Navigating Friendships

17 March 2022

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Friendship Fires or Mean on Purpose – What’s the diff?


I have always been a firm believer of the maxim “you teach people how you want to be treated”. I have shared this thought in many different contexts with students, staff and even my own children.


It is a reminder for us to stick up for ourselves, to understand what it looks like and feels like to be treated with respect and when we are not, to do something about it.


As we all know, growing up comes with different challenges. For some, one of these challenges can be navigating friendships. Friendships come naturally for some and for others there are skills and tools that need to be learned along the way to avoid long lasting conflicts and deeply hurt feelings.


Equipping our students and our children to understand friendships is a lifelong skill.





This year our Student Development Team introduced the Junior Schools to some important phrases from a program called Friendology. We have adopted this language at Calvary with our students:


  1. Friendship Fires – A friendship fire is a misunderstanding or a disagreement in a friendship that can be resolved.


  1. Mean on Purpose – This is when someone is intentionally cruel, rude or mean.


As we unpack the difference between the 2 concepts, we equip the children with skills and tools to combat each situation.


At home you can use the same language to unpack friendship issues.


You can ask your child “Is this a friendship fire or mean-on-purpose?”. 


As we unpack the strategies of conflict resolution and reporting mean-on-purpose situations, you can guide your child and partner with us to equip them to navigate these tricky situations. This in turn builds their resilience and sets them up with life-long skills.


Look out for our next blog: How to manage a Friendship Fire!


Fiona Burnett

Head of Junior School Carbrook