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Making & keeping friends

At a Glance: 4 Common Social Challenges for High-Schoolers

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Some students form lifetime friendships in high school. But if your teen lacks certain social skills, he may have problems making friends. Learn how social challenges can affect your high-schooler’s feelings.

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Social Challenges: How They Affect Feelings in High School
How can social challenges affect your teen’s feelings? These scenarios might give you an idea. Understanding what your high-schooler’s going through can make it easier to communicate with him.
1. Making Conversation
What it might look like: Some guys from school invite your child to the movies. He’s quiet when they go out for pizza after. When one of them asks him what he thought of the film, he mumbles, “It was OK.”
How it may feel: Your child may worry that he can’t keep up with the conversation and that he’ll seem weird.
2. Handling Competition
What it might look like: Your child spends his whole time at the gym challenging guys to free-throw contests. He picks on them when they refuse, but explodes if they beat him.
How it may feel: Your child may feel angry when he gets turned down and disappointed in his skills.
3. Dealing with Embarrassment
What it might look like: Your child is asked to solve a geometry problem at the board. He knows he won’t get it right so he writes “MATH IS DUMB.” Everyone laughs, but he gets detention.
How it may feel: Your child may feel bad for getting into trouble and stressed out because his trouble with math was nearly exposed.
4. Feeling Insecure
What it might look like: A classmate asks your child if he wants to go with her to a college fair, without parents. But your child is insecure and says he has other plans that night.
How it may feel: Your child may feel anxious about doing things by himself and embarrassed over being so reliant on his family. He also may be nervous around classmates in a new setting.
Graphic of Social Challenges: How they affect feelings in High School
Graphic of Social Challenges: How they affect feelings in High School

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About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright

A veteran writer and editor for parenting magazines and websites, Lexi Walters Wright has a master’s degree in library and information science and is proud to serve families at Understood.org.

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Reviewed by Bob Cunningham, M.A., Ed.M. Feb 12, 2014 Feb 12, 2014

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