Wellbeing Theme for the Term
Our Wellbeing theme for Terms 1 and 2 is Friendships. Our Wellbeing Ambassadors will be putting together presentations to share with their forms and our Student Wellbeing Committee is enjoying putting together their first podcast, supported by Miss Hyde. We will also be holding a webinar for parents and carer in Term 2 on the topic of Friendships. More details will be sent to you in due course.
Teenage friendship issues? 4 Tips for Parents to Empower Girls
Strong, healthy, fun friendships are such a blessing in life. Friends who know us better than we know ourselves. Friends we can count on. Friends that we share life’s rich experiences with. BUT the reality for many teenagers is the very opposite of this. Teen years so often involve varying degrees of teenage friendship issues.
The inherent competitiveness that can (unfortunately) exist amongst many teen girls – exam grades, appearance, social media likes, sports performance – can significantly disrupt friendships.
We all know how friendships play a significant role in shaping our teens’ experiences. It’s all part of growing up. The difficulties around teenage friendship issues can affect girls deeply, as well as impacting classmates and families. The tension and difficulties inevitably affect school life too and can impact girls’ progress at school.
It’s important to support our children through these times and help them navigate the sometimes complex world of teenage friendship issues.
First things first, keep the lines of communication open. Be that person your child can turn to when she needs someone to listen or seek advice. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences with you. Remember, we’ve all been teenagers once, and we know how intense friendship dynamics can get. It’s a time when emotions run high, and the smallest things can feel like a big deal.
Letting your child know that it’s normal to face difficulties in friendships during this stage of life is key.
- Encourage girls to value themselves as individuals.
All our relationships start with the one we have with ourselves. It’s crucial we value who we are as individuals, and all the unique qualities we have. Encourage your child to recognise their unique qualities and embrace their own uniqueness. When they reach out to you for support regarding their teenage friendship issues, encourage and support them to see their own worth and qualities, building their feelings of self-belief. This will lead to a more positive outlook on her friendships.
- Understanding we can’t control other people.
One crucial lesson in navigating teenage friendship issues is understanding that we can’t control other people.
Help your child grasp this concept and focus on becoming aware of, and then managing, their own thoughts and behaviour. By shifting the focus inward, they can develop a healthier approach to relationships.
As a parent, you can guide them by encouraging self-reflection and helping her understand the impact of their reactions and actions in their friendships.
- Recognise and address unhealthy behaviours.
Teenage friendship issues often involve unhealthy behaviours. It’s important for your child to recognise that they have choices in their relationships and understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviour. Encourage them to pay attention to how she feels about herself when they are with a particular person. If their answer is negative, it’s a clear sign of unhealthy behaviour.
A helpful question to ask teens to guide them to start to recognise healthy or unhealthy behaviour in relationships is:
“How do you feel about yourself when you’re with this person?”
If the answer is negative, then that’s a strong signal to that what they are experiencing is unhealthy behaviour. And then they have a choice of what to do next.
- Supporting teens to build their confidence improves teenage friendship issues.
When girls feel more confident in themselves, it helps to reduce teenage friendship issues. When girls value themselves through embracing their own uniqueness and all the wonderful qualities they possess, they come from a position of strength.
Added to this, encouraging girls to become aware of and develop their own inner dialogue -“self-talk” – is key.
Asking girls whether what they say to themselves they would say to their best friend is a useful way to bring awareness to their self-talk.
Many girls have a grumpy, critical inner voice, and by evolving this being supportive and compassionate self-talk can really make a difference to how they feel about themselves, and so build their confidence.
Loneliness is common human experience. Loneliness is something we can all experience from time to time, throughout our lives, and will be unique to each individual. Loneliness is the negative feeling we have when there is a difference between the relationships we have and those we want.This guide from the Mental Health Foundation gives advice and support on spotting when your child or young person feels lonely and how to support them with emotional loneliness, social loneliness and existential loneliness.
Guide to Friendships
This Kidscape Guide to Friendships helps you understand friendships. Friendships are vital for our health and happiness. Friends are there in the good times and the tough times. They help us work through our problems and make us smile. Friends can come in all shapes and sizes, with different backgrounds and experiences. While it can feel easier to make friends with people who are like us, people who are different to us can teach us new things and ways of seeing the world. Friends make us happy but there are times when they also make us angry or sad. For example, there may be times when we find it hard to make friends, or a friend lets us down. This is all part of being human!