Fun FRIENDS

Fun FRIENDS

A Resilience Program for Children Aged 4 – 7 Years to Prevent and Reduce Anxiety.

Experiencing difficulties in regulating emotions can affect a child’s learning experience in early schooling. Fun FRIENDS is an evidence-based, interactive, play-based universal program for the prevention and reduction of anxiety. Developed by Professor and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Paula Barrett, Fun FRIENDS is a group program that provides children with fundamental social and emotional skills to nurture their development and help them succeed during these crucial years.

Concepts, Skills and Strategies

Session 1: Getting to know one another, working in groups, feeling confident and learning to be brave, making healthy life choices, identifying happy experiences

Session 2: Understanding and recognising feelings in ourselves and others, making happy feelings grow, empathy training, understanding and accepting differences

Session 3: Understanding body clues, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and attention training, noticing how our thoughts affect our feelings and actions, changing unhelpful to helpful thoughts

Session 4: Understanding qualities of a true friend, practicing friendship skills including helping, sharing and listening, learning how to make new friends, breaking challenging goals down into small steps, learning to be brave and try new things

Session 5: Role models and positive qualities, using support teams, rewarding ourselves when we have tried our best, using interpersonal rewards

Parallel Program 

Learn the same language, at the same time and strengthen resilience in your whole family.

“The program has provided a large range of tools to help us all get past resilience issues I was having. It was amazing to see my son recall and implement some of the tools on his own without our prompting. He is also now quite vocal/verbal about his feelings which was a large part of the program. I loved coming to the workshop each weekend and his enjoyment in attending and learning more is a reflection of how well the program is created for the particular age groups.

The fact that the program includes a parallel program for adults was really attractive to us. It meant that we were all on the same page, and learning the same concepts together in separate rooms.

I was initially worried about kids being in a separate room but these worries were short lived as the warmth of the assistants in the kids room made my son and I feel very comfortable and the fun style of learning made it so enjoyable for him.”

 

Family of three, Claremont

Parent Strategies Workshop

We understand that parenting can be stressful at times and changing psychological and physical habits takes time. The Parent Strategies Workshop addresses common childhood challenges and how to build resilience in the family. Parents/caregivers also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback.

The Parent Strategies Workshop takes place during Session 1 and 2 of Fun FRIENDS.

Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough Program

Resilient people are more capable of dealing with stress, achieving goals and controlling anxiety. They have the ability to think positively about themselves, the world and others even when times are tough. The Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough Program is your own personal policy to protect yourself from feeling overwhelming emotional distress, which can affect all areas of your life if not managed.

The Adult Resilience: Strong not Tough Program runs in parallel with Session 3, 4 and 5 of Fun FRIENDS.

Child Only Program 

Build resilience in your child.

This option may be suitable for parents/caregivers who cannot attend due to other commitments or their budget, but would like their child to build resilience and learn to prevent and reduce anxiety. Please note, children are screened for suitability and it may not be appropriate for some children to attend the child only program by themselves.

“Prior to attending this course we were having difficulties with our child that was very moody and displaying aggressive behaviours that are not present in the home. He would often ‘stir the pot’ and cause fights with their sibling, or upset them. Since participating in this course we have a much happier child and very little issues in the home. Seems like they matured overnight! Some very simple concepts, although proving to be very powerful in terms of behaviour change.”

 

Family of 4, Mt Hawthorn

We suggest that social and emotional skills taught to your child in Fun FRIENDS is also practiced by all members of the family, across most areas.