What to do if your parents don’t like your friends

One of the things that plagues many teens is the problem of their parents not liking their choice of friends. As a teen you feel like it is your life, and you should be able to choose whom you spend it with. As a parent, you feel like your child may not see the long term ramifications of choosing friends poorly. The following is what to do if your parent’s don’t like your friends:

First, listen to what your parents have to say. Do your best to not listen with an open mind. It is difficult at times not to put up a bias, but it is worth listening to what they have to say. Usually a parent is going to have your best interest at heart. Sometimes they are mistaken, but if you do not listen to why they object to a friend, you never have a chance to put their objections to rest. Sometimes parents think that a friend may be a bad influence on you. They may have observed things you haven’t because you are too close to the situation. For example, they might see your friend manipulating or using you, when all you see is the attention and time they give you. Listen to their concerns with an open mind, and if you disagree with what they have to say, move on to the following steps.

Second, talk to your parents. Your parents likely have valid concerns, but you have to reassure them that your friends are not a bad influence on you. After hearing what they have to say, take the time to reflect and consider it. Then give them some things to think about. Help them see why you chose the person as your friend. Often times parents only see one side, just as you only see one side. So, help them see why you are friends with that person.

Third, spend time at your house with the friends your parents do not like. Often times a parent pre-judges the people who their kids hang out with. They may judge them based on their appearance. They may judge them based on what they know of their family, etc. They may see you hang out with a certain person, and then come home and give them an attitude, or dress less modestly, or use bad words more, etc. They want to think the best of their child, so they place the blame on your friends. You have to give your parents a chance to get to know your friends so that they can see they are not a poor influence, that you are responsible for your own choices. So, have your friends over at your house once in a while so your parents will have a chance to observe them, and form an opinion based off more than what they look like, or how you act.

If your parents don’t like your friends, don’t sneak around with them, or let it become a fight. If you feel that their dislike is unjustified, try to help them see it, and enjoy your friendship while still respecting your parents and their authority.

Keeping friends even if you grow apart

During the teenage years your interests seem to change frequently, and with them, your friendships. As your interests change, the things that bound you to one another change, and so some friendships will come and go. However, sometimes you want to keep a friendship alive even though the two of you have grow apart. The following is a look at some of the things you can do to try and keep friends as friends, and to not let your friendships end or grow stale despite changes in interests, hobbies, etc.

The following is a brief answer to the question: What can I do to try to keep a friendship alive?

First, you have to talk to your friend. You have to let your friends know how you feel, and that their friendship is an important matter to you. You can try to talk to your friend about your feelings, help them understand where you are coming from. You need to help them see that even though your interests are changing, and you no longer have the same bond you used to that they are still important to you and you value their friendship. This will help both of you make a conscious effort to keep the friendship going, and to find common ground as your commonalities from the past no longer exist.

Second, you have to try and keep some similar interests. If neither of you are the same person you once were, it can be hard to stay friends. So, one of the things you can do to keep friends, even as you grow apart is to try and develop interests in the same things. If your friend has developed an interest in skating, you can try it out to see if you can have a shared interest in it. If they love music, you can try and share in that interest with them. Or, you can invite them to share in your new interests. Maybe you can get them to try out for the soccer team, or go to a concert with you, or attend an art exhibit.

Third, hold to the ties you do still have. If you are growing apart from your friends, there is likely a few things you still both enjoy doing. It might be shopping, swimming, going to the beach, playing cards, or some other activity. If you both have things in common still, and want to keep the friendship alive, one thing you can do is make plans to get together on occasion to do that thing you enjoy together. So, you may still spend a great deal apart, but you have something that keeps you bonded and your friendship flame alight, even if it is not a raging inferno.

Losing friends can be difficult, but it is good to recognize that as you grow up and your interests change, as well as your priorities, your friend’s do too, and you can’t force a friendship. So, hang on to the ones you can, and let go of the ones you can’t. Also take advantage of the time to form new bonds of friendship.

Finding Balance

happy teen blowing bubblesTeens are among the busiest people in the world.  They have to balance school, work, extra-curricular activities, family, friends, and personal hobbies.  Things have gotten even crazier as many teens have both school friends and cyber friends.  They must maintain myspace, twitter, and facebook accounts also.  Here are a few tips for finding balance among the pull of the many different things pulling at a teenager’s time.

Prioritize

Prioritizing can be one of the most difficult things to do as a teenager.  Everything that a teenager does can sometimes seem like the most important thing in the world.  This is good.  It means that they are doing everything with passion.  At the same time, it can cause a teen to be burned out, frustrated, or simply bored.

A good way to figure out what activities are more important than others is to weigh them against each other.  When doing this, teens must look at past benefits, future benefits, and current benefits of each activity.  They must do the same for minuses.  Teens should also consider what they really enjoy doing as well.  For example, a teen that loves art but hates math might want to drop elective engineering courses, and focus on art courses.

Set Goals

One way to help stay focused on what is really important, teens should learn to set goals.  Setting goals can help develop self-discipline, which will come in handy no matter what the teen’s passions are.  When teens set goals, they should figure out specifically what is to be accomplished, establish a plan for accomplishing it, and setting a specific time by when it should be accomplished.

Here is an example:  If I wanted to learn to jump a five stair on a skateboard, then I would first specifically state that.  Then, I would establish a plan.  My plan would be a series of smaller goals.  First I would conquer a two stair, then a four stair, and finally the five stair.  I would figure out how much time each day I could dedicate to practicing.  Then I would place dates on each small goal, and a final date when I would land the five stair.  Then I would write it all down and put it somewhere where I could see it every day.

Take a deep breath

Often teens feel like that must do everything.  Take a deep breath, this isn’t true.  Teens do not have to everything everyone else is doing.  For example, something small would be to focus on one social network, instead of maintaining three or four accounts.  No one expects teens to play a sport, do student government, maintain a job, volunteer their time, get straight A’s and watch the full prime time television lineup all at the same time.  Weeding out a few activities through prioritization and goal setting is allowed.  In fact, it may even be healthy for teens to take kick back and relax.  Having time with no responsibilities will allow for rejuvenation, reflection, and self-development.

Teens are pulled in a million different directions.  Sometimes it may seem like they must do all of the million things to stay competitive in the future.  While it is important to be involved, this can be accomplished without having a nervous breakdown.  Teens just need to remember to prioritize, set specific goals, and take a deep breath.  High school is supposed to be fun, not stressful.

It is all in the family, what to do when you like your best friend’s brother

When you like your best friend’s brother, you have to be very careful. Your best friend is just that for a reason. They are there for you. You confide in them. They know your secrets. You have built memories together. But, when you start liking your best friend’s brother, it is natural for them to wonder if your friendship is a front to get you in with the brother. Your best friend is going to question the validity of your friendship. Most experts say that you should never go for your best friend’s siblings. However, many of us aren’t thinking long term, and when you like someone, you like someone. So, if you start to like your best friend’s brother, do the following:

  1. Don’t hide it from your best friend. If you liked someone else, you would tell them right away. If you want them to trust your friendship, you need to do that with their brother as well. However, do it carefully. Choose the right moment, and set it up, don’t spring it on them from nowhere. Sit them down, and say something like, “Hey, guess what? I am starting to like someone.” They will get excited for you, and the natural question to ask is, “Who?” This is where you need to use tact. Say, “Well, I want to make sure it is okay with you that I like him, but, I kind of have a crush on your brother.” The reason you want to set it up like this is because you will get them excited for you. Friends love when their friends start to like someone new. So, get her excited for you. Then, you have to preface it with the statement that lets them know you want them to be okay with it before you do anything. Even if you will like her brother anyway, she needs to feel as though she has some say.after all, she is your best friend. Also, you do not want her to hear it from someone else, so make sure she is the FIRST to know.
  2. Let her know how much her friendship means. Your friend may act like she is cool with you liking her brother, or she may be totally against it. Either way, and no matter what you are going to do about liking him, you have to make sure she knows you like her. You have to tell her why she is your best friend, how much you love having her as a friend, how much her friendship means to you, and how much you would hate to lose it.
  3. Let her know what your intentions are. Once you have made her feel secure about your friendship, and once she knows you were not using her to get to her brother, or anything else silly like that, it is time to let her know what you intend to do about your crush. So, whether she is okay with you liking him or not, she will want to be kept informed about what you will do. If it was any other guy you would be telling her about your plan of approach. You would let her know your flirt plan, what you are going to wear, how you are going to get around him, etc. Well, with a brother, you want to be careful, but you don’t want to leave her out of the loop. So, if you are going to go for him, tell her that. Then reassure her that when the two of you hang out, you will be spending time with her, not trying to score with her brother. If she thinks you are coming over for opportunities to see her brother, your friendship will go down the toilet.
  4. Separate the two. This means when you are at her house to hang out with her, hang out with her. When you want to flirt with him, or date him, or hang out with him, set it up separate. Otherwise, your actions start to tell your best friend that she is a means to an end. Yes, you will probably flirt with him if you are at his house and he is in the room, but don’t change your plans, or try to be where he is, just go with it.
  5. Talk about what will happen when and if anything happens between you and him, etc. If you can be honest and open about your feelings for her brother, but also make sure she knows how much she matters, she will likely be okay with it. After all, who could be better for her brother than the person she chose as a best friend? However, be sure to constantly check to see that she is feeling secure about the friendship, and that there is nothing you are doing that is upsetting her. Also, it would be smart to talk about what will happen if you do date her brother, and what will happen if you break up, especially if it is messy. How will that affect your friendship? Most people say you should never date your friend’s siblings, but that is a choice you and your friend should make together, and one that you should explore the possibilities of outcomes with. Then ask yourself, which relationship is going to be more important to me? That will give you a clear idea of how to move forward.

Keeping friends even if you grow apart

During the teenage years your interests seem to change frequently, and with them, your friendships. As your interests change, the things that bound you to one another change, and so some friendships will come and go. However, sometimes you want to keep a friendship alive even though the two of you have grow apart. The following is a look at some of the things you can do to try and keep friends as friends, and to not let your friendships end or grow stale despite changes in interests, hobbies, etc.

The following is a brief answer to the question: What can I do to try to keep a friendship alive?

First, you have to talk to your friend. You have to let your friends know how you feel, and that their friendship is an important matter to you. You can try to talk to your friend about your feelings, help them understand where you are coming from. You need to help them see that even though your interests are changing, and you no longer have the same bond you used to that they are still important to you and you value their friendship. This will help both of you make a conscious effort to keep the friendship going, and to find common ground as your commonalities from the past no longer exist.

Second, you have to try and keep some similar interests. If neither of you are the same person you once were, it can be hard to stay friends. So, one of the things you can do to keep friends, even as you grow apart is to try and develop interests in the same things. If your friend has developed an interest in skating, you can try it out to see if you can have a shared interest in it. If they love music, you can try and share in that interest with them. Or, you can invite them to share in your new interests. Maybe you can get them to try out for the soccer team, or go to a concert with you, or attend an art exhibit.

Third, hold to the ties you do still have. If you are growing apart from your friends, there is likely a few things you still both enjoy doing. It might be shopping, swimming, going to the beach, playing cards, or some other activity. If you both have things in common still, and want to keep the friendship alive, one thing you can do is make plans to get together on occasion to do that thing you enjoy together. So, you may still spend a great deal apart, but you have something that keeps you bonded and your friendship flame alight, even if it is not a raging inferno.

Losing friends can be difficult, but it is good to recognize that as you grow up and your interests change, as well as your priorities, your friend’s do too, and you can’t force a friendship. So, hang on to the ones you can, and let go of the ones you can’t. Also take advantage of the time to form new bonds of friendship.