As our kids move into their teens, there seems no better arbiter for maturity than being a part of a big group of friends.
Establishing a friendship, as we all know, has its own challenges. One on one, we create and maintain a dynamic with a friend. But when we begin to navigate within a circle of people who hang out together on a regular basis, the dynamic within that friendship pulsates with individual personalities and interests and ideas and agendas. Teen friendships can be even harder.
For the past eight years, my daughter has been a part of a large group of friends she knows through the local theater company. As they have pushed into their teen years, that group has solidified. As in most group friendships, there is a commonality. In this case it’s love of acting and musicals. But also in the case of most group friendships, there is diversity. Each individual has a very distinct personality — and because they are theatrically inclined they tend to be rather big personalities in their own way.
Not altogether devoid of the occasional hurt feeling and misunderstanding, this group has matured into a thoughtful, supportive, dependable, and really fun group of people.
The following is a list of 10 tips for teenagers navigating within a group dynamic. Shall we?
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