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Teens: Making New Friends

Advice, discussions, and reviews from the Parents of Teens weekly email newsletter.

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Teens: Making New Friends



Teen community groups for shy teen daughter

Nov 2010

Can you please recommend a teen community service group or community service opportunity or some other type of community group that my junior in HS daughter could be involved in. She's shy socially and isn't into dances or parties but would be much more inclined to be with an ongoing teen group that's doing community work or some kind of art or writing group. Thanks for any and all related ideas... daughter wanting to be more involved


My daughter (13) is involved with the 4H community in Montclair. There are other 4H clubs in Alameda County as well. More information at alamedacounty4h.org. It is all volunteer run, so you may have to participate as well, but not much your first year, and there are tons of community projects to attend, newsletters to contribute to, and projects to join - they are not all animal oriented. Knitting, and photography are a couple of them. You can participate as much or as little as you want. Good luck. TZ

14 year old girl needs to meet more teens

Nov 2008

My 14 year old daughter has a mild case of one of the muscular dystrophies. This causes some muscle weakness, but more significantly, learning difficulties in the classroom. Since the third grade, she has attended a very small school geared to giving students more one on one help and has done very well there. The problem is that there were only two other students in the middle school and they have both left! She is feeling very lonely this year. We would love to have her be able to interact with more teenagers, especially younger teenage girls. We live in Berkeley and I'm wondering if anyone can recommend someplace where she could become involved with other teenagers. We are open to church groups, classes, anything really, where the teenagers are kind and would be open to someone who is a little different, but basically just a kid wanting to have some fun and make friends. Mom


In Alameda, there is Girls Inc. They are a service organization and their teen program is outstanding. I'm sure they would welcome your daughter with open arms. Another group that was good for my daughter was the Girl Scouts. I know its hard to find a group of older girls (Cadet, Senior?) but if you call the council office I'm sure they would help you. Again, a group of girls who welcome all girls!

My last suggestion is a bit more limited. If you are a member of a religious group, many times there are youth groups. Good luck to you. jenny


If your daughter doesn't have severe mobility problems, I can recommend Westfinder, a loosely-organized group of young people (see http://wayfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Westfinder). They're a live-action role-playing group who meet weekly or biweekly in Berkeley parks to enact half-improvised scenarios or just play Capture the Flag (hence the caution about mobility, but they're a caring and flexible bunch -- if she can get around outdoors, they'll undoubtedly figure out any needed accommodations). I believe the oldest is 19, so you couldn't really say there's adult supervision, but they're well-disciplined and responsible, and play safely; also, they're kind and open to those who are a little different. John

New in town, how to easily make friends?

Nov 2007

Single parent dad here in Berkeley seeking advice on how to get my son over the 'new kid on the block' syndrome. I wnted to know were there any place for where kids would be able to easily make friends. My thinking is he cannot spend his teenage life stuck in the house, hanging with his boring dad. Any advice will be gretly apprciated.


Eudaimonia is a meeting place for teens who like to play computer games together, card games, D&D etc. It is on University in the block below Shattuck (I think) on the south side. There are a lot of martial arts classes that cater to teens. Contra Costra County has a very popular theater program for teens. Good luck! anonymous

New in town, doing high school online

Oct 2007

Hello, we just moved to Berkeley (north hills) and are trying to ''connect'' to families with similar background and/or interests. We are academic family of secular Jewish background and our 14 year old son is now attending the Online High School for gifted at Stanford. He has many interests (chess, music, literature, philosophy, etc.), is quite advanced in piano and is interested in non-competitive sports. Because he is not attending the regular local school, meeting other teenagers with similar interests appears to be difficult. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Maybe you would find friends among homeschoolers. They have flexible schedules and share a lot of the same interests as your son. There are social groups in most towns. Happy Homeschooler

Finding friends for step-daughter who's with us on weekends

Jan 2005

Hello..I have a step daughter who spends every other weekend with her Dad and I in our house in Berkeley( and a few other days of the week) and the other times she is in Alamo with her Mom and Step-Dad. My problem is that she doesn't have any friends here. I know that the best way to make friends is to join an activity or class where she can meet other girls her age (which is going to be 13 in just a month) but because of the every other weekend arrangement, it doesn't work to be in most classes. She is very interested in fashion, makeup, softball, music and loves small children and pets.She is much more mature than her age suggests and really interested in the reality tv world which she watches quite a bit. I think she is a typical teenage girl who fits into the Walnut Creek type of world she lives in..not very alternative. Does anyone have any suggestions or are there other teenage girls out there who might be facing the same sort or problem? anon


I can share my experience with my teenage niece with you. Her parents are divorced and her dad sees her every other weekend, too. She has always been shy, so I don't think not having friends where her dad lives is a problem. She seems to enjoy just seeing him and being with him. Once she told me she would like it if he went to the beach with her on their weekends, but he told her it was too far for HIM to drive in addition to the drive to get her.

It occurs to me that maybe you could spend some time with her in HER area. You mentioned her joining a group. What if she were to join a group in her neighborhood, why couldn't you take her on your weekends? Maybe it seems like a bother to have to drive back there again, but I can tell you from my niece's experience, it would have meant a lot to her, if her dad would have tried to accomodate her, instead of vice-versa, which is unfortunately, the case in many divorces. I applaud you for your concern and hope this insight helps. anon


You were writing about trying to find friends for your teenaged stepdaughter who visits every other weekend. In my opinion, at that age it's pretty tough to come up with friends for her, or even to expect her to make friends by involving her in activities. My kids are around that age, and now won't do anything unless signed up WITH a friend. Well, except horseback riding. I think you might have better luck just coming up with activities that you can do with her, and not expecting her to make friends. Good luck! mother of two teenaged girls
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