No one will argue that communication skills for teens are important–but it turns out they’re even more important than most have imagined and it all has to do with friendship. Studies show that friendship plays an extremely critical role in adolescence; it essentially helps teens get on a path to a healthy and successful future as adults. To develop friendships in adolescence, teens generally need the basics of communication down.
Research on friendship & communication skills for teens
Positive relationships are the foundation of a healthy life. They provide support when you cannot support yourself alone. Communication skills for teens will follow them into adulthood, allowing them to foster these positive relationships.
Studies show that positive relationships have a way of making the body and mind calm down. A few have found that when an individual interacts with those they have a strong bond with, their level of stress plummets. This is extremely beneficial for health, because stress hormones are linked to heart disease, mental health issues, and other problems.
One study has suggested that friendship was one of the keys to evolving from hunter-gather to civilization as we know it today. In the study, they studied modern hunter-gatherer groups and tried to identify what made them efficient and inefficient. It was discovered that strong bonds between non-related individuals increased a flow of information and created a more efficient group.
Dr. Andrea Migliano, lead author of the study, described the importance of friendship in the human species:
“This allows humans to co-operate and work together to build wonderful things. Our work illustrates how friendship is one of the secrets to humans’ success as a species.”
Research has also been done on the negative effects of not having social ties to people. It’s been associated with a higher risk of depression, heart failure, high blood pressure, mortality, obesity, and more.
This is why it’s so imperative to help develop communication skills for teens; they need to know how to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Helping your teen develop healthy relationships
Social interaction and making friends doesn’t come easy to every teenager. For some, it’s a huge challenge. As a parent, it’s your job to recognize when your child is struggling in an area and reach out to try and help them.
One mistake that many parents make is not teaching their teen what harmful relationships look like. If you’re pushing your teen to make friends, they may turn to anyone who will show them attention; this can lead to a teen falling in with destructive crowds that not only encourage drugs and alcohol, but also toxic relationship techniques.
Positive relationships happen when both individuals:
- Show that they care about one another
- Work to resolve issues constructively
- Communicate honestly, but not critically
- Hold a mutual understanding and respect for each other
- Share some goals and values
Toxic relationships involve:
- Frequent lying
- Putting other people down and negative attitudes
- Jealousy and manipulative techniques
- Blaming others for their own issues
Communication skills for teens are obviously critical, but sometimes you can’t provide everything that your child needs to develop them–and that’s okay. If you believe your child is struggling and needs help, it’s essential to seek out a professional for further guidance.
blueFire Wilderness is here for your family
blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, communication skills for teens, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through it. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.
For more information about building communication skills for teens at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.