Why we love Being a First Rate Mate!

Connecting with others is a fundamental human need – we all need people that care about us, and friendships are especially important - especially for children.

Sometimes our kids will come home and say things like "I don't have any friends" or it may be common for them to talk about the difficulties they're having with friendships.

It can be really tricky to navigate this and not become too emotionally involved - hearing these things from our kids can be hard for us too!

This activity helps to have the sometimes challenging conversation about friendships - how to have them and how to keep them. We'll talk and walk you through it!

What to do

Re-create or print out the Being A First Rate Mate worksheet. While it may be challenging for children to want to work on this, if your child is having some difficulties with friendships this reflective activity will help. Try this activity during a quiet calm moment - let them know you've been hearing what they've been saying about friendships, and have found this activity to do together, and will help.

Try warming them up to this using these questions first. This will also give you some pretty good ideas as to what may help your child with their friendships.

  • How do we make friends? What can help?
  • What sorts of things help us look after and strengthen friendships?
  • What sorts of things can damage a friendship?

Thinking about how we can be a good friend can help us be an even better one. Like most things in life, friendship is something we learn as we go and we're not ‘stuck’ as we are now. We can all be better friends!

This doesn’t mean we need to change traits that are likeable e.g. if we’re funny, we can keep being funny, as people love this. But if we use humour to laugh at others expense, this might be something we want to work on.

Fill in the worksheet together.

Ways to Use Being A First Mate Rate everyday

  • Begin to comment and praise your child for anything they do that's kind, helpful or friendly. This will encourage these traits and skills.
  • Play games together where there is lots of sharing, turn-taking and waiting or genuinely caring activities. These are some of the fundamentals kids need to develop and keep friendships. Most games we play have some of these components - again comment and praise them for being kind, patient, caring, waiting, sharing...
  • Check out Discover Your Strengths to build up their confidence, self-esteem and recognise what great things they bring to friendships.