Teen Make Friends | A strong support system of friends can make adolescence more enjoyable for teenagers and help them navigate its ups and downs. Teenagers can manage school, family issues, sports, and everything else that comes with being a teen with the aid of their friends in how to help their Teen make friends.
Finding how to help your teen make friends can be challenging and frightening. Particularly during the teen years, we naturally seek connection and a sense of belonging. It is natural to want to fit in with a group. It can be heartbreaking for parents of teenagers to see how their child struggles to make friends—or has no friends at all. You might be confused about why it’s so challenging for your adolescent to make friends or wonder if it’s normal for them to be friendless.
But First overview of “Why”
Why is it Hard to Make Friends as a Teenager Nowadays?
- Teenagers’ friendships now have a new dynamic thanks to social media. Social media connections can lead to misrepresentations and little to no restrictions on how often and when to communicate with friends. In the help of how to help your teen make friends, Teenagers use social media to settle disputes by slandering, bullying, un-friend, or blocking other users. Teenagers also struggle to fully understand one another’s body language and non-verbal cues to know how they feel or think. Finally, teenagers feel pressure to be online and active on social media out of concern that they will miss out on what their friends are up to. Social media can be challenging for developing relationships and loyal, trustworthy friendships.
- Teenagers, who are going through a pivotal time in their relationships, identity, and quest for independence from their parents, found the COVID shutdown and pandemic particularly difficult. Teenagers have suffered from being unable to interact closely with their peers, having few opportunities to be around other teenagers, and being unable to read facial cues because of facial coverings.
- Teenagers are naturally becoming more adept at relationships with others and themselves. Teenagers struggle to distinguish between good and bad friendship traits as a result. They are putting their friendship-making and socialization abilities to the test. Last but not least, frequently hear from teenagers that they have yet to find their best friend. Some teenagers have never met a peer they can relate to and connect with.
- According to a therapist in Orange County, California, the majority of my adolescent patients struggle with friendships, specifically with making, maintaining, and resolving conflicts among friends. Teenagers frequently wish their parents understood how challenging it was for them to create and maintain friendships today.
6 Tips for How to Help Your Teen Make Friends
Support Extracurricular Activities
Determine the after-school clubs and extracurricular activities your child wants to join. Find an activity your teen enjoys, whether band, theater, art, robotics, or sports, and enroll them in it. Teenagers can easily connect with and want something through after-school activities. They give your teen a fantastic opportunity to interact with peers who share their interests and perhaps even make friends. When you have a common interest with someone, making friends is frequently simpler.
Permit them to go to Gatherings.
The early years of childhood are very different from adolescence. Back then, setting up a play date for your two children required only a phone call to an adult friend. However, you’re not the one who starts these things during adolescence. It’s up to your teen to make it happen. However, if they are invited, encourage them to go unless you know there will be alcohol, drugs, or risky or illegal activity involved. In that case, you must make it impossible for your teen to interact with these peers. In all other circumstances, however, your teen can meet new friends in a casual, social setting at parties and other after-school gatherings.
You must also include the COVID-19 disclaimer in this new and historical era: any gathering you permit your teen to attend must be safe, and all attendees must adhere to all applicable local public health laws and regulations. Only release them if it meets COVID requirements.
Plan Enjoyable Get-Togethers
Make the first move if your adolescent still needs to get social invitations. They could host a gathering. Or they can keep it informal by inviting a few friends to a drive-in movie that is COVID-safe. Alternatively, place a Saturday night pizza order and invite some friends for a socially awkward pizza party.
However, once the friends arrive, make every effort to disappear as much as possible. Teens are there for your teen, so they probably don’t want to hang out with you. Although supervision is crucial, there must be a careful balance between keeping an eye on the group and encroaching on their personal space. It would help if your balance keeping an eye on your teen and ensuring they learn how to create and keep friends independently.
Consider Sleep-away Camp.
If your teen experiences shyness or social anxiety at school or with their peers, they may thrive in the laid-back, diverse camp environment where they’ll be with many other teenagers, many of whom are from different regions of the country or the world. Your teen may flourish and make more friends without the stress of being around these teens at home or school, as well as without the social baggage they acquired along the way at home.
Think About Social Skill Development
If all of these suggestions have failed, your teen might gain from developing better communication skills. Training your child in social skills is one way to impart these abilities to them. They can learn how to recognize and enter into open conversations, communicate effectively (both verbally and nonverbally), and discreetly disclose themselves by taking social skills training.
You might need to look elsewhere, or their school counselor might offer this resource. Your teen’s chances of forming social connections will rise if they have strong communication skills.
Evaluate Them for Mental Health Issues
A mental health condition may occasionally cause a lack of friends. For instance, if your teen suffers from social anxiety, they might be terrified to say hello to a friend, let alone attend a gathering. In the answer of how to help your teen make friends, your teen may drive people away rather than attract them if they have a conduct problem.
Teenagers with cognitive issues or learning disabilities may occasionally experience social awkwardness. Bring your teen in for a free evaluation at an adolescent mental health program to determine whether they might have a mental health issue. Your teen may require one-on-one outpatient therapy, an intensive outpatient program (IOP), a partial hospitalization program (PHP), or even a residential treatment center (RTC) if symptoms are highly acute, depending on the assessment’s findings.
Difficulties with your Teenager Making Friends?
If you are a teen parent, you may wonder why your child lacks the desire or motivation to make friends. Your teen may find it challenging to make friends for various reasons.
Social Anxiety: Teenagers who worry about embarrassing themselves in social situations or interactions are said to have social anxiety.
Adjusting to a Move: It can be challenging for teenagers to adjust after changing schools or relocating to a new city or state.
Minimal Opportunities: Teenagers occasionally believe they have few opportunities to make or maintain friendships. This may appear to be teenagers who are forbidden from going out or staying home after school.
Difficulty Trusting Others: Teenagers who struggle with trust issues may have experienced heartbreak, hurt, or betrayal at the hands of their friends in the past and find it challenging to make new friends or develop existing ones. They struggle with their fear of suffering harm once more.
Last Note: In How to Help Your Teen Make Friends
One final point regarding clothes, style, and appearance: the most crucial thing you can do for your teen is to support their authenticity. There’s nothing inherently wrong with them if they want the newest clothing, wear makeup or have the latest phone available. True friendships are forged by characteristics money cannot buy, such as a sense of humor, personality, shared experiences, and similar goals and interests. These things are true, they endure, and they serve as the cornerstone of wholesome relationships that have the potential to last a lifetime.