This week we host a special guest as we talk about what friendship is, how important it is to us, the many benefits of friendships and how to cultivate better friendships. Mariyah Ponto, one of Maddies best friends joins us for this discussion and for a touching question and answer session between the two of them.
We learn about the surprising health benefits of friends. We also learn about the support structure that friends form and the social development that comes from having strong friendships. Join us for another great podcast.
Insightful podcast by informative pope’s insights into a podcast network.:
welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges. Okay.:
The teenage years.:
Welcome to insight into teens. This is episode 23 friends. I’m your host, Joseph Raylynn and my warm and charming cohost, Madison Waylon. Hi everyone. How are you doing today? Madison? There you good? So we have a special guest today. Do we not? Yes we do. How about you introduce our guest?:
Well, my, well, our special guest today is one of my best friends, Mariah Panto.:
Hello, how are you doing today? Good. Thank you for joining us today. Appreciate it. So today we will be talking about friendship. Yup. I think it’s important for everyone to have friends. I think there’s a lot of a benefit that comes from having friends that you can turn to that can support you, that you can enjoy time with. Uh, so what we’re going to do today is we’re going to talk about what it means to be a friend. We’re going to talk about why teenage friendships are important. Uh, we’ll look at some of the benefits, uh, of teenage friendships, some of which I wasn’t even aware of until I did the research myself. Uh, there’s a surprising number of health benefits to, to having friends. Really? There are, yeah. We’ll talk about those. Then we’ll talk about tips for parents for talking to your teens about friendships and then we’ll do a little bit of question and answer at the end there. Yeah. So, uh, we ready to go? Yup. You Ready, Maya? All right.:
So for our definition today, I went to parents reach out. It’s an Australian site that had probably the most clear definition. They define friendships as friendships to a teenager are important on many levels from being a support network to providing both positive and negative influence. Learning to start, change or maintain friendships is a skill teenagers all need to learn and work on. As a parent, taking the time to understand how your child is experiencing their world and knowing how to remain connected can help them to navigate these relationships successfully and independently. So friendships need to be understood by teens as well as parents. I can see that. So I think, I think that’s pretty clear. Pretty much. So the next thing we’re going to talk about is why teenage friendships are important.:
So this comes from a website called raising children.net. Again, another Australian one. Um, since we, for teenagers, good friends can be like a personal support group. Friends and friendships give teenagers the following. I need to get your guys’ thoughts on this. Okay. A sense of belonging, a feeling of being valued in help with developing confidence. How do you, how do you think your friends do for you regarding that, Mattie?:
Well, let’s see. Um, I definitely think belonging, giving you:
more confidence level is definitely something that my friends give me. Cause like, like when I’m around my friends I feel like I’m not alone. Like whenever my friends aren’t there, I just feel like I’m alone. No one where like no one really wants to talk to me. I basically feel like I’m invisible like I’ve said before. But when I’m with my friends I feel included and I feel sense of belonging.:
Okay. The next thing they talk about is a sense of security and comfort that comes from being with others going through similar experiences. Mariah, do you get that kind of feeling from your friends?:
Do you have any like shared? I know difficulties. Usually it’s, it’s, I don’t want to say negative, but usually it’s the challenges that we go through where our friends tend to shine the most. You have a lot of shared experiences like that with your friends?:
Not really much.:
Okay. Do you feel as though you go through things and it would be nice to have friends that had shared experiences? Yeah. Yeah. It does help. It does help. The next thing on the list that they have here is, uh, information about the changes that puberty brings and what’s going on physically and emotionally now. Okay. Maddie, you and I have already had a two part series on this, so I think we all know your thoughts on this one. Yep. Um, I’ll turn this one over to Mariah again. Going through puberty in and all the challenges that it comes with. Have you found a sense of support or anything that comes from your other friends who go through that?:
Um, Maddy because she talks about when we were in school, we always like sit at like recess at the wall and when you talk about like stuff like we’re going on, like stuff like that. So yeah.:
Besides Manny, are there any other kids that you confide in with? [inaudible] cause I know it’s a very private subject to talk about:
our other friend Tara.:
Okay, well that’s good. So there, there is some shared, uh, burden. We’ll say, you know, where you’re not dealing with it all yourself, right? Uh, let’s see. A way to experiment with different values, roles and identities and ideas. Now, this is something that, um, it’s kind of vague in the way it’s worded, but it allows you to take, I guess what they’re saying is, you know, you can talk about how you’d respond to a certain situation. So for instance, if, if you got into an argument with a friend and you can talk that argument out with other people, it might teach you how to respond. Do you find Maddy that, that you do similar things like that?:
I mean, yeah, like whenever me and Lindsay gone do find the morning, me and Mariah would normally talk about it and I’d eventually get some of my anger on the night calmed down and eventually to sa. And then by that time I would be able to figure out the best way to respond to Lindsey and about the fight. I’m in. The last fight we had, which was a little while ago, I had decided to give Lindsey a little gift that I made to get her happy. And eventually we did make up. And I mean, like with our normal fights, we normally just like fight in the morning makeup in the afternoon. But Mariah, she definitely helps. I mean like having her there and having her, allowing her, allowing me to tell her how I’m feeling. It’ll bounce ideas off of. Yeah. It feels, it comes to me down and teaches me how to respond to Lindsay. That’s good. That’s good.:
So the next one, I don’t want anyone to cringe at this one, but uh, experience in getting along with people the opposite sex. Now that doesn’t mean dating or anything like that. That just means, you know, girls naturally flock together with girls, but you have to interact with boys at some point in time. Right. Do you guys wind up talking to each other about, uh, you know, how the boys are acting or how they’re treating each other?:
Yup. I can definitely say we do that a lot.:
Okay. How about a, how about you Mariah?:
we do. We have, do you guys both share the same idea of your, your same opinion, I guess, of boys? Yep. Yep. Yeah. Okay. I think I know what that opinion is. Yeah.:
We won’t go with the other gender.:
Ah, okay. So they also say it’s a chance to experience early romantic relationships. We’re not going to talk about that one I guess. Huh? Just to just the looks on your faces and we’ll skip this one. Yep. Okay. We’ll throw it out there just as a food for thought then. Yep. The last thing we have here was a social group. Yeah. Friends or a social group to do things with. Especially things that are different from what families do. So as a family we do a lot of different things together. Sometimes it’s fun stuff, sometimes it’s sort of mandatory family things. But you know, you get the together with your friends, you get to do other things. What are some of the things that you like to do with your friends? Right.:
Um, like do Krav Scott to the park. Play basketball.:
Well I normally have either my friends come to my house or I go to my friend’s house and we normally like find something there to play with that we both like to do. Like whenever I’m with Lindsay, we play with her lbs. And like we also like play with all the other toys and like when people are at my house, we like do things there. And like this one time we did go a trick or treating and that was fun. So I hope to do that again.:
Okay. Yeah, that was kind of fun. I remember doing that. Uh, okay. Let’s move on to the benefits of teen friendship.:
So this one comes from the Newport Academy. Ah, it’s a social connection such as teen friendship, create a host of positive benefits that include the following. And here’s where we get to some of the health things, a higher functioning immune system that you know that:
no, I did not.:
So because you’re more active, I guess it, it helps to stimulate the ability for your immune system to perform better point a better self esteem. Would you agree with that? Yup. Um, how about you Mariah? Does it help your self esteem to be, to hang out with your friends and add friends? There’s a lot of, uh, uh, I guess we’ll say mean people out there that tend to tend to drag people down and they’re the ones that you, the caustic ones you try to stay away from. Yup. So having, having a support system with friends to, to show you who you really are and uh, to help lift you up and feel good about yourself, I think is very important.:
it lowers the rates of anxiety and depression. How do we, with that? Um, we had our whole podcast on depression there and one of the things that you pointed out with dealing with any kind of depression or anxiety has been, you know, your network or friends. How significant is that? You know, we’re several podcasts in now. Is that still a significant contributor?:
Yep. It definitely is. It’s honestly, when I’m with my friends, I definitely feel very happy and calm and I don’t ever feel like m like if, and I don’t actually, and because of that pause, all that positive energy, I really don’t feel, um, when I’m with them, I don’t feel as negative as I would normally be.:
Right, right. Well, and I know in your case, Manny, that you know whether or not you get to see your friends at school or at Camp, you’re entire day hinges on that. So that’s, that’s significant in how much your friends mean to you. So I think, I think that’s a good indicator. Friends can make us happier, more optimistic. We already talked about that they can contribute to having a longer life expectancy. And I think that’s largely a residual effect of the other physical effects that, you know, being around positive people that accept you for who you are and allow you to, you know, embrace your yourself entirely, uh, really helps you to live a healthier lifestyle. The, provide a stronger emotional support regulation skills. So as you face more challenges, your friends help you to cope with those challenges.:
I do agree with that.:
Mariah, do you find that when you run into situations where you’re, you’re facing some kind of emotional issue that, that you turn to your friends for support?:
Not really all the time, but sometimes.:
Okay. Does it help:
Okay, well that’s, that’s a good sign. Friendships, social connections with friends help improve your cognitive functions, you know, you know what I mean? We mean by that. Nope. So basically when you have interactions with your friends, it helps you to think clear. Like your friends tend to challenge you in social situations. Either they’ll ask questions or they will spark your imagination or you know, just things that make your brain think more and create more connections in the brain. And, and that again contributes to a lot of the other physical effects that it has here. The last thing that they have here is they help to generate more empathy and feelings of trust towards others.:
Yup. I agree with that one.:
How about you, Mariah? Do you feel that being with your friends allows you to develop trust in your friendships? Yeah. Okay. Well that’s good. So that was all we had for that section. So the next one that we’ll come back with here is tips for talking to your teens about friendship. And I’d like to get your guys’ thoughts on that.:
This comes from a website called very well family and it’s just a list of bullet points. So the first one says everyone’s allowed to have many friends and many types of friends. So I guess this is a good time to ask some of the pointed questions. So Madison, how many friends do you say you’d have right now?:
let’s see you:
just a rough count. You don’t have to give me a roll call.:
Um, I’d say about off the top of my head right now. Seven Sharon, I’m sure I have more, but sevens all I can really count right now.:
How about you, Maria?:
Three or more.:
Three or more. Okay. And that, you know, it sounds like they’re pretty tight groups when there’s the numbers of that small. I’ll be honest, I don’t have that many friends, but my definition of friendship, it’s probably a little bit different and it’s changed significantly over the years. I have more associates than I have friends or shows, associates or people that I, you know, I’ll do things with socially or, or professionally. But friends are the people that I tend to hold close. Like, I don’t call a lot of people, friends, you know, friends or the people in my definition at least friends are the people that you can count on, you know, I can call when I need something or they can call me when they need something. Friends are the type of people that I would trust my children with and again, that that definition’s changed after becoming a parent. So, uh, probably very different than what you guys consider friends. Honesty is important in a friendship. Would you guys agree with that? Yup. Yup. We’re how we’re how Mariah, how would you deal with a, a friend who was dishonest with you?:
Yeah, tell them, be like honest. I’m like laugh around judge because I’m not the kind of friend that does that.:
Madison, how would you deal with a friend who was dishonest?:
Well, I tell them that I was one of their close. If I’m one of their close friends, they can trust me with anything they want to talk about. I mean, if they didn’t want to talk about it, I wouldn’t force it out. But if it wasn’t something that, if it was something that wasn’t that important or if it was something that it was a problem with them, I’d want to know so I could try and fix it.:
That’s interesting. Uh, both of you had a, uh, sympathetic approach to a dishonest friend and I think that’s very interesting. It’s very telling of your characters. A friend sometimes hurt each other, but they can always apologize if forgive each other. Now, Madison, you’ve told me that you’ve,:
Arguments in the past with your friends and how you’ve dealt with that. Ryan, how would you typically deal with a friend who either hurt you or you hurt them and didn’t intend to do to do that?:
Well, me and terror when we were swinging home together, like at her house or my house, sometimes we can fight, but afterwards we, um, ended up appalling. Josie to each other or terrorist brother Bryan, he fixes the fight.:
Okay. So little outside intervention doesn’t hurt in those situations. And you know, we all fight all, we all fight with our friends, we fight with our family. It’s, it’s all a part of human nature. So how we deal with that afterwards I think is what’s important when you choose to be, when you choose to be your friend, who you choose. Wow, I really can’t read today. Can I? Who you choose to be your friend is important. It is essential that you choose. It’s okay. I know it’s essential that you choose wisely and that you benefit from the friendship. So when choosing friends, I guess this is the real question here, when choosing friends, what do you Madison look for in a friend?:
Well, what I look for as someone who would be there for me, second son. Um, I’d always, I’d also want to like find that a friend would be, I’d also want to find a friend who could trust me with some of their problems and cause I’d be, I’d be very understanding. I wouldn’t want to laugh at them or tell them something that they didn’t want to do. I’m not that kind of friend. And, um, I just make sure they trust me. They’re a good person and they wouldn’t be one of those tall, sick friends who wouldn’t really care about you and just go behind your back.:
Okay. Well, Ryan, what did you look for in a friend?:
I look for honesty, caring, and a sweet friend. Because if you didn’t have a friend in Nava, all those types, then you’d probably be in more fights.:
Yeah, I agree. You know, it’s funny as a short, a story that I had shared with Madison a few weeks back,:
uh, regarding friendship,:
the best friend that I had in school growing up, we had actually met on a playground at one point in time and he was making fun of me and he and I got into a fight and after that fight we became best friends and we were friends for 15 years after that. So it’s kind of funny how you don’t find friends, friends tend to find you on a certain circumstances. It takes many learned skills to make and maintain a friendship and also takes many skills to end a friendship. So what skills do you think it takes to make a friendship, Matty?:
I think trust, kindness and just an overall view of how good the person is. Just a positive look on the person.:
Okay. I’ll buy that. Just for the record, I’m going to skip some more here. Is that okay? Okay. It can take time to make a good friend. It’s often worth the effort because a good friend can be a confidant to help a teenager with stress or problems. Brian, how easy is it for you to make friends? Like how long does it take you to make friends after meeting someone?:
It takes me a little while because I go really talk much. I’m really shy.:
Okay. Now there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think if you’re going to make a friend and you’re going to have someone who’s going to play a crucial role in your life, like we talk about here, I think it’s something that kinda takes time. You don’t just make friends overnight. Right. And that’s an important role. It’s kind of like interviewing for a job. You know, if I interview somebody for a job opening than I have, I don’t hire the first guy that walks in and kind of talked to a couple of different people and try and find the best person and friends sort of are the same. Or you don’t go through a friend interview, but you know you’re exposed to different people and you want to make sure that you’re choosing people of good character to be your friends.:
A good friendship will make you feel good about yourself. It’s okay for friends to outgrow each other. People change as they find new interests and people to hang out with as they mature. Now I mentioned that because you guys are moving into a new school in the coming year, so some of you may be friends with underclassmen who aren’t going to be in the new school and you’re going to be exposed to a lot of new kids that you’ve not met before. So this is kind of a cautionary tale here to kind of expand. Don’t be afraid to expand your friendship pool and make new friends. Unfortunately you’re going to be exposed to more people who probably are, are that caustic type that we’ve talked. So it’s going to be important to sort of stay away from those guys, but find the people that accept you for who you are and they’re the ones that are going to be friends through the next four to six years in school. So anyway, just my little philosophy there,:
to move on to our next segment where we’re going to do a little bit of question and answer. So some of these we’ve asked already, so we’ll skip the ones that we’ve already talked about. Let me ask you, Madison, how often do you see or talk to your friends?:
Well now in the summer I’m able to see like my friend Lindsay often like at least three days a week because she only goes like three days a week.:
Oh, you mean Lindsey that lives literally right behind this? Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. It’s hard to see her, Huh?:
Yeah, I’m able to see like my friends who are my neighbors very often like Delana, Lindsey and Matt. Well, I haven’t been able to see Mandy in a while, but I’m pretty sure I’d be able to get her to play late with all of us eventually. Right. I able to see more. I know, I mean, since me and Mariah go to the same school now and we’re going to go into the middle school together, we’ll probably see each other often. But for the summer we don’t really see each other often. Almost like we call each other like now, like now and my friends at summer camp, I normally just see them at summer camp, but I’m in contact with some of my friends there.:
Okay. I’m going to ask you the same question, Maria. How often do you see or talk to your friends?:
Um, often because I always talked to Tara on, on Instagram, on chat and Maddie often too.:
No, that’s interesting that you pointed out that, that that generates, I think a follow up question on my part. How important are social media outlets for keeping in touch with your friends?:
Well, some of them are important. Like you should only talk to the people that you really know.:
Sure. Yeah. But do you find that to be a primary way for you to keep in touch with your friends?:
Yeah, because Ma Tara, she doesn’t have her phone activated it. So that’s like the only way we can like get in touch with each other and talk.:
Oh, okay. Cause I’ll tell you, I like the way that teenagers contact each other today is very different than when I was a teenager. I mean I was lucky if I could use the house phone, you know, you had one phone line at the time, you didn’t have this personal communication that kids have now with instant messaging or cell phones or anything like that. So when I wanted to talk to my friends, I literally had to leave the house and go see them if I wanted to do something with my friends. And, and uh, it’s very different now with digital technology. Madison, do you have any friends that you don’t see often but correspond with through social media online? Obviously Mariah does:
well, yeah. But like I don’t actually have actual social media, but mommy always keeps in touch with my friends because most of my, some of my friends are like the kids from my children, from my mom, from my mom’s coworkers. And they keep in touch with each other and we’re able to like see each other at least twice or maybe even lucky three times a year. We’re able to see each other multiple times a year. I mean like I’m not able to keep in contact with them, but we still like hang out and stuff. Okay, cool. And it’s always nice to see them.:
And the last one here that we haven’t asked is how easy is it for you to make friends?:
I’d say it’s sort of easy, but a little harder as well.:
Sort of easy. But you’re reluctant to do so. How about you Mariah? How easy is it for you to make friends?:
Basically like this is something that Madea said. Okay, that’s fair.:
I’m not wanting to make friends real easy either. I’m not a particularly social individual, although people seem to want to talk to me for some reason. And in public places. And I still don’t understand that same here. So that was all the questions that I had. So I’m going to turn it over to you, Maddie and let you ask Mariah some questions when we come back.:
So I think the first one we’ve already answered, but I want to just ask it again just for the audience. So Mariah, how many other friends do you have besides me? Three know. Two. Okay. So the next question is how close would you say we are? We are pretty close. Close speaking. Let me know each other for a few years.:
Okay. I know you’re only about two feet apart right now.:
Oh my God. So, um, I’m just gonna go straight to the other question and Bot I’ll ask the yet. I’ll ask the next question after I go to this question. Just so that since you already mentioned it, so about how long do you think we’ve been friends? Like about how many? Five years? Cause second through sixth grade.:
Wow, that’s a long time. Wow. Let’s see. Same answer I would give. That’s good to know. Both of you guys have the same math equation there.:
All right, so the next question is what do you remember about the time we first met? I know I was in second grade. I just don’t really remember because it’s been a while. Well, I think I can remember a little bit like I remember me and me, you and Tara because Tara went to our school in second grade, but then go the next couple of years. I remember that we would walk along like the pathway a couple times and talk. So I think that’s one of something to point out.:
Fond memories, right? Yeah. Fond memories. Okay.:
And my final question is what are two, which I think we already answered. What activities do you like to do with your friends? I’m like fuck devotees. Okay. That pretty much,:
yeah. Not many of us want to do boring activities, right? Yeah. Don’t worry about it. Hey you, I think that’s all the questions I put down. Okay. Uh, Brian, did you have any questions that you wanted to ask me or Maddie? No. Okay. Well I think that was it for our questions this week. And our talking points. We’ll come back and get closing remarks and Sheldon’s and I turn it over to you Manny.:
So for everyone in the audience, I just want to say it’s definitely important to have friends because along with all the health benefits that we’ve gone over to help you have a more positive outlook on life and you’ll be happier. And if, and I think it would be more important to have friends because you’ll be able to talk about things you wouldn’t normally want to be able to talk to other people about. You have a good trust bond with them and basically find friends who will be there through thick and thin with you and instead of make fun of you for one of your problems.:
Okay. Shout outs.:
I think I want to give a shout out to Mariah because this is the first time she joined us. I know she’s not, I know she’s shy, but like doing this podcast I think is definitely, um, I definitely want to thank you for joining this podcast. It probably be a lot boring. It would be more boring without you.:
Indeed. I think you did a fantastic job and I want to thank you for taking the time to come and sit with this and do the podcast as well. I hope you found it interesting. Not Entertaining. It was fun. Good. I’m glad. Yeah, so I think that was all we had for this week. Right? And uh, we’ll be back next week with another great podcast by everyone [inaudible] next week.:
- My co-host, the warm and charming Madison Whalen
- Our special guest, Madison’s friend Mariah Ponto
What is friendship
- Parent Reach Out – https://parents.au.reachout.com/skills-to-build/wellbeing/friendships-and-teenagers
- Friendships to a teenager are important on many different levels – from being a support network to providing both positive and negative influence. Learning to start, change or maintain friendships is a skill teenagers all need to learn and work on. As a parent, taking the time to understand how your child is experiencing their world, and knowing how to remain connected, can help them to navigate these relationships successfully and independently.
Why teenage friendships are important
- Raising Children.Net – https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/behaviour/peers-friends-trends/teen-friendships
- For teenagers, good friends can be like a personal support group. Friends and friendships give teenagers:
- a sense of belonging, a feeling of being valued and help with developing confidence
- the sense of security and comfort that comes from being with others going through similar experiences
- information about the changes that puberty brings, and what’s going on physically and emotionally
- a way to experiment with different values, roles, identities and ideas
- experience in getting along with people of the opposite sex
- a chance to experience early romantic relationships
- a social group to do new things with, especially things that are different from what families do.
The Benefits of Teen Friendship
- Newport Academy – https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/empowering-teens/teen-friendships/
- Social connections, such as teen friendship, create a host of positive benefits. These include the following:
- Higher-functioning immune system
- Better self-esteem
- Lower rates of anxiety and depression
- Happier, more optimistic outlook
- Longer life expectancy
- Stronger emotional regulation skills
- Improved cognitive function
- More empathy and feelings of trust toward others.
Tips for talking to your teen about friendships
- Very Well Family – https://www.verywellfamily.com/talking-to-teens-about-friendship-2610992
- Everyone is allowed to have many friends and many types of friends.
- Honesty is important in a friendship.
- Friends sometimes hurt each other, but they can always apologize and forgive each other.
- Friends can influence each other, both in a positive way and in a negative way. It is important to discuss peer pressure with your teen.
- Who you choose to be your friend is important. It is essential that you choose wisely and that you benefit from the friendship.
- It takes many learned skills to make and maintain a friendship. It also takes many skills to end a friendship.
- It is okay and even beneficial to make friends with the opposite gender.
- It can take time to make a good friend. It is often worth the effort because a good friend can be a confidant to help a teenager with stress or problems.
- Spending time together will help you get to know your friends well so that you can feel comfortable sharing feelings.
- A good friendship will make you feel good about yourself.
It is okay for friends to outgrow each other. People change as they find new interests and people to hang out with as they mature.
- A little about your friends
- How many friends would you say you have?
- How often do you see them/talk to them?
- Do you have any friends that you don’t see often but correspond with through social media or online chat?
- How easy is it for you to make friends?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- Questions for Mariyah
- How many other friends do you have besides me?
- How close would you say we are?
- What do you remember about the time we first met?
- About how long do you think we have been friends?
- What activities do you like to do with you friends?
- Closing remarks and shoutouts
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