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Forming Friendships in Middle School

five middle school girls posing in front of a screen showing a tree a mountains int he background during a visit to the academy of natural sciences in philadelphia

At Delaware Valley Friends School many of our middle school team conversations focus on academic progress, skill remediation, and character development in line with our Quaker values. However, we also recognize the need to be cognizant of the experiences our students have when it comes to developing healthy and appropriate peer relationships.

It is in this spirit, that I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight an article from Your Teen for Parents magazine called Understanding Teenage Friendships In Middle Schoolers by Jessica Lahey. Lahey is the author of a new book titled, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. This article explores the nature and characteristics of middle school students as they navigate the complexity of forming friendships and the different ways to best support them as parents. It is important to remember that middle school peer relationships are not like elementary school, high school or adult friendships. As with most things that relate to adolescents, they are truly unique. I hope you read the article and it provides some insight into what a student in the middle grades experiences as they navigate forming new friendships with the challenge of holding onto existing ones. Friendships at this level will change and evolve. A quote from the article sums this up nicely, “Some relationships will survive this process, and some will not, but every one is an important phase of the journey. We may not love every outfit our tweens try on, but it is our job to be there when they emerge from the dressing room, when they do a little twirl and ask us how grown up they have become.”

The school setting certainly plays a role in fostering healthy peer relations. Specifically at DVFS teachers design cooperative learning activities such as the STEAM units in our science program and activities that engage students in healthy debates such as the ones in our social studies classes. In addition, within our new schedule we have a Community Time that encourages students to connect and interact with each other on a daily basis. I invite more conversation around this topic and hope you find the article informative and helpful.

Read the article online --> "Understanding Teenage Friendships In Middle Schoolers"


Photo of Jason Seggern, Lower and Middle School DirectorABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jason Seggern
Lower and Middle School Director
Delaware Valley Friends School
19 E. Central Ave. | Paoli, PA 19301

Read more about Jason in the Q&A interview-->

Posted by Jason Seggern in In the Classroom, Middle School, Friends on Tuesday April, 24, 2018
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Delaware Valley Friends School
19 E. Central Avenue, Paoli, Pennsylvania 19301
Phone: 610.640.4150
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