Friend or Fake?Posted: February 6, 2015
The world of friendship and social status can be a challenging one for young adolescence. Adults often struggle with the question of, ‘Should I intervene in a child’s friendship problems?’ The reality is, kids need adult support and insights when it comes to navigating the choppy waters of friendship, especially when certain friendships turn out to be weapons in disguise.
Using friendship and social status for manipulation is often referred to as relational aggression. Though it can be confusing at first, kids can learn to recognize it when they see it. By teaching kids that tactics like social exclusion, threatening to take away friendship, and spreading rumors are unacceptable, kids can make a conscious choice to move away from friends who use these behaviors.
As parents, you can help your children by teaching them that anger is a normal, natural, human emotion and how to be angry effectively. By modeling assertive communication skills yourselves and accepting anger when it is respectfully expressed, you indirectly teach your children mature relationship behaviour.
Most importantly, we all need to teach students how to know what a good friend is: talk about how real friends use kind words, help when you need it, and care about your opinions and feelings. Fostering discussions and careful consideration of the values involved in making and maintaining healthy friendships is one of the most important things adults can do to help kids choose friendships wisely.
In support of all of this, and to conclude my series on the sense of awareness our students have of the world around them, Lily, one of our Grade 7 students has created a presentation of poetry which truly underpins what goes through the minds of many of our teenagers here at ISBerne. As with the poems from Oliver and Abby last week, if you know Lily and see her around the school, you might want to thank her for her courage in presenting her inner most thoughts to our community.
View Video Here: