This program offers teens insight on how to honestly assess the health of relationships, particularly romantic relationships and intense friendships, and then presents concrete steps to help viewers end unhealthy relationships. Real teens share their experiences covering a broad spectrum of unhealthy relationships from a once good friendship that has gone bad, to a romantic relationship that has become abusive. Social workers Amy Edelstein and Eri Kim offer insight on how to end a relationship safely and effectively. The experts also present a model for students to use to help evaluate their current relationships and discuss what to do if a friend is in an unhealthy relationship.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
DVD contains Spanish subtitles.
Relationships, both platonic and romantic, are explored in this short program. It focuses on what makes a relationship harmful and how to learn to recognize one and develop a plan to end it. Dysfunctional relationships are characterized as ones with a mismatch of power, a double standard, or a lack of trust, respect, and choice. Several middle and high school students give examples, and counselors comment as well. Other DVDs by this distributor (most notably Coping with Dating Violence and Abuse) deal more extensively with detrimental romantic relationships, but this program provides young people with concrete ways to look at their friendships as well. Young people often have no knowledge about how relationships are supposed to function and have extremely fragile and undeveloped self-esteem, so this short film may help with self-awareness. Students learn to identify the red flags of damaging relationships, and they are given practical advice about how they can be terminated. VERDICT Almost any middle school student can benefit from this film, if only to increase the understanding that some relationships are unhealthy and do not have to be endured.
—Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University
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