Peer groups

The Complete Parenting Guide is a first of its kind resource created by the expert paediatric team at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, world leaders in the treatment of children.

The book covers everything from rearing a happy, healthy child to what to do when your child is sick and also contains a comprehensive a to z of common childhood illnesses.

The following extract is from the section on friends and peer groups:

Peer Groups

Children move through particular stages of friendship. As they grow older, their ideas about friendship become more sophisticated. Some children who are more mature progress through the stages of friendship more quickly than others.

12-to 15-year olds

When children become adolescents, their friendships are more emotionally intimate.

They feel loyal to their friends, and girls especially tend to tell each other their deepest secrets.

Sometimes this level of closeness can lead to feelings of possessiveness. Young people can feel hurt when their friends seek friendship with other people, too.

A person of this age will be concerned with others' opinions. They ask questions like ‘Who am I?' and ‘Where do I belong?'

A young person who finds no group to belong to may feel alienated and think they have nothing to offer.

Gifted and Talented Children

When a child is particularly gifted, this can mean added stress for parents as they grapple with responsibilities involved in nurturing and extending their child's talents.

It's important to remember that no matter how talented your child is, they still have many of the same needs as other children.

Gifted children and friendship

Sometimes gifted children seem to have no friends, and they may seem to be isolated in the classroom. But research shows that this is because they can't find the level of friendship they are looking for among children of the same age.

Gifted children need contact with other children of similar ability, or older children. For more information contact the Association for Gifted and Talented Children in your state.

For more information about:

Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented:

Or visit the website for your state association: