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That's Just Me: On solving conflicts and embracing differences

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Youth

This is Week 4 and 5 in my 8-week reflection series as a facilitator in the That’s Just Me program. The theme of this week was called “Friend or Frenemy;” it dealt with communication and friendship, and making friends and solving conflicts through games and discussions. 

All different, all equal

We all work differently in this sense, depending on factors like our personalities, moods and comfort zones.  For example, our group has a mix of introverted and extroverted girls. I really appreciated that a lot of emphasis was put on the fact that none is better than the other. I get the feeling that you are often expected to be social, outgoing and  have a lot of friends, not leaving very much room for people who might be more comfortable dealing with things inside their head, being alone or having fewer friends (not meaning they’re shy - as our guide clearly pointed out).

All or most of the girls could identify with the different ways of making and maintain friendships. 

Team building and role playing

This week we did two different activities where the girls were asked to pair up, role play and perform a skit based on a scenario they were given. One activity was about solving conflicts using the ABC Problem Solving Model (A: Ask the question, B: Brainstorm possible solutions, C: Choose a solution that you can both agree on. Come to a consensus). The other was about making new friends: how to approach someone you don’t know and where you might meet new people at your new school (sport teams, book clubs etc.). It was so much fun seeing girls who first said they didn’t want to work with someone new or perform their skit in front of everyone, actually end up working really well with a new partner and wanting to perform after all. 

The girls are simply great; they are such smart and fun individuals! Next week we’ll be delivering the Community Service Project that we have been working on together with the group of boys in the Boys 4 Real program at this school. Exciting stuff! 

YWCA Metro Vancouver offers 8-week long after school programs for Grade 7 girls and boys throughout Vancouver and Surrey, run entirely by volunteers like Nathalie. To find out more, click here.

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