My name is Erika Rath and I am the Director of Student Services at the Sacred Heart School of Montreal. I want to thank you in advance for reading and partaking in this forum that will be featured approximately twice a month on the school’s website. The goal is to hear different points of view on various topics that will ideally help our students by enriching their lives in and out of the classroom.

How will the forum work?

First, I will read an article that discusses educational trends regarding female students. Then, I will post my opinions, ideas and suggestions on the highlighted topic with the hope that many of you will engage in an online conversation with the Sacred Heart Community. This is a place for you, the reader, the parent, or even the student to share your own opinions, strategies and tools that may or may not have worked.

I am proud to say that I have worked at this school for the past 7 years in various capacities and am truly honored to call this place my second home. Come join me on this journey of reading, writing, laughing and learning, because by working together we can help our students Be Exceptional.

How do I Help my Daughter Create Long Lasting Friendships?

Articles that inspired the blog post:

High school can be rough, no doubt about it. I remember being in high school and thinking how difficult it would be to make long lasting, meaningful friendships. There were over 150 students in my grade and I knew that I couldn’t make meaningful connections with all of them, so instead I focused on creating significant friendships with a handful of people. And I’m so glad that I did. I was fortunate to attend a private school, but it was still quite large. Working at Sacred Heart has made me realize that one of the best advantages of our school is its small size. All of our students know each other and connect with peers of all ages.


Friendships are incredibly important at every age, but crucial during adolescence. We should encourage young people to make friends because it has been proven that healthy friendships help teens feel more confident. Adolescents often spend more time with their peers than they do with their parents, so choosing the right friends is very important. We all need a strong support system and we need to surround ourselves with people who will help us when we need it.


Having positive friendships actually helps teens deal with stress and help teens navigate conflict when it arises. Conflict is completely natural and should be expected. We will not always agree with every person we interact with nor should we. We need to help adolescents manage their expectations during a conflict and help them get through it properly. Not all conflicts should put an end to a friendship, but often teens feel that a disagreement means the end of their friendships.


Parents cannot choose friends for their teens nor can they control them, but they can have meaningful discussions about what it means to be a good friend and important friendship qualities to look for. Parents can also model good behaviours with their own friendships and show their children how friends interact with one another.


We also need to help teens realize that friendships change over time. We all grow up and our interests change; therefore our friend group may change as well. This does not mean that conflict will necessarily exist. It just means that friends may drift apart and should with no hard feelings. High school is a time to learn about oneself and others and new friendships may replace old ones. Just because your daughter was BFF with another student in elementary school doesn’t mean they’ll be BFF in high school.


Not all teens will find it easy to make friends, so encouraging them to join activities that they like will help them connect with other like minded people. Playing sports and joining clubs and committees are opportunities for teens to make friends with those in their age group and others as well. Choosing the right school for your daughter will make her feel comfortable, and being comfortable will lead to confidence.  Confidence will help your daughter make friends and having friends will continue to instill confidence!


Remember, the number of friends isn’t important, it’s the strength of the friendship that counts.


Happy Reading!

Erika Rath, Director of Student Services
514-937-2845 ext. 121