What can I do when my teen has no friends?
a month ago - last edited Thursday by kwanchan
Ask a Child and Family Professional
Question: What can I do when my teen has no friends?
Firstly, take a moment to notice how happy or unhappy your teen is. For many teens, one or two close friends is all they need. And don’t forget that a lot of friendships are online these days!
If your teen is unhappy due to a lack of friends, it can be real worrying. Teenagers do move through different friendship circles; and its normal for them to find themselves stuck without any friends. Most parents want to help their kids when this happens, but don’t always know how.
The good news is that building friendships is a skill, which means anyone can learn how to do it. Don’t try lecturing your teen though! When was the last time that worked? Instead, begin by showing your teen how it’s done. Next time you’re at your teen’s school or an event they are involved in, say hello to a parent that you’ve never spoken to and spark up a conversation.
Is your heart starting to beat faster as you think about doing this? If so, you’ll know that confidence is also one of the things that stops people from making new friends. Confidence can’t be dealt with by giving your teen the answers. Instead, open up some conversations that help your teen to break this challenge down into more manageable, bite sized pieces.
Ask your teen:
- What kind of friends do you enjoy being around?
- Do you know anyone like that?
- What would it be like to become friends with them?
- How could you introduce yourself to this person or these people?
- What can I do to help?
Peter, Child and Family Professional at The Benevolent Society
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