I’ve worked with teens for 30 years, in group homes and psychiatric hospitals, in youth ministries and as a teacher in several schools, and there is one social dynamic that always seems to rise within circles of friends-
It’s called teen drama.
Ah, teen drama.
There are all kinds of situations that can arise among teen social circles, and I’m guessing you can recall your own teen wonder years and reflect on some vivid teen drama memories too.
As parents, we can help our kids navigate these difficult and challenging circumstances, while also identifying those kids who may often be the instigator of such storms, positioning themselves at the center of it all. I call them the “Pot Stirrers”.
As my girl is finishing up middle school this year, I’m relieved to report she has remained in a very tight and small circle of friends that have had NO drama, or instigators of any kind. Whew! Lucky me- and lucky her.
But there’s still time. She has high school to contend with, and well…
I’d bet my pot of coffee, my girl will fall into some teen drama there.
I decided to write about my insights in working with teens and this dynamic in many social circles over on Parent.Co. In my article, I share specific characteristics of the “Pot Stirrers” and I offer advice on how we can better parent our kids in dealing with these difficult friendships. It’s a tough topic to address, but I believe it’s needed.
My hope is that we can arm our kids with awareness and equip them with the knowledge and understanding in how they can best take care of themselves and not get pulled into the dysfunction and sometimes destructive drama that may be quite dangerous for our kids and their well being. We need to keep vigilant in how our kids are communicating with their peers and be watchful in our own teen’s behavior. These teen years in middle school and high school (and even beyond) are where our kids are learning some valuable life lessons, and how to handle unhealthy friendships is surely one of them.
Join me over at Parent.Co HERE, and let me know your thoughts on the social issues kids face in the throes of adolescence and how you best manage it all. I’m sure many of us can identify these people in our adult lives as well, and the challenges we face in being their friend.