficult to handle. Such behavioral problems can cause some major social barriers with their peers and eventually, they will struggle to make friends.
Help them manage their anger and channel that anger in the right direction. Trying to understand where the other person is coming from is something that will help them.
Be a Good Listener
Patience is a virtue and practicing that with your child makes your and your tweens’ crucial years easy. Listening to what your child has to say about their day or school or friend will help you understand them better. Don’t be impatient and take strict actions, rather listen carefully and see if there is a negative pattern to their behavior.
If yes, take swift action when necessary.
When Things Go Bad
A frenemy is a term you should be aware of, see if your child is going through a toxic friendship. They will need all your attention in such situations. If a friend has turned mean and instead of boosting your child’s confidence, try to damage it or belittle your child.
You need to help them walk away from that friendship instantly and make them understand why that is important. Losing a toxic friend today is better than regretting later. Tell them they will find true friends in life and never shy away from discovering new friendships due to one bad experience.
Encourage Self Expression
Disagreements, disbeliefs, or having different choices in music, and clothing are what make individuals different. Teach your child that people can have different paths to follow or different interests, that is Okay! Having an individual personality and respecting other people for the same is what a friendship needs to run long. Don’t force your choices on your friends nor let them do the same to you.
Healthy friendships are based on these things and making your tween learn these will make their teen ears easy.