Importance of Peer Relationships
The Value of Peer relationships
There is a natural shift in relationship importance from parents to peers in the teen years and that is a healthy move toward independence. It’s part of the necessary changes that happen on the journey to young adulthood. It’s not an either/or issue. Parents remain key relationships, but peers increase dramatically in importance.
Learn and Develop
Peer relationships offer a lot of opportunities to learn and develop:
- Learn more about who you are, what you value, what you might have to offer
- Develop relationship skills, from communications to empathy
- Get and provide advice
- Explore new experiences and expand horizons – everyone is exploring
- Learn from each other’s experiences – good and bad
Connections and Belonging
The phrase, “Heroes don’t go alone”, appears throughout this site for a good reason. Being a teenager and being on a 10 year journey with all its challenges is too hard to do alone. Everyone needs to feel a sense of connection and belonging, even if the connections shift and are sometimes stronger than others. Being connected to peers in some way is essential.
Connections with peers can provide support in meeting the challenges on the journey and recovering from bad experiences, setbacks, injuries, etc. And those connections provide the opportunity for you to support others.
“Peer pressure” is usually portrayed as a bad thing, but most peer pressure is positive and promotes behaviors that lead to success. Peer pressure can certainly promote unnecessarily risky behavior, but it can also protect against it.