About This Book


The teenage years are difficult. Old friends drift away, new friends come with new issues, teens fall in and out of love, and relationships with family members change. This book reminds teenagers that they are not alone, as they read the 101 best stories from Chicken Soup's library written, by other teens just like themselves, about the problems and issues they face every day — stories about friends, family, love, loss, and many lessons learned.

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Five tips for teens on building stronger relationships
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Relationships by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Our lives are all about relationships. We need people in our lives to share our happy times and to offer support during the tough times. The contributors to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Relationships share stories about the relationships that shaped and changed their lives. Here are five tips for teens on how to build stronger relationships.

1. It's okay to take it slow. Margaret E. Reed had a great first date with Chris. He had impeccable manners, and they couldn't stop looking at each other. But she was confused when he didn't kiss her... At school, Chris surprised her at her locker and touched her arm. Later, they went to a basketball game together and he held her hand. Margaret worried Chris didn't like her because he still hadn't kissed her. Her mom thought he was just being a gentleman. She almost lost hope when he asked her to join his bowling team — surely that was a sign he just wanted to be friends. But when he walked her to the door after their game, he finally kissed her. "I was swept away. It was worth the wait," Margaret recalls. "I knew in that instant there was a bond between Chris and me that would last a lifetime."

2. Remember that true friends stay with you. Best friends since preschool, Ariana Briski and Isabel were inseparable. But that changed when Izzi got a boyfriend in high school. Ari hardly talked to her and saw her even less. Until Izzi and her boyfriend broke up. Then Ari found her friend much more upset than she expected. "She had convinced herself that her relationship with this boy was the most important thing in the world, so when it all fell apart she felt like she had lost everything," Ari writes. But she hadn't — Izzi still had her best friend and they quickly rekindled their friendship. Later that year, they spent New Year's Eve together. "No matter what happened with college or boys or anything else," Ari writes, "we would be able to face it together."

3. It's worth making the effort to keep your friends. Rebecca Woolf met and immediately befriended Lauren at summer camp when they were in fifth grade. They were attached at the hip. But, once home, they lived two hours apart and rarely saw each other during the school year. Nevertheless, they made an effort to stay in touch — calling and e-mailing each other often. "When boys broke my heart, she was there to console me at 2:00 A.M. on a school night," Rebecca writes, "and when Lauren's parents divorced when we were in ninth grade, Lauren came to visit for a long weekend." When they were 16, the best friends went back to summer camp as counselors. "We swapped stories, gave advice, listened and talked through the night," Rebecca shares. "No matter what happened in our lives, we knew we would get through it because we had each other."

4. Appreciate the differences between you and your friends. A quiet guy, Christopher Boire was never the center of attention. He sometimes felt overshadowed by his outgoing older brother, which is why he never expected to become friends with Mike, his brother's friend. "Mike was loud and full of life, completely opposite of my personality," Chris writes. He had hung out with his brother and Mike a few times, but was surprised one day when Mike called to invite him to a party. After that, they hung out more. Chris sometimes questioned why they were friends, until Mike explained that he could be himself around Chris. "I realized it was our differences that made our friendship tighter. I relied on his extrovert personality to draw me out of my social shell... In turn, I offered my ears and opinions whenever Mike needed someone to talk to about his problems," Chris writes. "Our flaws cancelled each other out."

5. Appreciate your siblings. Brad Dixon dreamed of being an only child. Instead, he had an older sister — Christie. When they were little, Christie always came with their parents to Brad's basketball games. Even though Christie didn't like basketball, she still rooted for Brad every game. It wasn't until high school that Brad "realized what a truly beautiful person my sister was." Even though Brad was known as "Christie's brother," she still cheered for him at his basketball games. For his last game of the season, she came with a group of friends to root for him; and she wore a shirt with BRAD'S SISTER printed on it. "Suddenly I was embarrassed," Brad writes. "But it wasn't her presence that embarrassed me, rather, it was the fact that I had never appreciated her support before."

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