We know at ReachOut Ireland that a lot of young people have some trouble developing and navigating friendships as they grow up.
It can also be difficult to watch as a parent, when you’re a bit removed from what’s going on and want the best for your son or daughter.
Adolescence and the early twenties is a time full of transitions for a young person.
During this period they’ll start at new schools, maybe more than once, they may start college, move out of home and/or region and also begin their working life.
They will meet different people all the way through these changes and need to be able to manage and form different types of relationships.
To help with this, if possible, encourage your son/daughter to try new things, go to new places or to accept invitations to parties or social events.
Keeping an open mind helps to meet and make new friends and gain valuable experience.
As a parent, you can have a strong influence on this. Take a look at friendships for more.
These days it can seem like young people are online either on their phones or computers all the time. There is a fear this is damaging their ability to socially connect.
Young people we have spoken with actually no longer see the difference between their online and offline worlds. What they’re doing most when they’re connected is communicating with each other.
Find out more about the sites and apps young people are using to stay connected.
It may be a dramatic change to what we know and understand, but encouraging positive relationships online and offline with a balance of both can increase a young person’s sense of esteem and wellbeing.