Expanding a teen’s circle of friends

October 18, 2011

From elsewhere in The Post: If a 13-year-old girl only wants to hang out with her best friend, should her parents be concerned? One parent facing this predicament asks columnist Marguerite Kelly for advice.

“Our child, the youngest of three, is almost 14 and a great kid who excels at school, plays soccer and basketball and has a few friends as well. However, her best friend — who is a great kid, too — has other interests, and she also travels with her family quite often. When that happens, our daughter just lies around the house, watching TV or using her computer but she seldom calls her other friends or tries to get together with them,” says the letter writer.

Encouraging this teen to find more activities she enjoys, Kelly says, will naturally help her to find more friends.

“If she’s interested in cooking, for instance, you might treat her to a class in Chinese or Mexican cuisine so she can learn a skill, earn compliments and meet some other young teens who like to cook, too. If a child is in the right setting — whether she’s in a cooking class or running cross-country or playing in the school band — she will meet other teens who like what she likes and that’s what she needs most. A shared interest is the basis of every strong friendship,” Kelly says.

Kelly will host a live chat Thursday at noon. Submit questions now.

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