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Earlier this week I was fortunate, like many of our Junior School families, to take part in the online URStrong parent-child workshop, led by Tyson Greenwood, Director of URStrong Schools. The workshop offered a comprehensive and engaging exploration into the language of friendship, providing families with valuable insights and practical tools to foster healthy and positive relationships among children.

Tyson Greenwood, shared many anecdotes of this time as a leader in schools supporting students with their social and emotional well-being, during an interactive and informative session. He emphasized the importance of teaching children the language of friendship from an early age, explaining that effective communication is key to building and maintaining healthy relationships.

One of the core components of the presentation was the concept of “Friendship Facts.” These are essential truths about friendship that help children understand what to expect and how to act in their social interactions. Tyson outlined several key Friendship Facts, such as the understanding that “No friendship (or relationship) is perfect” and “Every friendship is different.” These facts help set realistic expectations for children, enabling them to navigate friendships without undue stress or unrealistic standards.

During the presentation we were also introduced the “Friend-o-meter,” a practical tool designed to help children assess the health of their friendships. The Friend-o-meter categorises friendships into three types: “Green Zone” for healthy and positive relationships, “Yellow Zone” for friendships that might have some issues but are generally good, and “Red Zone” for toxic or harmful relationships. This tool

empowers children to recognize when a friendship may be unhealthy and provides them with strategies to address or, if necessary, end such relationships.

Interactive activities were a highlight of the workshop, as Tyson engaged both parents and children in role-playing scenarios to practice these skills. For instance, families participated in exercises where they practiced how to initiate conversations, express feelings constructively, and resolve conflicts amicably.

Overall, Tyson Greenwood’s URStrong parent-child workshop on the language of friendship provided families with essential tools and knowledge to help children build strong, positive relationships. By focusing on effective communication, realistic expectations, and practical skills, families were equipped with the confidence and ‘language’ to help their children navigate the complexities of childhood friendships. Hopefully this workshop not only supported children’s social development but also strengthened the connection of all families to the URStrong wellbeing program.

The online workshop was recorded and families will have access to the recording for the next week. The recording can be found at:

Language of Friendship (Parent-Child Workshop) To view the recording: CLICK HERE

Password: Ninjas#1
Expiry: 30 May 2024

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Ben Storer
Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration

* Banner photo courtesy of Em Rogers