Posted on 29 September 2015 by Rachel


29 September 2015

The First term of this academic year is well underway! Maybe in your house it has been a positive start. Your children are excited to be back at school, seeing friends and learning new subjects. New school shoes have been bought and pencil cases have been refilled - let the term begin!

Or maybe you're on the other side of the coin. . .

It's 10.30pm on a Sunday evening and you're sat in your child's bedroom with them sobbing saying they don't want to go to school but don't tell you why. Deep down, you it's all to do with their 'friends'.

Friendship is an important aspect for any teen. Adolescence is a time when peers can play an increasingly important role in shaping the lives of young people. Friendships that are being formed during this key developmental stage are usually more intimate, exclusive and consistent than ever before. More than that, friendships can be a place where a sense of belonging can be found and an exploration of their identity. How amazing! 

At Romance Academy we're all about positive relationships - and this includes frienships!

We meet all sorts of young people around the UK and chat to them about what their friendships look like. We explore with them the characteristics of a positive friendship - what it looks like, what values they include and how these friendships can be developed in a healthy way. 

Reflection Time!
Even if you are not a 'natural reflector', we encourage you to take 5 minutes to pause and think about the friendships you had at High School - how did they influence who you are today? What did you learn from them? What sort of friend do you think you were? 

. . .Times up!

Maybe those minutes helped you remember some great experiences - past and present - of how awesome friendships can be but also how brutal they can feel at times. Your teem is not walking down the exact same path as you, bu they are learning what a healthy friendship can look like.

So how can you support your teen in building healthy friendships during their school years? Here's some wise words from the Romance Academy office. . .

Use as many opportunities as possible to authentically nurture your teens' abilities and self-esteem. This can help equip them to foster positive peer relationships and also deflect negative pressures. So many young people we come into contact with have low self-worth and you can be apart of changing that - how exciting! 

Adult Vs Teen
Encourage your teen to create and sustain positive relationships with adults, for example teachers. These relationships can become a positive role model in what a healthy relationship can look like and a place where your child can feel valued and accepted. These relationships are also key if your teen is struggling with his/her friendship group(s). They can go to this adult for advice and guidance on what to do next. 

Let them hangout! 
Adolescents develop social skills by hanigng out with their peers. They meet new people by merging friendship groups which help them learn about how diverse others can be. Through conversations teens learn how to converse; they can have back and forth discussions that feel more mutual than with adults who already have an opinion whereas majority of teens are forming their own opinions through discussions. 

And finally. . . 

Remind your young people that whilst friendships in school can be important, they can shape you; but they don't define you. It's worth investing in good friendships at any age, help those you love to form healthy ones inside and outside of school. Some of these friendships may last a lifetime, others a matter of months or years.

Tags: friendship, school,

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