Forming new relationships and friendships is difficult at any age. It can be difficult for adults with high self-esteem and background knowledge of how friendships are made. For a child or a preteen who is juggling all sorts of things in a normal adolescence, such as school, homework, family dynamics, and constant physical changes, forging new relationships both online and IRL can be tricky.
Communication and positive interactions are key factors in building and keeping relationships going. For kids these days, making friends isn’t as easy as it was for most of their parents. For instance, a couple of us at Project B3 just walked out our door and had a group of friends to play with in the neighborhood. Today, friendships are made through carefully scheduled play dates by parents when children are young. Then, they are managed through social media when a child becomes a preteen. It’s not better or worse than it was in the past, it is just different.
Project B3 found some apps that may be helpful (for a range of ages) in building relationships and encouraging valuable friendships:
- The Social Express II. 8+
This game helps kids understand the “hidden rules” of social communication and includes a social network.
- LikeSo. 11+
When kids need to tone down teen-speak for formal presentations, this app tracks words and phrases they’d rather omit.
- ConversationBuilder Teen. 13+
Through scripts and situations, kids can practice their communication choices.
- Yoursphere. 9+
This social network is a safer starting place for younger users who want to practice their digital citizenship skills.
- Kidzworld. 11+
Short articles, social networking, and self expression come together on this kid-friendly site.
- Sit With Us. 13+
Created by a teen, this app helps kids find friends (and a place at a lunch table)
The info above was found on Common Sense Media, a great media resource for families.