Throughout the summer, Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors hear from young people of all ages who are worried about how the next school year will affect their friendships. In fact, 18% of Kids Help Phone’s online and phone contacts this past April, May, and June of 2013 related to peer relationships, including friendships.
Students up to age 20 readily reach out to Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors for support during the back to school season, either online or by phone. A popular method for kids to explore a problem or learn on their own is the InfoBooth on kidshelpphone.ca, which is an online library of clinically vetted information on a wide variety of topics. This August, kidshelpphone.ca offers brand new content to help teens and young adults who have questions or concerns about friendship.
This trusted source of information, written just for them, includes two new quizzes - “How strong is my friend connection?” and “Are you a good friend?” - along with tips to help young people cope with shyness, jealousy, loneliness and isolation. It also covers important questions about making friends, ending a friendship, and what to do when friends are fighting or drifting apart.
Why we want to talk about friendship
Kids Help Phone receives a lot of contacts about friendships, which is why we feel it is important to provide young people with up-to-date information on the topic. We also understand that friends can play a really important role in young people’s lives, and that sometimes they need help to navigate these relationships.
About 23% of online and phone contacts at Kids Help Phone relate to peer relationships, including friendship.
Friends can be an important source of social support, which can make it easier to cope with life’s stressors.
Support is linked to lower rates of depression, greater self-esteem, and more positive attitudes towards school.
Kids Help Phone’s new friendship content is now available here.
Expert tips: what parents can do to help
Take a break. Suggest that your teen takes a short break from their friendship. Sometimes relationships need a bit of space. A break might mean spending time with a different group of friends, taking part in more family activities, or keeping computers and mobile devices turned off for a specific period of time.
Grieve the friendship. If your teen has tried reconnecting with a friend and it hasn’t worked out, let them know it’s common and okay to feel hurt when a friendship ends. Encourage them to take time to grieve the loss of their relationship.