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80. Girls and Friendship in tween/teen years

Tess Connolly LCSW talks with Jessica Speer, an award-winning author of BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? A Girls Guide to Happy Friendships and Middle School – Safety Goggles Advised. In this second interview with Jessica, they will discuss her book BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? A Girls Guide to Happy Friendships.


  • Jessica introduces herself and tells us about the books that she has written for pre-teens and teens.
  • Tess and Jessica talk about the phase that our tweens and teens go through when friendships get tough and they struggle with the changes happening when they start this new phase of development. 
  • Jessica shares information and explains her friendship pyramid which you can download through the link at the bottom of the show notes. 
  • Tess and Jessica talk about the changes of interests between friends and how this shift  changes friendships and affects our tweens and teens emotionally at this time of transition. 
  • Tess and Jessica talk about normalizing the fact that friendships change and shift depending on what time of our lives we are in. 
  • Tess and Jessica speak about talking to our tweens and teens about finding that deeper connection and friendships that are healthy, safe, and accepting. 
  • Tess and Jessica discuss the importance of getting your child to stop and think about how they are feeling when they are with different friends. Do they feel liked and accepted for who they are?
  • Jessica talks about us realizing that everyone develops friendship skills at a different pace.
  • Tess and Jessica discuss how we deal with situations such as when our child isn’t invited to a party and how we can navigate this. 
  • Jessica explains NRF (Not Real Friends) to us and the meaning behind it. 
  • Jessica encourages parents to realize that this time is hard and messy to watch but there is a lot going on as your children’s friendships shift and change as they find the friendships that are the right fit for them. Stay calm and make yourself available to them. 
  • Jessica is most grateful for the hindsight that she has now and she wishes she had 10 yrs ago, that everything was going to be ok. The stuff that worried her then, is now ok. It all worked out and she is grateful for the knowledge she has learned and been able to share with others. 


You can purchase Jessica Speers book here - BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? A Girls Guide to Happy Friendships


Friendship Pyramid - Friendship Pyramid.pdf 


You can find out more about Jessica Speer here -


Jessica Speers first interview can be found here - The Parenting Reset Show: 71.Navigating Middle School Years on Apple Podcasts


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