Friendships between teenage girls can offer companionship, fun and a good support network as well as teaching the benefits of loyalty, trust and teamwork. Parents can encourage friendship by providing opportunities for their teen daughters to have friends around or allowing them to go out as a group.
Teenage Girls and Friendships with Boys
Platonic friendships with boys can be greatly beneficial to teen girls. Males have a different perspective on life and can be a good sounding board for females with boyfriend troubles. This is particularly important if girls have grown up without brothers. Having males as friends can teach teen girls to relax around them and understand what interests a male and how they think.
Friendships and Cliques and Teenage Girls
While friendships are vital for a teen girl’s emotional health, cliques can be devastating. Cliques are found in every social group and often involve exclusivity due to fashion, beauty, race or sporting ability. Girls in cliques can be exceptionally cruel to those on the outside and may cut them off and refuse to sit with them or talk to them.
While it is not wise for parents to interfere and it is not healthy for a pair of brand name jeans to determine worth, there is a balance. Don’t allow a teenager to be ostracised by making her dress the way you want. Let her have a certain amount of freedom and provide a few basic clothing items that are a popular brand.
Hormone Levels and Teen Girl Friendships
Teenage girls develop at wildly different rates which can cause rifts in friendships that began at a younger age. This is commonly seen when one girl has almost fully developed a woman’s body while the other is still a flat-chested tomboy. If you see this happening with your daughter, don’t fight the process but suggest activities and interests where she can meet new friends who are in a similar situation.
Friendships take Effort and Work
All friendships require maintenance but those between teens often require extra work. While friends may be intensely loyal to each other, there is often a tendency to be spiteful and gossip behind each other’s backs. If this happens, encourage your daughter to confront her friends gently and tell them how the gossip got back to her. If she explains how hurtful it was, the girls involved will often offer a genuine apology.
Friendships are vital for all ages and need to be nurtured and developed. Teenage girls have the ability to form enduring friendships and can be a great support to each other as they mature and grow into young women.
Reference: Why Girls Talk by Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon, McGraw-Hill, 2005