Social Skills: Eleventh Grade

Eleventh Grade • Friendships are still just as important to your teenager, but you may find that her group of friends is shifting. She probably has friends of the opposite sex, and if she's in a couple, it's probably incorporated within the group. Some teenagers find romance gets in the way of time to spend with platonic friends; some of her friends may complain if she's spending more time with her boyfriend than with the girls. All of this is a normal part of figuring out how to negotiate relationships.

• While some teenagers will devote themselves to one boyfriend or girlfriend, others will go out on dates with less serious intentions. It can simply be a social structure - a way to go to a movie or be escorted to a dance or party - without having any of the heft of a steady romance.

• If she's reticent when she gets home from school, it might be because you're not asking your questions about her day in a way that will elicit the best response. She'd probably enjoy gossiping about her friends, her teachers and other people she knows, but if you ask, "Where are you and Jessica going after school tomorrow?" she may interpret it as an invasion of her privacy. Instead, ask a more open-ended question, such as "What do you and Jessica have in common?"

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