What skills do we have to build nurturing relationships?

About this Guide

This Second Level guide will help you to create activities around the wellbeing indicator of Nurtured using the Healthy Lifestyles section of the Health and Wellbeing curriculum. Healthy Lifestyles combines the experiences and outcomes used in PSE benchmarks.

Suggested HWB Experiences & Outcomes

HWB 2-03a

I understand there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways in which I can gain access to practical and emotional support to help me and others in a range of circumstances.

HWB 2-05a

I know that friendship, caring, sharing, fairness, equality and love are important in building positive relationships. As I develop and value relationships, I care and show respect for myself and others.

HWB 2-44b

I am aware that positive friendships and relationships can promote health and the health and wellbeing of others.

HWB 2-51a

I can describe the role of a parent/carer and the skills, commitment and qualities that the role requires.

Suggested Learning Intentions

  • To understand that people develop different types of relationships throughout their lives.
  • To recognise the qualities needed to build and sustain positive relationships.
  • To become aware of the emotional skills and qualities required to look after a baby.

Suggested Success Criteria (I Can…)

HWB 2-03a

Explain and demonstrate how to resolve conflict and access support in difficult times.


HWB 2-05a

Discuss and demonstrate a range of qualities needed to form and maintain friendships and relationships e.g. compromise, forgiveness, respect for self and others.

HWB 2-44b

Explain how my relationships can change as I grow and develop.

HWB 2-51a

Show awareness of the skills and qualities  involved in taking care of a baby eg love, patience, attention to needs.

Suggested Learning Experiences

  • Brainstorm the meaning of the word – ‘relationship.’ Discuss and illustrate eg. in the form of a family tree, everyone that is connected to them through some form of relationship. This could be sub-divided into relationships at school, home and the wider community.
  • Make a timeline of relationships / friendships that they have had since they were born. Consider why some have stayed the same and others have changed eg, moving home, starting school, significant life events like new babies being born, marriages or bereavements.
  • Consider the emotional bonds that are an important aspect of caring for a baby.
  • Research  what responsiveness is and why it creates that important bond with a baby.
  • Discuss the types of relationships children think they might experience as they grow up eg long term partnership. How do they expect to establish and maintain these relationships?Consider different forms of relationships by thinking about gender issues i.e. LGBTI.
  • Consider what makes friendships / relationships strong / weak. Consider ways in which they can improve their relationships.
  • Provide a selection of images of different kinds of people eg, a police officer, someone with a disability, a sportsperson etc. Ask the children to think about the kinds of friendships that could develop with these people, whether they would like to have them as friends and the possible benefits and barriers to these friendships.
  • Brainstorm the qualities of a good friendship / relationship. Place emphasis on compromise, forgiveness and respect. Ask the children to consider what they understand by these words and how they are important in maintaining good friendships.
  • Collaborative Learning – make a list of the people who can support them when friendships / relationships break down.
  • Consider how confident they would feel about accessing support to deal with difficult relationships.

Suggested Cross-Curricular Links

ENG 2-30a

Write about one particular friendship/relationship they have. Consider how it came about and how it has developed, as well as the mutual benefits of this friendship.

ENG 2-30a

Write a letter to an agony aunt/uncle about an imaginary break up between themselves and a friend. Swap the letter with a partner and respond with ideas about how the friendship might be resolved.


Make a comic strip / write a story where compromise or forgiveness is the central theme.

EXA 2-13a

Role-play different scenarios which demonstrate conflict. Consider ways of resolving the conflict or preventing it happening in the first instance.

Suggested Word Bank

  • Friend
  •  Friendship
  •  Caring
  •  Sharing
  •  Kind
  •  Happy
  •  Listen
  •  Take Turns
  •  Roles
  •  Rules
  •  Skills
  •  Support
  •  Difficult
  •  Challenges
  •  Qualities
  •  Resolve
  •  Needs
  •  Change
  •  Family
  •  Relationships
  •  Worry
  •  Concern
  •  Considerate
  •  Sustain
  •  Maintain
  •  Develop
  •  Compromise
  •  Forgiveness
  •  Respect
  •  Guidance
  •  Nurture
  •  Bonding