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Friends Forever
Friends Forever
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Friends Forever

Youth

Having friends that you enjoy being around and can trust is super important. It’s great when both friends care about and support each other. But sometimes friendships change or can be complicated or stressful. What can you do if a friendship feels confusing or you’re feeling left out?

FAQs

Why do people stop being friends sometimes if they still like each other and get along well?

Friendships, just like people, come in many different shapes and sizes and can change over time. Sometimes a friendship changes because one person moves away, develops new interests or hobbies or maybe even because of a traumatic event. In a healthy friendship, both people should be able to support each other and talk about how they’re feeling. So if you’re not feeling like your friendship is healthy anymore, even though it can be difficult to stop being close to a good friend, it can help to talk about your feelings with that friend or a trusted adult.

What do you do when one person wants to be friends and the other does not?

This can be a really difficult and sometimes painful situation! Whether you’re the one who wants to continue the friendship or the one who wants to end a friendship, it can be hard to talk about these things without hurting another person or feeling hurt yourself. One important part of a healthy friendship is feeling like you’re both equals. So if one person is much more interested in the friendship than the other, it’s going to be difficult to have a healthy friendship. Talking with a trusted adult about these situations—how they make you feel and what to do about them—can be helpful.

What are some good ways to talk about your feelings with your friends?

A friend is someone who cares about and wants to support you. So if there’s something you want to talk about with your friend, keep in mind that your friend wants what’s best for you, even if talking about it is hard. To start the discussion, you can tell your friend that there is something you want to talk about. Find some quiet time to talk. It can help to practice what you want to say by yourself, either by writing it down or talking aloud. It can also help to talk with trusted adults who can share valuable experience or advice to help you through the situation. The bottom line is that healthy friendships include showing respect for each other and supporting each other, even though you may not always agree.

Parents

Relationships, especially friendships, become increasingly important for young people as they develop from kids into young adults. It is developmentally appropriate for young people to seek more independence from their family and want to spend more time with their peers. They also might find that their friendships change, with some becoming more intense and others potentially fizzling out. These changes can be stressful and confusing for young people. It’s important that they understand that these changes are normal and it’s healthy to talk about your feelings with your friends and trusted adults.

Peer pressure can play a major role in friendships and may be a sign of an unhealthy relationship that is out of balance. In a balanced relationship, each person shows respect for the other and neither tries to push the other into something they aren’t comfortable doing. It is important that young people know they have the right to stand up for what they believe is right and to feel comfortable expressing themselves with their friends. Standing up for oneself may cause tension in a friendship, but that is normal and not a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

As your child becomes more independent and friendships become a more important part of his or her life, talk to your child about friendships and let your child know you’re there if issues arise in their relationships. Here are some ways you can start these conversations:

Talk to your child about their friendships

Have you noticed any of your friendships change over the past few years?

Ask your child what advice they would give someone if they were growing apart from a friend

It can be sad if a good friend becomes interested in new things and spends time with a new group of people. If that happened to someone you know, what advice would you give them?

Educators

Relationships, especially friendships, become increasingly important for young people as they develop from kids into young adults. It is developmentally appropriate for young people to seek more independence from their family and want to spend more time with their peers. They also might find that their friendships change, with some becoming more intense and others potentially fizzling out. These changes can be stressful and confusing for young people. It’s important that they understand that these changes are normal and it’s healthy to talk about your feelings with your friends and trusted adults.

Peer pressure can play a major role in friendships and may be a sign of an unhealthy relationship that is out of balance. In a balanced relationship, each person shows respect for the other and neither tries to push the other into something they aren’t comfortable doing. It is important that young people know they have the right to stand up for what they believe is right and to feel comfortable expressing themselves with their friends. Standing up for oneself may cause tension in a friendship, but that is normal and not a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Discussion Questions

After watching the video with your class, process it using the following discussion questions:
  • What does it mean when someone says, “Friends just grow apart”? Why does that sometimes happen?
  • If someone feels like their good friend isn’t interested in the same stuff as they are anymore, what are some things that person can do?
What is an Accordion?

An accordion is a space-saving content element that expands and collapses to reveal it’s content.

What exactly is AMAZE?

AMAZE.org is a collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer, and YTH. We’ve come together to create an engaging, accurate, age­-appropriate online sex education resource for youth. We want to help very young adolescents, ages 10­-14, develop healthy attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors they need to navigate the critical transition between childhood and older adolescence. We’re doing this by making creative, edgy YouTube videos about health and sex­-ed topics that matter to youth.

Why AMAZE?

Most health interventions and resource campaigns focus on older adolescents, especially in the US. Early adolescence marks a critical transition between childhood and older adolescence. We’ve worked directly with youth to figure out what works for health campaigns, and we’re making it a point to produce content that will make an impact on their lives.

What do we care about?

We believe in providing accurate information that is age appropriate and focuses on the many issues youth face today. We highlight issues around body image, healthy relationships, puberty, and sexual health.

How does AMAZE engage youth?

From our interactions with youth, we know that current health resources aren’t the best. They can be adult­ oriented or even worse, be pandering, and aren’t always the most engaging. So we asked youth what actually works. We base our work on the 5 “must haves” of health resources, including: humor, youth narration, colors and music, organization, and professionalism. AMAZE has a national youth advisory board that provides input at every stage of the campaign and we are working with young innovative animators who can help us speak directly to youth concerns. All the content and design direction is based on deep formative research with youth.

How does AMAZE spread the word?

Our content is published under the Creative Commons License and is available to be viewed by anyone. We encourage viewers to republish or incorporate our content into other work, or to submit new work or suggestions to us. We’re also supporting parents and educators by developing a more structured website to help adults use these materials with youth.

I am interested in partnering with AMAZE. What do I do next?

At AMAZE, we are always looking for valuable partnerships with like-minded people and organizations. If you want to be involved, please go the Get Involved section of this website and send us a note. Alternatively, send us an email with your thoughts at info@amaze.org or contact any of our operating organizations directly.

I represent a philanthropic entity/individual and would like to explore how AMAZE is a fit for us to consider for future support/funding. Who do I talk to?

That’s great. We are definitely interested in procuring support to scale and replicate AMAZE both in the US and globally and would like to hear your thoughts and explore alignment. Thus far, the partners have received their funding from the WestWind Foundation. Please use the Get Involved section of this website to contact us or send an email to info@amaze.org and we will get back to you with next steps to begin a discussion.

How does AMAZE select its topics?

Our team went through the National Sexuality Education Standards and focused on the subjects that were appropriate for our target audience. Our team assembled content briefs on each subject to help the animators understand each topic and what material should be covered in the videos.

So far we have been focusing on the following subjects:

• Puberty and Adolescent Development: Changing Bodies, Wet Dreams, Erections, Masturbation, Menstruation, Breast Development, Body Image, Media Literacy, Emotions and Puberty

• Anatomy, Physiology and Reproduction

• Identity: Gender Roles, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Coming Out, Questioning

• Healthy Relationships: Friendship, Love, Communication Skills, Relationships with Caring Adults

• Sex: Sexual Behavior, Knowing When You’re Ready, Consent, Planning for the Future, Sexually Transmitted Diseases,  HIV and AIDS

• Personal Safety: Sexual Assault, Internet Safety and Bullying

We expect to continually update our videos and topics to meet the needs of our target audience.

What does the future look like for AMAZE?

AMAZE is in the process of going international with partners that include Marie Stopes, IPPF/WHR, and DKT. Our website and ten core videos are currently being translated into ten of the world’s most spoken languages: Arabic, Bengali, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, Urdu, and Vietnamese. The initial videos will use subtitles, and the Spanish versions will include voice-overs, as well. Our long-term goal is to provide localized versions of the website and the videos that are culturally appropriate for our international country partners.

How does AMAZE select its animators?

AMAZE uses a two track system for content development. For one track, AMAZE worked with five of the top design schools in the country to provide a group of their best animation students or graduates. These young animators are producing excellent, edgy youth-driven content covering a variety of narrow or wide ranging content. Each animator is given a content brief and has a mentor from one of our Partner organizations who assures the material is accurate and age appropriate.

For the other track, we are working with The Moving Company, an Israel-based animation studio. They are producing a standardized series, the “Jane Blog” of more traditional explainer style, educational AMAZE videos that include all of the points in the briefing documents.

How much does it cost to use AMAZE?

Zero! There is no charge to anyone to use any part of AMAZE. Our videos are published under the Creative Commons License and are available to be viewed by anyone. We encourage viewers to republish or incorporate our content into other work, or to submit new work or suggestions to us.