Some young people find it difficult to make friends. For example, they find it difficult to approach someone spontaneously and they feel insecure. Other young people have many friends and therefore seem very self-confident.
Influence of friends
Puberty is a period when young people rebel against their parents. Their friends have a lot of influence on them. They look for friends with whom they feel at home. When young people belong to a group of friends or subculture, they largely do the same things, listen to the same music and wear the same clothes.
That can be fun, but sometimes it isn’t. For example, it can be difficult when your son wants to take ballet instead of football. Such a deviation from the group norm is usually accepted if there are many similarities in other areas.
Friends can give your child more security. When you have friends who enjoy hanging out with you, you feel understanding, respect, and validation. This is important for a positive self-image. In addition, friendships are good for the development of social skills.
Besides a positive influence, friends can also have a negative influence on your child. In that case it concerns bad or wrong friends; friends who don’t want the best for your child, but only care about themselves. Such bad friends can also encourage your child to bad behavior, such as truancy, smoking, alcohol abuse and drug abuse.
Look up to someone
Young people can look up to someone who is a bit older, tougher or more popular. They sometimes find it exciting to befriend them. That’s not always wise. Try to make it clear to your child that you should not just follow others, but that you should think carefully about who you hang out with and which friendships are valuable.
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