I had my last lesson with the Malibu High 7th graders today, and look forward to seeing this group again next year in Mr. Larsen’s Class.
This time we talked about the value and characteristics of friendship. We started off by filling out a questionnaire about their beliefs on a wide variety of topics (questions like, Agree or Disagree: “A man should always hold the door for a woman” or “I like to camp” or “I think teens should have a curfew”).
After responding to those statements, the students had to go around the room and find other students that disagreed with them. A lot of the students were surprised that many of their friends had different opinions than them (the implication being that even though we may have different opinions, we can still be friends and respect each other).
After that, the kids broke into small groups and talked about the following questions:
- What makes a good friend?
- Are there different or additional qualities that make a good boyfriend or girlfriend?
- What are your dealbreakers for a friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Finally I had the kids make their own personal list for the above questions and I challenged them to hold themselves and their friends to those standards. We all need to evaluate our relationships from time to time and assess if we are healthy relationships or if we have ended up in situations that are not good for us. If the kids can take a little time to think about these questions from time to time, they will probably make better decisions overall, and they will have better relationships throughout their lives.