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Understanding & Responding to Bullying Part I Increasing Your Awareness What Causes Bullying & What Can We Do? Tools for Strong Families
Increasing Your Awareness of Bullying Take a few minutes and think of a bullying incident from your youth: What happened? Who was involved? What role did you play in the situation? How did you and others react in the situation? How did you feel? How would you expect your child to react to the same incident?
What is Bullying? P—Bullying is purposeful I—Bullying is imbalanced C—Bullying is continual
Myths About Bullying Bullying is just “kids being kids”. It’s not really bullying if no one is physically hurt. Bullying happens only on the playground. Children will outgrow bullying—there are no lasting harmful effects. Some children are just born rough, and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s best for parents, teachers, and other adults to just stay out of it. Children who are the targets of bullying are bringing it on themselves.
Myths About Bullying Weaker children benefit from bullying. It builds character and gives them an opportunity to “stick up for themselves.” If bullying takes place at school, there’s not much I can do to help my child change the situation. Only boys bully. Girls are targeted for bullying only by other girls. There’s not enough time to address the problem of bullying. Paying attention to complaints just encourages tattling.
What causes bullying and what can we do? The most common questions from both parents and students…
What makes some children bullies/targets of bullying? Risk factors Protective Factors
Risk and protective factors are sometimes inherent but many are developed within a child’s spheres of influence
Spheres of influence: which ones can you affect?
Some examples of risk factors: Being smaller or larger than other classmates Hitting puberty earlier or later than most classmates Stress in the home Being confrontational with others
Some examples of protective factors: strong self-esteem sense of humor cares for younger siblings academic success
How important are these factors? Risk factors don’t cause the problem Protective factors don’t prevent the problem However… More risk factors = tendency to respond to events in negative or aggressive ways. Protective factors help guard against this
Tools for Strong Families Guidelines for Healthy, Happy Families Be Inclusive Be Fun Be Encouraging Be Honest Be Firm Be NICE Be a Source of Security Be Respectful Be a Positive Role Model Be Fair
Family Meeting One of the most important things family members can do is talk to one another. Family meetings are regularly scheduled meetings for the family to discuss guidelines, behaviors and expectations, and make decisions as a group. It provides an opportunity for all the family to come together and identify concerns and problems.
Steps to Successful Family Meetings Step 1 Set up a time when all members of the family can be present Step 2 Keep notes Step 3 Choose someone to chair the meting Step 4 Use an agenda Step 5 Reflect on how the meeting went from each family member
THE BIG QUESTIONS A way to successfully approach problems within your family (problem solving model) What is your goal? What are you doing? Is what you are doing helping you achieve your goal? If not, what can you do differently?
Emotional Intelligence & Emotional Coaching Emotional Intelligence: refers to the ability of a person to monitor his or her feelings, as well as the feelings of others, and use this information to guide thinking and behavior 4 Components: Perceiving and expressing emotion Using emotion to facilitate thinking Understanding emotions Managing emotions
Raising Emotional Intelligence Children and adolescents who demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence have lower levels of aggression and fewer behavior problems Become aware of your own and your child’s emotions Recognize your child’s emotion as an opportunity for intimacy and teaching Listen empathically and validate your child’s feelings Help your child find words to label the emotions she or he is having (“I statements”)
Emotional Coaching Activity Think of a situation in which you identified an opportunity for emotional coaching but feel that it probably could have gone better. Briefly describe to your table.
What was your emotional reaction to the situation?
What got in the way of using emotional coaching?
Modeling Behavior Based on the assumption that most behavior is learned through observation Essential that we try our hardest to demonstrate the behaviors we want our children to learn Can you remember a time where you modeled a behavior to your child?
Maintaining a Positive Relationship with Your Child Balancing Support and Firmness; 1 of the most difficult and universal challenges of parenting Keeping the Door Open Making a Commitment Resolving Conflicts Peacefully
Understanding & Responding to Bullying Part II This is only the beginning… Part II Wednesday, September 29 at 6:30 pm Topics Include: Understanding & helping the bully Understanding & helping the targets Parents & schools BE THERE!...or be bullied