Snapshot: May 2021

We acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people on whose traditional territory we live, learn, and teach. The W̱SÁNEĆ people have lived and worked on this land since time immemorial.


Why Focus on Healthy Relationships?

Developing and maintaining healthy relationships can be hard!  But we are social creatures, and relationship, connection, and attachment are central to everything we do.  Developing skills in relationship through focus on components like communication, listening, conflict resolution and assertiveness can help us develop strong and healthy connections, improving both our physical and our mental well-being.

Health Benefits of Strong Social Connections.

Research on the topic indicates that there are many health benefits to positive social connections, including both physical and behavioural benefits.  Did you know time spent in healthy relationships can relieve harmful levels of stress and improve the immune system?  


Defining the concept.

Healthy relationships develop in junction with trust, respect, friendship, patience, understanding, support, and enjoyment, amongst other attributes.  Considering what attributes contribute to a positive relationship and social connection allows us to reflect on how we show up to the relationships in our lives, and what attributes we bring into these relational spaces. 

Intrapersonal Skills

Intrapersonal skills are the skills that enable us to look inward, focusing on who we are and how we show up to the relationships in our lives.  Through self compassion and reflection, we are able to gain insight to self, and the way we bring ourselves into relationships with others.  To foster intrapersonal skills in relationship, try asking yourself the following:

- How am I feeling?

- What’s moving in me?

- How is this likely to influence my interactions with others?

-How am I showing up in relationships?

-As I change, how do my relationships change?

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills enable us to connect with others, and to gain insight into how we are likely to communicate, listen, and be with others.  Interpersonal skills allow us to engage with others in meaningful and creative ways, strengthening our connections to those around us.  To foster interpersonal skills, try asking yourself the following:

- What is my communication style?  Do I tend to be passive aggressive, aggressive, or assertive?  How does this play out in my relationships?

- How do I approach conflict?

- What leaves me feeling good in my interactions with others?

- What frustrates me, and how does this show up in my relationships?
Understanding Consent

What about consent?

Ask.  Listen.  Respect.  Consent is an important aspect to all relationships, and requires respect and communication.  Consent means asking for permission, and respecting boundaries when someone says no.  Consent is important at all ages, and is important to learn and practice from childhood throughout our lifespan.  


Consent for kids.

In early childhood, teaching consent means learning to respect one another's boundaries, building safety, and fostering healthy relationships.  Consent can be taught from the earliest years, and can help children develop healthy boundaries and maintain comfort and safety.

Consent for youth and adults.

Consent for youth and adults will also include a more in depth consideration of consent in romantic and sexual relationships.  As in all activities, consent is an active process between people, is activity-specific,
can be taken back at any time, and
must be given in a free and clear mindset.

Strengthening Relationships and Attachment

Understanding how age can impact development and relational needs.

Attachment is a fundamental aspect to well-being and relationships, and our attachment needs tend to shift over time.  While infants tend to form strong attachments through skin-to-skin and close physical contact, by the time they reach pre-school, children are beginning to experience independence and their attachment needs begin to shift through childhood, adolescence and adulthood.  


Try to follow children's lead as they experience emotion.

Staying with children through both positive emotions like joy and happiness, as well as difficult emotions like sadness and anger will help them not only strengthen their attachment, but also manage their emotion.  Talk openly about feelings, and develop the habit of labeling and sharing emotions.  As Dr. Daniel Siegel highlights in his strategy "Name it to Tame It", naming emotions helps tame and calm the emotion, rendering it more manageable.  Children benefit from one-on-one time, or "my time", so carve out time where possible, and celebrate the relationships in your life.

Teenagers need love AND space. 

Be present, but avoid trying to jump in and solve problems.  Adolescents often want someone to listen, without being told what to do.  By listening without guiding, supportive attachment relationships provide teens the support needed

Food For Thought

Self-Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships.

Self awareness can help us develop insight to our thoughts, preventing misunderstanding and the tendency to jump to conclusions.  In their book Schools that Learn, Peter Senge and Mette Boell speak to the ladder of inference developed by Chris Argyle as one such tool that can help in this process.  Read below and explore how the ladder of inference can offer new opportunities to challenge our thinking, and to strengthen healthy interactions and social connections.   

The Ladder of Inference.

Have you ever found yourself jumping to conclusions, only to later realize your conclusions were based largely on untested beliefs and selective data and interpretations?  What conclusions would you make if a friend or colleague snapped at you for a comment you made, or laughed while you were trying to make a point?
Rather than stopping to consider all data, many might instead quickly "climb up the ladder" assuming one's belief is the truth, the truth is obvious, and the truth is data.  While the temptation to quickly climb the ladder and jump to conclusions is strong, climbing down the ladder while questioning the data, information, and beliefs we are focusing on can drastically shift our experience and relationships.  Consider climbing down the ladder by asking yourself or others the following questions:

- What information am I paying attention to, and what might I be missing? What is the observable data?

-Are there other ways to make sense of what is happening here?  What might others see differently?

- How did I get from that observable data to these abstract assumptions?

Local Youth Friendly Relational Resources

Foundry Victoria

Visit Foundry's website to explore how to develop healthy relationships, how to know if a relationship isn't working, and what to do if you are in a difficult situation.  


Island Sexual Health

Island Sexual Health offers a number of youth friendly supports, including education, clinical services, youth committees, and resources pertaining to sexual health.  Visit the website below to learn more, or text 250-812-9374 to have sexual health questions answered anonymously by clinic staff.



We know that many members of our community have been on a journey to learn more about gender identity. Whether you're a young person needing support, a parent needing resources to help you understand, or a teacher looking to increase your knowledge - Trans Care BC can help! Visit the link below to 
connect with the health navigation team and for information, resources, peer support and guidance, connections to supportive providers in your community and even training opportunities!

Ideas for Home

Foundational Skills for Friendship

Research indicates there are four main skills to promoting positive friendships: cooperative play, language and communication, emotional understanding and regulation, and aggression control and problem solving.  Visit the link below to learn more about why these skills are important, and how they can be fostered.


Activities for friendships in difficult times.

Explore the link below to consider 7 activity boosting strategies in times requiring physical distance in the classroom and outdoors.  Through virtual, remote, or distanced spaces, strengthen your connections through a number of games and activities.


SOGI 123

SOGI 123 supports the promotion of safe inclusive schools for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  Visit the website to learn more about lesson plans, parent information, videos, and more.  


Interested in Learning More?