Research has shown that the better the quality
of your relationships, the more likely you are to
be happy. So, being a great friend to someone
and knowing that friends have your back is
good for your wellbeing. Given that adolescence
is a time of changing friendship networks, due to
changing social needs and external pressures,
friendships can also cause issues such as
increased vulnerability, jealousy, conflict and
feelings of rejection.
In this video clip, young people share their
thoughts about what makes a good friend, the
importance of friendships in their life, ways to
support friends during tough times, and how to
negotiate toxic friendships.
Given how important friendships are in young
people’s lives, these skills can make a big
difference to their mental health and wellbeing.
- Students can recognise and manage healthy
and unhealthy friendships.
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- work together to identify the features of
unhealthy and healthy friendships
- identify appropriate conversation starters to
use in negotiating unhealthy friendships.
*Tips for safe facilitation*
Be aware that unhealthy relationships may exist in the classroom. Here are some helpful tips to manage these.
Discourage personal disclosures.Establish clear classroom expectations and boundaries. Model expected behaviours –
e.g. active listening, respect. Maintain a learning environment free from bullying, exclusion and harassment.
Allow students to withdraw if they find issues personally confronting.
As a group, watch this video clip on friendships.
On the whiteboard, write these three questions:
- What makes a good friend?
- What are some practical ways to be a good friend?
- What are the signs of a toxic friendship?
Ask students to answer each question on a Post-it note and to place their
response under the relevant question on the whiteboard. For helpful hints, check out:
Working as a class group
As a class group, identify key themes from the student responses. Ask the
students to record these in their notebooks or on laptops.
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