Friendship in Primary School

9 Jul 2019

Parents of Primary School students were given some practical tips on the often fraught topic of how to help their children develop vital friendship skills, at a seminar held by NGS earlier this year.

The Friendships in the Primary Years seminar, presented by counsellor and psychotherapist Georgina Manning from Wellbeing for Kids, covered the many benefits of friendships and important friendship and social skills, as well as managing conflict.

Mrs Fiona Walker, said friendships were a vital aspect of student wellbeing and formed a large part of student happiness at school. 

The seminar was aimed at informing parents and helping them to feel confident to support their child in making and keeping friends.

“Friendships are an important means of developing a sense of belonging and connectedness. They allow us to gain many life skills, such as communicating, self-management, sharing, conflict resolution and empathizing, to name a few,” Mrs Walker said.

“In addition, friendships assist in developing character strengths necessary for flourishing, like humility, kindness, fairness, forgiveness, honesty, gratitude, social intelligence, teamwork and humour.” 

The session stressed the importance of parents “coaching” children through problems and allowing them to develop their own problem-solving skills in order to build a true sense of independence, self-efficacy and resilience.

Mrs Walker said it aligned with the NGS Freedom to Flourish Wellbeing Programme.

The seminar attracted a lot of positive feedback from parents, who took away practical and relevant strategies. An additional seminar was held the following day to emphasise the importance of parents taking care of their own wellbeing in order to practise and model calm approaches when managing challenges.