The importance of friendships for young people

Teenagers and young people need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance by their peers.

teen friendsLearning positive friendship skills helps young people feel happier and more confident. Friendships can also be great support during tough times and can offer protection against negative peer relationships.

Reaching beyond the family

As a parent you must understand and respect that while your son or daughter is a teenager, they are starting to work out who they are beyond the family boundary.

Shared interests, attitudes, social struggles and similarities with their own situation are some of the reasons young people reach out and connect with with friends.

Forming connections will help your son or daughter learn about trust, respect, acceptance and intimacy. These are important concepts for them to understand as they enter adulthood.

Being a good friend

It’s good for your son or daughter’s happiness to have a group of good friends supporting them, but to learn to be one as well.

We learn and form a lot of our ideas about relationships and friendships from our parents, so how you model these is important.

Being open, kind and friendly to others is also something that can be picked up and demonstrating strong friendships yourself will all have a big influence on your family.

Take an active interest in their friendships by asking and listening to what is going on with them.

Encourage your son or daughter to be a good friend

There are number of ways you can teach your son or daughter to be a good friend that will stand to them for their life of meeting new people and forming new relationships.

  • Showing respect to others and they are more likely to be respectful to you.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to nurture their friendships through kindness, respect and being supportive.
  • Let them know the occasional fallout between friends is natural and discuss ways to work through conflict.
  • Illustrate that forgiveness can help forge stronger friendships.
  • Sometimes young people do not realise that all friendships are not forever. People change over their lifetime and friends that your child is close to now, might not be the friendships they have in years to come and that’s OK.
  • If your son of daughter isn’t sure the friendship is good for them, they should feel confident to withdraw from that person. Get them to talk it through with you or someone they trust to give them to confidence to do this.

On yer bike for ReachOut Ireland

On Sunday, 22 May, the Ballaghadereen Cycling Club are hosting a cycle for all fitness levels and raising funds for and

cyclistThere’ll be three routes around Ballaghaderreen,
Co Roscommon on 22 May.

It costs €25 to enter and you can also get sponsorship to do the race as well.

Different routes

10 K for families, 50 K leisure, and 100 K for the fitter cyclists.

When: Sunday, 22 May

Where: Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon

Further details will be posted here, so keep an eye out and get training.

Follow the Ballaghaderreen Cycling Club on Facebook.


We would like to thank a huge number of supporters getting on board with the Ballaghadereen Cycle.

  • Roscommon County Board
  • Mayo Association in Dublin and Galway
  • Spar Ireland
  • Toweys Topaz

Supporting teens through the Leaving Cert or Junior Cert

If you’re a parent that has a son or daughter heading for the Leaving or Junior Cert, it can feel like the whole family is involved.

Note books and pens scattered over a deskIn a way you all are, involved that is.

There are ways you can support your son or daughter getting prepared for and doing their exams.

1. Encourage breaks

Breaks are important. Make sure they take regular breaks, if they are in fact really hitting the books.

2. Try not to make threats

Students can put themselves under a lot of stress, so be careful not to add to it by laying out the worst case scenario if they don’t do well in their exams.

3. Be sparing with incentives

Having something to look forward to is a nice thing, but is not necessarily an effective motivator.

4. Making a meal of it

Try to provide meals at regular times so they can be scheduled into their study timetable. If they’re in the zone they may want to eat at their desk, which is OK every now and then.

It’s a penalty for all the family, but don’t have junk food around the house for the next two months anyway. Make sure they know to keep hydrated too.

>>Read eating well for more.

5. The importance of sleep

This cannot be underestimated. Sleep is necessary to refresh and restore the body and mind. Not only that but the exams are a long way off, and they are a bit of an endurance test.

Regular exercise and daylight need to be worked into the study routine. Limit screen time before bed and encourage good night’s sleep each night.

6. Ask if they need a hand

When help isn’t asked for or needed it can become a bone of contention. Make sure to ask first before making any ‘helpful suggestions’.

7. Help them deal with stress

If you can see that they’re struggling a bit, talk to them about it. Try to work out some solutions together, but let them air what’s going on first.

>>Read stress for more.

8. Manage your own expectations

It is really important that you manage your own expectations and also try not to project negative feelings you have about exams or school.

9. More than the results

Encouraging self-compassion and good self-esteem can help young people realise they are more than their exam results if things don’t go their way throughout the exams.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Sign up for our newsletter