Improving Friendships

One interesting insight into children’s wellbeing in the UK is around friendships. The best available data suggests that children have become steadily less happy with their friends since 2009/10.

What’s particularly fascinating is that they are not necessarily unhappy with their friends, its more that they are increasingly ambivalent, describing their friendships as making them neither happy nor unhappy. Its all a bit ‘meh’!

We recently asked children what makes a good friendship and what advice they would give to other young people to help them navigate their friendships. We hope this guide is useful - particularly as friendships ‘reset’ in the return to school!

We also produced a guide for adults too because young people talked a lot about how sometimes, when adult intervene in children’s friendships, it doesn’t always help!

If you find either of these useful let us know! :grinning:


Thank you for posting this a really interesting piece of work. Great to hear from young people themselves who after all are the experts for how they are feeling.

@TheChildrensSociety This article could not be more timely. I know that I am experiencing this with my children and know so many other will be as well. Love the adult guide @Neil_McAvoy @BenLevinson @abethune


Great post Richard and so timely for children and young people returning to normal school life, and where they have been removed from their friendship groups. Ant reflections on this @k.byrne from an SEN perspective?

Thanks for sharing. Really interesting and builds on the article recently posted here on children’s happiness. Will reflect and see if it fits with our Emotional Health or Communication curriculum and also our Relationships and Regulation approach.