Why your parents should get to know your friends

As a teenager it can be tempting to keep your life private and your friends private from your parents. However, there are times when it can really benefit you to have your friends get to know your parents, and your parents get to know your friends. The following is a look at why your parents should get to know your friends.

  1. Parents have a tendency to blame your friends for things you do. When you come home in a bad mood, and you are rude to your parents, they immediately assume that you are hanging out with people who are a bad influence. Sometimes, a parent struggles to accept that their child may simply be moody, or rebellious, all on their own, and that their friends have little to do with it. If your parents get to know your friends, they are less likely to blame them for your choices. This is good for you because it means they aren’t going to hound you about your friends when you make a poor choice.
  2. Gets your parents off your back. If your parents know they people who you spend time with, and they have a relationship of sorts with them, they are not going to be as strict or critical with you. They are going to be more laid back about letting you go out and do things with them, without having to check in every few hours, or outline your whole plans. They have a tendency to feel far more comfortable if they know your friends, and will not hound you about what you did, who you saw, how much money you spent, etc.
  3. They will trust you more. When your parents know your friends, and are comfortable with whom your friends are, and the values your friends have, they trust you more. It is like they know you are not likely to get into trouble if the people you hang out with are less likely to get into trouble. It eases their mind, and helps them feel more comfortable, and in return they extend more trust to you. Of course, if you break that trust, or if your friends prove to be people they do not approve of, it might have the opposite affect, but generally if the parents feel like they know they people you spend your time with, they will trust you more when you are with them.
  4. Your friends will likely be better friends. Let’s face it, some times you do not want your friends to meet your parents not because you are worried about what your parents will think of your friends, but because you are worried about what your friends will think of your parents. Parents can sometimes be embarrassing. However, if your friends meet your parents, their quirks and all, and are still your friends, you can rest assured that they are probably pretty true friends.
  5. You get more privileged. When a parent knows the kid whose house you want to sleep over, they say yes. If they have seen the way the kid drives, they are more likely to let you go with them. If they know the kid’s family, they are likely to let you vacation with them, be at their house more, etc. The more they know the person, the more comfortable they are, and the more you benefit.

Why your friends change when you are a teen

Many teens ask themselves: Why do all of my friendships seem to be changing?

The answer is simple, and yet complex at the same time. Your friendships change because you change. In fact, your friendships are changing because you AND all of your friends are changing. The teenage years are a time of physical, emotional, and social growth and change. These changes don’t happen at the same time, or at the same speed, from one person to the next. The changes are not the same. This means that you may start to value school more, and your one-time best friend might start to value the party life more. These are natural changes, and they lead to growing apart, or drifting apart of friendships. There is a good chance your friends will change, and this is why statistically, most people’s friends from college are the friends they stay with for life. By the college years you have pretty much defined who you are, and your views, values, and opinions are not likely to change much or be as easily influenced, thus the people you associate with and have common interests with at that stage will share those interests with you for years to come. When you are a teen it is just not the case.

What you can do about it:

The first thing you can do is recognize change as normal and vital, and not try to fight it too hard. It is a part of growing up.

The second thing you can do is look for new friends that have common interests. If your friendships change it is because the people in them are changing, so it might be smart to simply find friendships with people like who you have changed to.

Lastly, you can try to keep some connection with the people whose friendships matter to you the most. They will never be the same, but that does not mean they have to disappear completely.

How to accept it and find peace in it:

Change can be difficult, this is especially true if it leaves you feeling friendless for a time. So, to accept it and find peace in it, you may want to anticipate it some, and start developing other friendships. This does not mean you should ignore your current friendships, but recognize the transient nature of teen friendships, and be open to making new ones, you never know where you will find someone who is so completely on the same wavelength as you.

You also need to find ways to keep the friendships that you currently have alive as much as you can. This means that if you have things in common still make a concerted effort to spend time together doing those things. It is your responsibility to keep your friendship alive.

When your friends ditch you

As a teenager your friends are likely to change several times over the course of high school. However, knowing that your friendships are likely to change does not make it any easier when someone you care about as a friend decides that they no longer value your friendship. When you friends ditch you, or find other friends, it hurts. However, you have to remember that it is not the end of the world, and that you are probably better off. The following is a look at how to deal with the loss of friends during your teenage years, and how to make new friends:

  1. Acknowledge that you grew apart. The teen years are formulative years, and you often change during this time. Your goals, objectives, focuses, and interests change. One may care about college, and studies, while another may care more about boys/girls, sports, or pep rallies. The fact is that often times your friendships end, and friends ditch you because your interests are no longer aligned. You care more about one thing, and less about what they care about, so they naturally realign themselves with people who have the same interests, problems, goals, and focuses.
  2. Recognize that changing is not a personal failure. You have changed, and so have your friends, so if that means you are no longer a good match as friends, this is not a personal failure. It can feel that way, it can feel like you are the reason they do not want to be friends any more. You are not cool enough, funny enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, etc. However, this is simply not true. Despite how it feels, the fact that you grew apart because you changed is just natural, and does not reflect anything on you. Being ditched by friends is not a personal failure it is a rite of passage in the teen years. If it doesn’t happen you may want to ask yourself why you are not progressing.
  3. Find new friends. Just like the best way to get over a love interest is to get interested in someone else, the best way to get over the loss of a friend is to find new friends that you enjoy spending time with. You may still feel a void for a time, as you won’t have the memories and long forged bonds to inspire the intimacy you had with your other friends, but with time you will find that, and often it will be even more rewarding.

If your old friendships matter so much to you that you are deeply distressed by the loss, do what you can to reforge the bonds. However, you have to realize that there are two people in every relationship, and if they simply aren’t interested in being your friend any more, then do not waste your time on them, find someone else that will appreciate the things you have to offer in a friendship.

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.

What to do if your friends do things you don’t

A lot of times the teen years are years of experimentation. Teens are busy forming their identities, and they have to determine who they are, what they believe, what their values are, etc. It means that you try new things, you push the limits of style, morality, etc. You experiment with sexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc. Of course everyone does this in different ways. For one girl it might mean wearing short shorts or testing their flirting ability, whereas another girl may try drinking. This is not to say that either is okay or better than the other, but the point is that sometimes friendships get strained because your friends are doing things you don’t, or you do not like what they are doing. There are a million examples of what this could be, it might be stealing, cheating at school, drugs, alcohol, drag racing, messing around, etc. So, what can you do if you like your friends, but not what they are doing? Consider the following:

One: Define your personal values.

Sometimes when your friends start to do things that make you uncomfortable, it can be a difficult situation simply because you are not sure where you stand on the issue yet. For example, you may have had a beer or two at a party, but you have never gotten smashed, and you do not drink often. So, when you friend starts drinking excessively you feel uncomfortable, but don’t want to judge, after all you are not perfect either. So, instead you just feel uncomfortable and you find your relationship strained. A better solution is that when you friends start to do something that makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable, you have to define for yourself what your personal value is on that issue. Sometimes you already know, and it is simply uncomfortable because you thought they shared the same value with you, and don’t. Regardless, make sure you know where you stand.

Two: Make sure they know where you stand on the issue.

A lot of the discomfort when your friends do something you do not like stems from the confusing feelings of telling them where you stand. Will they reject you because you have different values than them? You have to know where you stand, and then let them know where you stand. They will either accept it or not. If they do accept it, then hopefully they will refrain from doing those things that make you uncomfortable when in your presence, and you can still have a relationship. If they don’t, you have a clear illustration of how much they respect your choices.

Three; If they pressure you, you have to make a decision.

Even if you have been friends for years, if your friends start to do things like using drugs, drinking, or stealing, it can mean an end of a friendship. They may or may not pressure you to join them. However, if you start to feel a pressure to join in, even if it is not directly from them, you may want to consider limiting the amount of time you spend with them. You may go to the mall, and they shop lift, and while they never tell you to do it, you start to feel like if you don’t do it too, you may not fit in. So, you either need to stop going to the mall with them, or start shop lifting yourself. When it boils down to it, there really is not much middle ground with these kind of issues.

Should you try to break into the high status groups?

In every teen’s life there is a group of people that have higher status than they do, a group they want to break into, or that they aspire to associate with. The question is whether or not this quest is a good one or a bad one. The popular crowd at school seems like a lot of fun. They are the life of the party. Everyone wants to be them. They never lack for dates, company etc. They seem to have the perfect life. So, why not try and break into their social circle? The following is a look at what you should know and consider when it comes to friendships during the teen years:

Here are some tips:

First, you have to recognize that usually the high status group is there because of something. This means that they have money, long standing in the community, or some other factor that sets them apart and gets them into that crowd. You have to be honest with yourself and see that usually it is about what you have that makes you a popular kid or not. So, don’t try too hard to impress a certain group only because they have high status – it’s a lot better to meet people for who they are, not for what they have. It is also a lot better to be appreciated for who you are, not for what you have, or for the social weight you carry.

Second, don’t ever change yourself to fit in. Be yourself! If you aren’t, you essentially live a lie, and you will never be as happy. You will always be worried that your true self might be found out, and that people won’t like you. Or, you end up changing your true self, and usually not for the better. It is better to be like for who you are than to be liked for something you are not. Don’t pretend you have money to burn if you don’t. Don’t pretend you love a certain music group if you don’t. Don’t pretend to be interested in something that you aren’t. Be yourself and the friendships you do make, and the social circles you are a part of will be far more enjoyable and comfortable.

Third, recognize the hype. Much of the high status groups is hype. It is an attitude that is put off of being untouchable, better than others, or superior in some way or another. A lot of their status comes from putting others down, and being someone who is essentially selfish. So, if you want to break into a high status group, you have to adopt the same persona. In many cases this means losing the friends you have, and sacrificing parts of your identity. Is it worth it? Probably not. The high status groups end, after high school is over, whether you were part of the popular crowd, or the average person is not going to make a difference. Who you are, how you treat people, and the attitude you have will.

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.

Jealousy among friends

Why teens suffer from jealousy in their relationships:

How jealousy affects friendships:

Types of jealousy typical in teen relationships and friendships:

Jealousy over other friendships.

Jealousy over possessions

Jealousy over the opposite gender

Jealousy over intelligence

Jealousy over athleticism

How many friends should you have as a teen?

As a teenager, friends are a big part of your life. They are constantly around you, with you, on the phone with you, or at the very least in your thoughts. The fact is, a huge majority of a teen’s life has to do with their social interactions. So, because friends are a big part of the life of a teen, it begs the question, how many friends should you have?

The answer to this question really depends on who you are, how many relationships you can handle without problem, and the kind of friendships you want to have, close, or just lose? The following are some tips for determining how many friends you should have as a teen:

Tip one: Quality is key. The teen years require a lot of emotional support from friends, so it is important to find friends that are good friends, people you can trust, lean on for support, and rely on when in need. Thus, with friends, especially as a teen, it’s quality over quantity that should matter to you. Most teens find that one or two best friends is enough, and then a group of acquaintances to hang out with helps keep things interesting and fun.

Tip two: Influence is important to consider. You are a teenager, there is a lot of drama in your life. You are experiencing hormones, make decisions about school, etc. that affect your future, and are developing the attributes and characteristics that are likely to define you the rest of your life. Thus, you want to choose friends that will help you to become the person you want to be. If you have too many friends, the pressure to be so many different things grows. The fact is that you do not want to introduce more influences for who you are going to grow to be than is necessary. So, having a few select friends that inspire you to be the kind of person you want to be is best.

Tip three: What is your personality like? This is going to influence how many friends you should have as a teen. If you are super outgoing, you can probably handle more friends than someone who is shy. The fact is you have to have the energy and personality to juggle friendships, bring people together that may not have connected without you, etc. The more outgoing you are, the more friends you can have, but not that you necessarily should have.

Tip four: How true of friends do you want to have? Having a friendship takes work, time, and effort. Friendships do not last if you do not talk, hang out, and confide in one another. So, having too many friends means having no real friends. So, what kind of friendships do you want? For better friendships, have fewer friends.

Gossip a problem amongst friends

Gossip. This is a common problem among teen friendships, and can continue on to adult friendships. Gossip can be hurtful, malicious, or just idle. It takes on many faces, but when it all comes down to it, gossip is hurtful and should not be spread.

Why teens gossip. Teens often gossip because they have nothing better to talk about, and because in the teen world, the person with the most insider information is the highest on the totem pole. The problem is that this often leads to gossip chains being spread through the social circles, people’s reputations being ruined, their secrets being spread, and their social life being destroyed. Never, in the history of gossip, has the spreading of it brought about a positive outcome. Gossip spreading is always negative. So, why do teens do it? Well, it is more common among girls, and the experts think that it has something to do with the fact that they are excellent communicators, and thus it is fodder for communication. They exert so much time and energy on communication that they often run out of material, and resort to repeating things they have heard, seen, etc. whether it is their business or not.

How gossip hurts friendships.

Gossip is a destroyer, and friendships are not exempt from its powerful influence. However, among teens, gossip can be even more detrimental to friendships. Here is why:

During the teen years you need a confidant. You usually have worries, insecurities, and secrets you want to share. If you are a gossip, or your friends are, you won’t feel comfortable sharing with them or relying on them. This boils down to a lack of trust. Trust is one of the critical pillars of friendship. Without it a friendship will crumble quickly. Gossiping, even if it is not about your friends, undermines their ability to put trust in you.

Gossip often gets manipulated, changed, and spread. This means that things get blown out of proportion, stories get changed, and facts get skewed. It is like the telephone game you play in elementary school by sitting in a circle and whispering in one another’s ears. By the time the message makes it around the circle it is changed. So it is with gossip. This means that if you let gossip into your friendships, innocent comments, experiences, etc. may be escalated out of proportion until feelings are hurt, trusts ruined, and relationships crushed.

How to not let gossip into your friendships.

  1. Don’t ever spread it. Ever. Make sure that the gossip stops at you. If you hear it, don’t spread it, and never be the one to start it.
  2. Do not put up with it from friends. Just tell them you do not gossip, so not to spread it to you, and to leave you out of their gossip.
  3. Find other ways to occupy times and conversations. Gossip is for the idle, and is often worst when people get bored, so stay involved and busy so that you do not get tempted into gossip in your friendships.