The inherent competitiveness that exists amongst many teen girls – exam grades, appearance, social media likes, sports performance – means friendships can be disrupted.   This blog outlines four ideas teachers can use to empower teen girls to navigate their friendship issues.

Consistent with the approach we use in our workshops, these are posed as coaching questions to enable you to adapt the ideas and find the best approach for you and your students.

1. Valuing themselves

All our relationships start with the one we have with ourselves. And that relationship pivots on how we speak to ourselves. With an encouraging and positive “inner voice”, instead of a grumpy, critical one, we come from a position of strength and are able to meet people in an equal and supportive way.

So when a student reaches out to you for support for her friendship upset, how can you empower you to start to value herself by encouraging her to change her perspective and value a quality in herself? A crucial step for her friendships to be more positive.

2. We can’t control other people

Many adults – myself included – have to learn this over and over. But it’s so true! All we can do is control our thinking and behaviour in a situation, not control the other person.

How can you support a student to understand this? The sooner in life we learn this lesson the greater the opportunity we create to have positive relationships.

3. Recognising unhealthy behaviour

And we all have choices in our relationships. If we consistently tolerate unhealthy behaviour in relationships it affects our self-worth. But the trick is to be able to recognise unhealthy behaviour when we experience it. This is the learning from a powerful exercise we run with teen girls in our SRE Confidence workshop, where students distinguish between healthy and unhealthy behaviour in relationships.

So how can you support a student to recognise whether the behaviour she’s experiencing in her friendship is unhealthy or healthy behaviour AND that they have choices in how they can react.

4. Building confidence in themselves

If girls are feeling more confident in themselves, this helps reduce friendship issues, as girls come from a positon of feeling better about themselves.  Confident Teens have previously run confidence workshops in schools with teenage girls, supporting them to develop their confidence and self-belief.  Feedback from these workshops includes:

“It’s great because it helped me understand issues that are not spoken enough about” Year 8 student

From January 2022, this Confidence workshop will available as online training and resources for teachers, so they are able to run these sessions with their students themselves at school.  This will include resources on the ideas outlined above, as well as several other activities to improve girls’ body confidence.

There are more details on the training and resources available here.

 

This training will be available in January 2022. To receive details when it's released, please complete your details in the form below.

Panel saying Teacher training and resources for Confidence workshop from Confident Teens with an illustration of energetic confident people
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