Congratulations to the participants of Term 2, My FRIENDS Youth – all boys group! Parents and caregivers, here is a summary of Session 5 along with some great feedback from the adolescents themselves.
Learning helpful ways to solve problems
Sometimes we find ourselves in difficult or stressful situations. Sometimes, we just want to work towards improving something or complete a task that initially seems too hard to contemplate. In these kinds of situations, a helpful way to move forward and act might be to break down the worrying situation or challenging task into small steps. Small steps, one at a time, can help get us closer achieving our goals.
“This course helped me to be more confident socially at school. The step plan in particular helped me to overcome my problem not being noticed in [sport] at lunch by not being their all the time, doing something else sometimes. It has also made me realise that I need to be more relaxed.”
The workbook provided ample opportunities for adolescents to reflect upon their own experiences before applying the strategies to real world situations. Examples included resolving a friendship issue at school, speaking in front of a group, learning to play a new sport, completing a school assignment and trying to fit in.
Choosing what you pay attention to
It’s important for us as individuals, no matter how young or old we are, to learn to become more aware of everything that you are experiencing – not just the negatives. Throughout My FRIENDS Youth, adolescents practiced being aware of the external environment right in front of them. Becoming more aware is helpful because, when we focus our attention on the environment around us, it interrupts our negative self-talk. This gives us the opportunity to pause, and challenge our unhelpful self-talk. This gives us a chance to come up with more realistic, helpful, and balanced self-talk. Visuals such as these, can be helpful reminders to us, that we can be the boss of our thoughts.
How to be assertive in managing conflicts
Conflict arises in social interactions because people think and feel about and react to the same situations differently. The group learnt ways to practice being more assertive, instead of aggressive or passive when handling conflict – whether that be at school, at home or somewhere else. They also learnt ways to manage conflict with others respectfully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal clues.
Identifying and sharing happy experiences
“My time here at My FRIENDS Youth has been awesome, getting to know people and their stories, ways to deal with challenging situation and overall just having a great time. I feel like I can relate to my peers and socialize a lot more. I will miss everyone here!”
My FRIENDS Youth is a strength based resilience program which focuses on empowering the individual to learn and apply social and emotional strategies to help them cope with challenges and embrace positive opportunities. Each session ends on a positive. After running through a mindfulness/relaxation strategy, adolescents were prompted to share something kind that they have done (or plan to do) for someone else, and something they are grateful for.
“It was fun and I like the way we were taught and the people that were in the group and there (sic) stories and I liked when we watched videos, and the old version of the book looked better.” Author’s note: there was a new edition with a new cover which was not as popular visually as the old cover!
Resilience skills for life
Learning to choose and apply helpful strategies to cope with and overcome challenges as well as embrace new opportunities takes time, effort and practice. Given the amount of information we are exposed to daily, things we have learnt previously can wear off. By building upon on what we know, giving ourselves the opportunity practice mindlessness, incorporating more time for relaxation into our hectic schedules, we can help ourselves become more resilient individuals.
“The Resilience Kit’s (MY FRIENDS) program was really helpful because I was able to take what I’d already learnt, and then adding and building onto it. I think that having a small group such as this to learn and help each other without background knowledge is a great way to go and do it. One change I’d make is to make the course a bit longer, so we can cover everything. Thanks Gemma!”
Thank you to adolescents who attended and the parents and caregivers who supported their progress during My FRIENDS Youth, Term 2 over the last 5 weeks. Please review the My FRIENDS Youth Session Outline or for more information, please contact us below.