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Navigating Middle School Friendships: Building Positive and Healthy Connections for Girls

Making friends can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially in middle school. Friendships and having a social life are practically the heartbeat of a middle schooler's world. And not having either can have a detrimental impact on your middle schooler's self-esteem, perception of the world around them, and confidence. While these young ladies' natural desires for acceptance, belonging, purpose, and attention are all normal and a part of growing up, it's crucial to provide them with guidance on how to achieve these in a healthy manner.


On this #middleschoolMondayz, let's discuss a few ways your middle schooler can develop healthy friendships and maintain positive relationships

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Get Involved in Activities: Participating in extracurricular activities, such as joining a sports team, a club, or a group, is an excellent opportunity to meet new people who share your interests. Developing relationships with others who have interests that are comparable to your own is an effective way to maintain ties. As parents, you should make a list of the things that your daughter is passionate about and then assist her in enrolling in activities that will help stimulate those passions. Getting active in activities, whether it is joining the school band, taking part in a theater performance, or signing up for a community sports league, offers the opportunity to connect with other people in an atmosphere that is both fun and relaxing.

 Be Yourself: Authenticity is key when making friends. Encourage middle school girls to be themselves and embrace their unique qualities and interests. Teach them to show kindness, empathy, and genuine interest in others and to be open to making friends with individuals from all walks of life. This must also go both ways. Be sure to teach your middle schooler the importance of allowing others to be themselves, even if they have quirks and traits that they don't like. They'll need to learn early that everyone won't move and think like them, and that's totally fine. Accepting and allowing others to be themselves fosters a sense of safety and trust within partnerships.

Initiate Conversations: Have your middle schooler practice initiating conversations with their classmates or peers. It doesn't hurt to speak, and it's just nice to be nice. It may feel weird speaking at first, but practicing this helps with confidence building and communication skills. Whether it's striking up a conversation about a shared interest, asking about someone's weekend plans, or complimenting someone's outfit, starting conversations can help break the ice and create opportunities for friendship. Many lifelong friendships are developed by saying a simple hello or complimenting a pretty hairstyle.

Attend Social Events: Encourage middle schoolers to attend social events such as school dances, birthday parties, or community gatherings. You can consider conversational role-playing with them beforehand to help reduce social anxiety and break them out of their shell. Connect with other parents who are sending their children to the same event and encourage your daughters to attend together. Attending events provides opportunities to meet new people in a social setting and connect with others outside the classroom. This practice can also introduce the concept and value of building a network.

Be a Good Listener: Middle school girls are generally very chatty, especially once you get them going. As a rule of thumb, remind them that conversations should be two-way and mutually beneficial. Therefore, teach them to be good listeners and demonstrate genuine interest in others. Encourage children to ask questions, express empathy, and support their classmates or peers without expecting anything in return. Being a good listener can help build trust and strengthen friendships over time.

As influencers, parents, and educators, it is our responsibility to shape the way our daughters, students, and mentees interact with others. We play a crucial role in teaching them the importance of building healthy relationships and guiding them on how to maintain them. By implementing these effective strategies, middle school girls can overcome the challenges of making new friends and establish strong connections with their peers.

We should encourage them to be patient, listen attentively, initiate conversations, attend social events, be themselves, and remain open-minded toward forming new friendships. These tools will help your middle schooler start off on an incredible journey that they can carry well into womanhood.

Let me know what strategies you're using in the comments below.


Coach Rahk


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