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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 55

LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 55

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

LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 55
Long-term, Intimate Relationships

Purpose of Activity: To examine the challenges of long-term intimate relationships

Life Skills: Communication, Interpersonal Relationships, Self-awareness, Creative Thinking


  • Large piece of paper (with the six qualities written up in words and/or symbols in advance if possible)
  • Marker pen or crayon
  • Case studies on small pieces of paper
  • Two copies of the roles for Marianna and Romano for the roleplays

Important Points

The 6 qualities discussed in this session are as follows:

  • Respect: To value people, their ideas and beliefs (even if they are different), to treat them well and to treat them the way you would like to be treated.
  • Responsibility: To be dependable or reliable. People can trust you to carry out your duties in a good way.
  • Understanding: To know about and understand another person, what they believe, feel, want etc. To be able to put yourself in their place and imagine what life looks like for them. Listening is an important part of understanding.
  • Effort: All relationships go through difficult times. People have to work hard to make sure the relationship succeeds. Many partnerships break up because people do not work hard at them. When things go wrong, they just want to leave the relationship and as a result, they do not benefit from the relationship in the way they could have.
  • Care: To be concerned about other people and to do what is best for them. You can show care by helping a family member who is sick, helping on the farm or with school work etc.
  • Sharing: There are many ways of sharing. You can share things like food, but you can also share ideas and values. Being open and honest about your ideas on issues that concern you, your partner, family or friend is very important in building a lasting relationship. Finally, sharing means supporting one another, even in difficulties. That is why the proverb says, ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’.


  1. Write up these six qualities as above. Draw symbols for them if necessary.
  2. The whole group discusses what each quality means. Use their words to write a definition of each on the board.
  3. Explain that in a good relationship, both sides contribute all these qualities. Explain that relationships are not perfect. They take time and hard work to develop.
  4. Divide the children into five groups and give them (or tell them) the following case studies:

Juma and Said are good friends. Yesterday they fought when playing football. They want to be friends again, but they are not sure how to start.

Sara and Alberto are becoming good friends. However, Alberto thinks that a relationship between a boy and a girl should be more than just talking about school and what they want to do in life.

A girl has come to stay in Thabile’s house from a place where there is war. Sara welcomed her warmly, but the girl wants Sara to be with her all the time as she feels nervous when she is on her own. Sara wants more time to do her school work and be with her friends.

Alexei lives with his father and stepmother. He is angry that his mother is no longer there and has difficulty in accepting his stepmother, especially when she does things differently (cooking, dressing etc.) from his mother. However, he is trying to build a better relationship.

Rashid is a lively boy who can be quite naughty. However, he feels that the teacher is always picking on him and punishing him for no reason. It’s not his fault when someone makes a good joke in class and he laughs!

  1. Each group discusses its case study and identifies two things the characters could do (from the list of six qualities) that will improve the relationships. They then develop these into a mini drama.

You can have a break here.

  1. Groups present their mini dramas in turn.
  2. Discuss them. Ask the group: which are the long-term and which the short-term relationships? What are the differences?
  3. Ask everyone to write on a sheet of paper about one relationship in their own lives they would like to improve. They should then list the various things they can do to improve it, using the behaviours from Activity 58.
  4. Ask them to share what they wrote with another person in the group and discuss further.
  5. Invite volunteers to share their relationship with the rest of the group.

Final Discussion:

  • If you had to give up one quality in your relationship with a parent or adult, which of the six would you be most willing to give up? Why? What about with a friend? Or a boy/girlfriend?
  • Which of the six qualities would you never be willing to give up? Why?
  • How can we develop these six qualities in our relationships?
  • How would you feel about a friend who does not respect you or who does not listen to your ideas and choices? What can you do about it?
  • How would you feel if an adult who is important to you does not understand you? What can you do about it?
  • When a relationship is going wrong, it is easy to blame the other for lacking the six qualities. How can you be sure that you are not the problem yourself?

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