LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 11

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions in this book and this is Activity 11. The book is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable story books, booklets and posters to help you in your work.

Activity 11 Friendship: Resolving Conflicts in a Friendship

Purpose of Activity:

  • To understand why arguments between friends happen and how to cope with them
  • To help children think about how they react to arguments

Life skills: Self-awareness, Creative thinking, Critical thinking

Important points:

Before this activity, do an activity on what it means to be a friend for example Activities 8, 9 and 10. Everyone reacts to arguments. Some people shout and hit out, others go quiet or leave. Arguments nearly always leave us feeling upset, weak and nervous. Understanding arguments help children cope better.

Materials

  • Write out one role-play per group on a piece of paper.
  • The role-plays below are examples. You may need to adapt them to suit situations faced by children in the group. If there has been a recent conflict between two members of the group do not use this as an example unless the children concerned talk about it and want to do a role-play.

One day Rose went to her classmate Dinah and asked her to help her with her maths homework. She started showing Rose how to do a maths problem but unfortunately, Rose was a slow learner and did not understand. Dinah got angry and started to scream to Rose, ‘You are stupid,’ and she hit her. Rose got angry too. And a fight began.

Adrian (15 years old) and Valentin (11) were playing cards. Valentin was winning. Suddenly Adrian got angry and hit Valentin right across the face. Valentin got angry and a fight began.

Shoba is Parveen’s sister. When Parveen was coming home from school, Shoba ran to help her sister and acrried in her school bag. Shoba went inside the house and started to look at Parveen’s note books. When Parveen saw this, she started to shout at her sister.

Steps:

  1. Ask the children to work in pairs to do role-plays in which children get angry with each other.
  2. Distribute the role-plays to the pairs. Give the children 10 minutes to work out their role-play. If the children are not literate, explain the role play to each group.
  3. Ask all or some of the pairs to perform the role plays. After each, ask the children to say why they think the person got angry. For example:
    • Dinah felt frustrated and upset and she was not able to explain well;
    • Rose felt ashamed;
    • Adrian felt annoyed with himself;
    • Valentin felt hurt and humiliated;
    • and Parveen felt betrayed.
  4. Ask the children how these fights could be prevented.

You can have a break here

  1. Ask the children to repeat their role play up to the point where one of the characters asks angry but this time it does not end up in a fight: for example; If one character walks away or if one character says or does something which stops the anger.
  2. If appropriate write down the keywords that describe the reasons for getting angry and ways in which we can stop the anger turning into a fight.

Final discussion:

When did you last argue with a friend? Why? Are you still friends? Why/why not? What happens to your friendships when you ask angry?

Follow-up:

Ask the children to create role plays using real situations. See Activity 38: What makes me angry.

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