This is a collaborative post.
At some point in their school experience, your child will experience some form of friendship drama. Teenagers in particular tend to have a rough few years, as hormones are raging, cliques start to form and peer pressure becomes very real. There are lots of things parents should and shouldn’t do to help their teen with any social troubles, as discussed below by an independent senior school in Hertfordshire.
First things first, your teenager needs to know that they can talk to you about anything, without feeling judged and without you jumping down their throat. If they’re trying to sort through some friendship problems, make sure you’re there to listen and give them your undivided attention. Give them visual cues to show them that you are paying attention, like nodding or frowning, but don’t interrupt when they’re opening up to you because then they might feel reluctant to do it again. Keep the communication open by letting them know they can talk to you again whenever they need to.
It’s important that you don’t intervene and try and fix the problem yourself, as this might only make it worse. Instead, ask what you can do for your teen to make them feel better. Work towards a solution as a team, as opposed to forcing them to do what you think is right. After all, you’ve only heard one side of the story so don’t just assume that your child is the victim.
Teenagers struggle with their confidence at the best of times, so it’s worth focussing on helping them with their self-esteem, especially if another student is being hurtful. Concentrate on their positive assets rather than dwelling on nasty remarks. If you think the problem is very serious and unlikely to just “blow over”, be sure to contact the school with your concerns as soon as possible.