Children, Relationships & Friendships: Support in York, Manchester & online.
What are issues with Relationships & Friendships?
The ability to develop relationships and friendships is not something you are born with. It is a social skill that your child or teenager will nurture as they grow up.
A child or teenager who struggles to build relationships or friendships may have a small group of friends and lots of acquaintances. These friendships or relationships may constantly change, whether it be on a surface level, or based on physical attributes such as moving house, rather than other values such as personalities or shared interests.
Symptoms of issues with Relationships & Friendships
If your child or teenager struggles to build long lasting relationships or friendships, they may have poor emotional awareness, or intimacy issues which can be displayed in a variety of ways:
Short lasting friendships with a new best friend every week
Distant and keeping people at arm’s length
Disengaged in social activities
Difficult to read social cues from their peers or taken advantage of
Lashing out over small events and situations
Have experienced bullying
How to support building Relationships & Friendships
Some children or teenagers do just have trouble making friends, they might just be unique and have their own interaction styles and interests. Remember that is okay!
However, if your child is having emotional difficulties, there are some things you can do to support them.
Speak with their teachers to see what support they can provide. They will have a strong understanding into the different friendships and playground politics and be able to suggest peers your child or teen might be able to relate to and find a common ground.
You can also help them to find peers with common interests, find a club or activity that they will enjoy attending with other like-minded children or teens. School clubs are a great place to start.
Set up a playdate or meeting with other children that you can attend to help supervise and encourage them to connect and play. If you have a teenager, encourage them to have friends over. Don’t put pressure on them by hovering around them all, by making yourself scarce, they will know you are there if needed but won’t be conscious of you watching their every move!
When to get help for issues with Relationships & Friendships
If you are worried about your child or teenager’s ability to develop lasting relationships or friendships, it may be time to seek help. A professional can teach skills such as emotional awareness, or how to engage and develop emotional relationships.
We understand seeking therapy can be daunting for both you and your child and that taking the first step can be hard. We have a team of professional and friendly child therapists who can work together with you and your child to design a bespoke and flexible treatment which works best for them. Our children’s therapy services are available for children and teenagers aged 5 to 17, at our clinics in York, Manchester and online.
Please get in touch using the form below to find out more about how we can help.