ELEMENTARY HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS CONVERSATION GUIDE FOR SGLs
Every kid needs tribes over time to give them belonging. And
your small group is a great place for that kind of connection to
take place! As a small group leader, you’re a significant member
of a kid’s tribe. So keep in mind your conversations about
friendship matter. Your words could serve as the foundation
of how a kid views and forms their own friendships.
Elementary schoolers are all about fun. And nothing is more
fun than friends! At this age, friendships can change from
week to week. Sometimes they change from day to day! But
their importance isn’t marginalized by their inconstant nature.
Not getting invited to a sleepover or being the last kid picked
for the kickball game can be heartbreaking to a kid. Even the
seemingly small things, like not sitting by your favorite friend
at lunch, can be a big deal to an elementary schooler.
And as the phases progress, so does your group’s capacity to
compel one another. To shape one another. To critically affect
one another. So take care with how you approach the topic of
friends—even during this early phase of elementary school.
No fight is too silly or disappointment too small to unpack.
Here are a few ideas of what to say—and what to avoid
saying—when leading discussions about healthy friendships
with elementary schoolers:
WHAT TO SAY:
• “What’s your favorite show, book, or movie about friends?
How are they good friends to each other?”
• “Tell me about how you met your best friend. What kind
of things do you enjoy doing together?”
• “Name three words that describe a good friend.”
• “Think about a time a friend has made you angry or sad.
• “If you wanted to become a friend with someone new,
what would you do?”
• “Have you ever felt like you needed to “tattle” on a friend?”
• “Have you ever wanted something a friend had?
• “Friends forgive one another. What does it mean
to forgive someone?”
• “If you saw your friend being mean or rude to someone,
what would you do?”
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
• “Everyone should be your friend.”
• “You can only have one best friend.”
• “If you don’t have lots of friends, maybe you aren’t very nice.”
• “If someone hurts your feelings, you shouldn’t be their friend.”
• “Don’t be friends with _____________________. They’re not a good
• “________________ isn’t a good friend.”