#childsafety | On a Kinder Note with Dolly’s Dream | When friendships go wrong | The Transcontinental

Supporting our teens when they’ve been hurt by a friend can be very hard.

A destructive friendship can involve hurtful teasing, insults, nasty gossip, being excluded or having embarrassing pics or videos shared without permission.

Remind teens of what makes a good friend – someone who cares about you, includes you, and treats you with respect;

encourage teens to make friends from different places – e.g. sporting clubs, community groups, extended family;

focus on the behaviour, not the person. Instead of saying ‘Your friend is horrible!’, try ‘When you hang out with your friend, you come home in a bad mood. Are they doing something to cause that?’

Parents can also try to recognise that teens often don’t use the word ‘bullying’ about their friends. Instead, try asking ‘Is your friend upsetting you, or making problems for you?’

Coach your teens in dealing with conflict – see tips from Kids Helpline.

In most cases, don’t ban the friendship outright, unless you are afraid for someone’s safety.

Remind your teens of their strengths and likeable qualities. Make sure they have people they can talk to – a relative, mentor, teacher, or a service like Kids Helpline or ReachOut.

For more information, visit Parent Hub.

– Jessie Mitchell, Dolly’s Dream

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