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Fortnite, Fads, & Friendship

Article Glossary

Glossary of Terms

At URSTRONG, we believe it’s important to use kids’ language for kids’ problems. That’s why we have our very own, unique language of friendship. Here are some important terms that children, parents, and teachers learn in our program.

Friendship Fire®: Any situation between you and a friend that results in negative feelings.

Mean-on-Purpose: When someone is intentionally unkind to someone else.

Quick Comeback: A very short word or phrase that is used when someone is Mean-on-Purpose. Quick Comebacks are designed to let the other person know that you heard/saw what they did and you’re not okay with it.

Friend-o-meter: A visual tool that assesses the health of friendships, ranging from the healthy zone to the unhealthy zone.

Friend-o-cycle: The normal cycle in a friendship that brings the friendship back to the healthy zone after experiencing a Friendship Fire. The phases of the Friend-o-cycle are: Healthy Friendship – Fire – Confront the issue – Talk-it-Out – Forgive & Forget – Closer & Stronger – Healthy Friendship…

4 Friendship Facts: A set of four facts that help us have realistic expectations in our friendships so we understand what is normal.

  1. No friendship (relationship) is perfect.
  2. Every friendship is different.
  3. Trust & Respect are the two most important qualities of a friendship.
  4. Friendships change…and that’s okay.

Red Shirt Girl and Striped Shirt Boy: Two characters that remind us about the importance of body language.

Friendship Ninja: A Friendship Ninja is someone who surrounds themselves with friends in the healthy zone of the Friend-o-meter. A Friendship Ninja is kind and friendly to everyone. A Friendship Ninja understands the 4 Friendship Facts and puts out their Friendship Fires when they ignite. A Friendship Ninja stands up for themselves and their friends. A Friendship Ninja makes new friends and understands that friendships change…and that’s okay. Above all else, a Friendship Ninja is someone you want to be friends with because they’re true to who they are!

Whether it’s Fortnite or Fidget Spinners or Beanie Boos, sometimes toys & games spark Friendship Fires! Read these tips.

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Pokemon Go. Dabbing. Bottle-flipping. Fidget Spinners. And now, Fortnite. Tweens have a habit of collectively falling in love with the same thing and, (what feels like) all of a sudden, they’re obsessed. It’s a craze, they MUST HAVE IT, and tweens around the world somehow at the exact same moment join hands and hop on the bandwagon. I’m sure if we were quiet enough, we could almost hear the sound of children begging their parents for the latest, greatest… whatever it may be.

As I’ve seen time and time again, as much as they love these fads, they always end up being a catalyst for conflict in friendships and sometimes bring out the worst in children. They get so obsessed with their new “thing” that kindness and compassion take a back seat.

While we don’t want to be the Fun Police and put a damper on these trends (I mean, Elsa & Anna were like part of the family!), it’s also extremely important to protect our children from the latest craze. We need to ensure that happy, healthy friendships stand strong in the face of the hype…whatever it may be. Here are a few suggestions for parents:

  • Go in with your eyes wide open. Before agreeing to buy your child the next best thing, review your rules and expectations. Remind your child that being a good friend, being kind and caring, and showing respect for others… these attributes always take top priority.
  • Establish a Zero-Tolerance Policy for unkind behavior with a natural, logical consequence of taking away ‘said toy/game’ for at least 24 hours. Remind them of the rules you established prior to buying them the whatchamacallit and, if they violate the rules a second time, it is donated to a child who will love and cherish it.
  • Remind your tween that some children are less fortunate and their parents can’t afford to keep up with these latest, greatest fads. Encourage them to share with children who don’t have whatever-it-is and play with their new fave thing at appropriate times, being mindful of the fact that friendships and looking out for others are more important.
  • If a Friendship Fire® does ignite over the toy/game, encourage your child to take action (so the Fire doesn’t get bigger) by finding a quiet place to talk to their friend. Remind them to (1) Retell the situation and (2) Explain how it made them feel. For example, “Remember when you said my Fidget Spinner was cheap? I felt a bit disrespected. I love mine and think we should respect that ours are all a little different!” The good news is, these are the easiest Friendship Fires to put out, so they’re great opportunities for your child to practice their conflict-resolution skills!

Lastly, parents, remind your child what matters most in life. Let’s join hands and hop on the same parenting bandwagon: Raising children who value relationships over Fortnite or Fidget Spinners or American Girl Dolls or Pokemon Go or Beanie Boos or LOL Dolls…[insert face palm] After all, the best (and most important) things in life are not things.

Written by Dana Kerford
Friendship Expert and Founder of URSTRONG