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On Tuesday evening a ‘Language of Friendship’ workshop for parents and children took place in the Tappeiner Gymnasium at the Saint Ignatius’ College Junior School.

Presented by Tyson Greenwood, Director of URSTRONG Friendology 101, this well attended event gave parents the opportunity to learn more about the Friendology 101 program and it also demonstrated how parents can be a ‘coach’ in supporting their child when they are faced with friendship issues.

Taught in all classrooms from Reception to Year 6, URSTRONG Friendology 101 is a skills-based social emotional development program that empowers children with skills, language and self-confidence to be better friends and develop healthier relationships.

Parents and children learnt about the Friend-O-Cycle (the normal cycle of friendship), steps for putting out ‘Friendship Fires’ (through an open, honest conversation) and how to use a quick comeback for combatting mean-on-purpose behaviour (a short statement said like a ninja!). Students were able to recite the 4 Friendship Facts to their parents – No Friendship is Perfect, Every Friendship is Different, Trust and Respect are the 2 most important qualities of friendship and Friendships Change and that’s okay.

Explicitly teaching children how to develop healthy friendships and manage conflict in a respectful way is the key to bullying prevention and creating safe, caring learning environments and inspiring kinder, happier children.

Tips for adults supporting children through the ups and downs in friendship:

  • Empathise, empathise, empathise!
  • Tune in and ask questions—give them the words
  • Encourage healthy friendships
  • Ask them how you can help
  • Set a good example
  • Role-play to practice responses
  • Teach digital rules (e.g. never attempt to put out a Friendship Fire online)
  • Encourage them to stand up
  • Help them set rules for their friendship
  • Help them to create distance from unhealthy friendships
  • Get them involved in activities outside of school
  • Build their confidence
  • Work as a team with Saint Ignatius’ College and other support networks

Dave Carey
Director of Student Wellbeing - Junior School

Upcoming Dates - Junior School
From St Vincent de Paul Society