Everyone needs positive peer interaction. It helps maintain self-esteem, builds confidence and broadens one’s perspective. Not to mention that it is enjoyable to have good friends.
Here is how you can encourage positive teen friendships.
- Get your teen involved with youth groups and activities in the community and at school. Be strong with the rule that your teen must be involved in something, but allow your teenager to choose what groups, sports or activities to join.
- Talk to your teen about the group or activities. Did he/she meet someone new? Get a feel for the group and the other teens in the group that your teen is talking to. Give this step some time. It may take a month or more to really get to know these new friends. Just continue to enjoy listening to your teenager about their activity.
- Allow your teen to invite one or two of his/her friends to your home. Pizza and a rented movie is always a big hit. Be prepared to talk to the other parents.
- Now that your teen has found some new friends, you can encourage positive interation by inviting friends to activities and being available to take and/or pick up when your teen wants to go place with his/her friends.
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