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Friendship and Other Weapons


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Table of Contents

Introduction. About this Book. Session 1. Words Matter! Establishing the Ground Rules for Real Friendship. Session 2. Cast Your Vote: Identifying the Values of Real Friendship. Session 3. Silent Whispers: Two Rules for Stopping Gossip. Session 4. The Red Flags of Girl Bullying: When Friendship is Used as a Weapon. Session 5. No More Secrets: Four Rules for STANding Up to Girl Bullying. Session 6. Who Am I? Exploring Personal Strengths. Session 7. I Feel Connected: Finding Common Ground and Celebrating Differences. Session 8. Don't Just Stand There: Three Occasions for Becoming an Ally. Session 9. Standing in Your Shoes: Fostering Empathy and Cooperation in Girls. Session 10. Left Out in the Cold: Understanding the Power of Social Exclusion. Session 11. Sharing S.O.D.A.S. A Problem Solving Method for Girls. Session 12. Writing How-To Books: Ending the Group, Maintaining the Bonds. Supplementary Activities: Preparing Girls for a Social Media World. Session I. Tame that Tune: Evaluating Music Lyrics and Video Imagery. Session II. Is Seeing Really Believing? Evaluating Entertainment and Advertising Imagery. Session III. 24/7 Contact: Guidelines for Texting, IM'ing, and Facebook. References.

Promotional Information

Recognising and tackling bullying within female friendship groups

About the Author

Signe Whitson is a licensed social worker and Chief Operating Officer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) Institute, an international certification program that trains adults in helping children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviour based in Hagerstown, Maryland, USA. Signe has over ten years' experience working as a staff trainer and therapist for children and adolescents in individual, family, group, and school settings. She presents across the United States on topics related to child and adolescent mental health. She is the author of How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids and Teens (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). For more information, please visit


Creative, accessible, and well sequenced, "Friendship and Other Weapons" is a good example of a curriculum that is easy to implement and to customize for a group (even for older girls). Ideas for customizing a session are included. The parent involvement expecatation is an effective practice that affirms the family's investment in the group. The use of activities, processing, and journaling are clear indicators that this is a solid group work program (what the author called a "real friendship" group)... "Friendship and Other Weapons" is one of the best curriculums I have encountered. It embodies the value of the group to enable members help themselves and one anoher. I highly recomment this book for any level practitioner. I can see it working especially well in a school or community center. It is adaptable for younger girls or middle schoolers. -- Social Work with Groups
Friendship and Other Weapons aims to help young girls cope with bullying... The book is based on thought-provoking discussions, engaging games, strength-discovering exercises, and confidence-boosting fun with hands-on activities. -- Leadership Focus
Signe Whitson's book Friendship and Other Weapons is a comprehensive skill-based curriculum of activities designed to teach young girls how to be confident, and proud of who they are... Whitson's book goes a step further as she has developed many thoughtful and dynamic skill-based group activities that support young girls. -- Reclaiming Youth International
Friendship and Other Weapons has a wealth of new activities that teach young girls how to navigate the dark side of friendship and stand up to bullying. With clear, simple instructions and powerful points to make about friendship and aggression, this curriculum is a must have for anyone working with young girls. I can't wait to try out some of the activities! -- Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
Want a proven way to help girls feel powerful enough to stand up to friendship bullies? This is it. The variety of activities reaches girls with different learning styles. The positive approach equips both parents and teachers with the tools they need to help girls assertively call out and reject friendship bullying. -- Nancy Gruver, Founder, New Moon Girls magazine and online community,
Friendship and Other Weapons is a wonderful resource for educators, counseling professionals, parents, and group leaders who wish to address bullying and instil pro-social friendship skills in girls ages 5--11. I highly recommend it. -- Trudy Ludwig, best-selling author of My Secret Bully
This book is a very practical guide to the forms that bullying can take, and how to prepare girls to recognise and resist it... Organised as a 12 - step programme for a group, it is also enlightening for parents: I found the 'bully ban' assertive statement suggestions very helpful. A great resource. -- Families Magazine
What we liked about this book is that it not only gives a new perspective on bullying but also provides practical advice and coping strategies for parents of school-age girls. Moreover, if there are no group activities dedicated to bullying in your school or community, parents can adapt each activity for one-on-one discussion at home. -- Mums Like You Blog.
I like this book a lot. It gives the adults plenty of ideas for next steps and it even has sample letters to send home so that parents can understand and can join in at home. It is an honest, open method to promote individuality and negate bad, biased attitudes. Well worth having on the school and youth club book shelves. -- Children's Webmag.

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