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Helping your child cultivate good friendships

17 May 2018

Over the years, your child will have learnt a lot – both good and bad – from observing your friendships. They will have listened to what you say about your friends, watched how you treat them, and seen what friendship really means to you.

So, as a parent, it always pays to use your experience to teach your child what good friendship means. Teach them not only how to choose and develop positive friendships, but also how to value and keep them.

Here are a few ideas that you could think about sharing with your teen:

Treat others as you wish to be treated

By showing respect to others, they are more likely to be respectful to you.

Show your friends that you value them

Actions speak louder than words, so encourage your child to nurture their friendships through being kind, respectful and supportive.


Teaching them forgiveness can help them to forge stronger friendships.

Not all friendships are forever

Everyone changes over their lifetime. The friends your child has now might not serve them well in years to come. Reassure them that this is okay.

Trust your instincts

If your child has a bad feeling about a friendship, or isn’t sure that it’s good for them, they should feel confident to stop being friends with that person. Encouraging them to talk it through with you or someone they trust can give them the confidence to take action.

By realising what it takes to be a good friend, your child is more likely to build a strong and supportive peer network. This is key to their wellbeing and their ability to deal effectively with challenges that may arise during their teenage years, when their friends really count.

Reach out logo

ReachOut is Australia's leading online health website for young people and their parents. Working with registered counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals ReachOut provides online self-help tools that are used by over 1.5 million Australians each year. A valuable resource for many parents, teens and young adults.

If your child, or anyone you know is having issues with self-esteem, confidence or mental or physical health, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, personal situation or needs.

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