Families and ...
Peer relationships are very important to teens. 1) Friendships provide teens with opportunities to develop conflict resolution skills. Teens can learn how to end a fight and still remain friends. 2) Friends provide fun and excitement for teens through companionship and recreation. 3) Friends also give advice to one another. Teens talk through lots of issues and problems with their friends. 4) Loyalty is a valued trait in friendship. Teens are looking for loyal allies that can help them out at school or in their own neighborhood. 5) Friendships also provide stability during times of stress or transition. It is helpful to teens to have a friend who is going through the same situations and can ease the anxieties of the times.
What happens when youth don't have friends? Teens without friends tend to be more lonely and unhappy. They tend to have lower levels of academic achievement and lower self esteem. As they get older, they are more apt to drop out of school and to get involved in delinquent activities.
Friendships change as youth move into their teen years.
As parents, it is important to encourage friendships among teens. However, it is vital to know who your teen's friends are and to communicate openly about changes in peer relationships and friendships with your teens.
Source: Gateway: Parenting Into the Teen Years, Issue 6, University of Illinois Extension.