Schmitz Park Elementary Student Session on Conflict


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60 minute session delivered to students at Schmitz Park Elementary School. Conflict is natural and normal, yet girls engage in much more Alternative Aggression. Why does it happen, what could it lead to, and what can we do to have healthy conflict resolution that the situation doesn’t turn into bullying?

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  • Think about the friends and frenemies in your life. If you don ’t have frienemies, think about the models you have seen (other people’s friendships, movies, TV shows, books, etc.). What are the characteristics that make a friend a true friend and a frenemy a frenemy? (worksheet part 1)
  • You may look at the list and think, oh they are SO out of here. You may have known these things all along but you keep staying friends with them. Why? Brainstorm some reasons why you haven ’t or won’t dump these frenemies., worksheet part 2.
  • Alternative aggression defines any behavior that expresses anger in ways other than direct words or physical aggression. It has been happening for years among girls, but only recently has the literature come more into the mainstream with books like Odd Girl Out and Queen Bees and Wannabes and movies like Mean Girls.
  • Rachel Simmons - Girls don ’ t want to express anger directly to the person that caused it for fear of losing that relationship. There are problems when direct confrontation happens. Because so many girls lack facility with everyday conflict expression of anger makes listeners skittish and defensive. The sound of someone upset feels like the first sign of impending isolation, a kind of social thunder echoing in the distance. Result: relational aggression - silent treatment. Not inviting someone. Stares and glares. I won ’ t be friends with you if …” Pretending the person isn ’ t there. Sabotaging a relationship.
  • Rachel Simmons - Plague of the “ sorry ” : perfunctory like “ bless you. ” Really means, I don ’ t want to lose you so let ’ s call truce. But incident is recorded in memory to bring up at a later fight. Plague of the “ I ’ m just kidding. ” “ Can ’ t you take a joke? ” Girl making comment is really taking a jab to release aggression but keeps the “ nice girl ” thing by saying she was kidding. The girl on receiving end is hurt but won ’ t say because she doesn ’ t want to be “ hypersensitive girl, ” someone no one likes. For boys who have other outlets for anger, one-up teasing each other is actually a joke. For girls who have no other outlets, joking takes on another meaning altogether.
  • Can ’ t you take a joke? Gosh you are such an over-reactor. Eye rolling. Sarcasm. Mocking. Rumors - someone else does the “ dirty work ” in ruining the reputation and relationships of the target.
  • D escribe what ’s happening (without judgment) E xplain how it makes you feel (on the inside) A ffirm the other person (be authentic) R equest a different course of action (with respect)
  • Affirm the relationship I statement that explains what ’s going on and how it makes you feel My contribution to this conflict was… Solutions you can contribute to resolve the conflict, seeking solutions from your partner
  • Pushing behaviors: Lots of you statements Addressing the person ’s character instead of her behavior Bringing up the past Bringing up unrelated issues & other conflict Justifying poor actions (you started it!) Fake apologies Bringing up other people (she agrees with me!) Outside feelings vs Inside feelings We tend to stick to angry, annoyed, frustrated and other “outside” feelings because they seem safer. But these areactually feelings that can make the other person get on the defensive instead of wanting to hear you out. Besides, these outside feelings are manifestations of more vulnerable “Inside” feelings like being worried, being sad, being scared, feeling lonely, feeling hurt. People tend to soften and want to listen to these. Threatening with relationships: Be sure conditions you put forth don ’t sound like “I won’t be friends with you if you don’t do exactly what I want.” This is relational aggression, not a part of healthy relationship. Think to yourself, “Am I asking for these changes because these actions are harmful to me and my emotional safety? Have I found that I cannot live with the current circumstances?” Then it’s a conflict that may need you to consider ending the relationship. If you’re thinking, “It would be easier for me or it would improve my circumstances if she did this,” what you are doing is making a request. Threatening to end the relationship over it is bullying.
  • Schmitz Park Elementary Student Session on Conflict

    1. 1. Conflict Happens Student Session Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Seattle Girls ’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    2. 2. About Seattle Girls ’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    3. 3. Working Definition of Conflict <ul><li>A clash between two individuals or groups </li></ul><ul><li>A disagreement or argument about something important </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    4. 4. How do Boys and Girls Act in Conflict? <ul><li>Turn to a neighbor and talk about how you know when a boy is having a conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about how you know when a girl is having a conflict. </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    5. 5. Why the Difference? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    6. 6. Friends and Frienemies Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    7. 7. Working Definition of Frenemies <ul><li>One who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy (Merriam Webster) </li></ul><ul><li>A friend who often behaves in ways that cut you down or make you feel bad </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    8. 8. What are the Differences? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    9. 9. Why Keep Them Around? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    10. 10. <ul><li>How are “Good Girls” supposed to act in a conflict? </li></ul>Remember Girls and Conflict Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    11. 11. Alternative Aggression <ul><li>Relational Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Social Aggression </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    12. 12. Relational Aggression is when your words/actions hurt relationships (or threaten to hurt relationships) or make someone feel not included or accepted. Relational Aggression Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    13. 13. Indirect Aggression is when your words/actions hurt someone through rumors or other indirect ways hurt and/or you say you didn ’t mean it. Indirect Aggression Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    14. 14. Social Aggression Social Aggression is when your words/actions make someone feel bad about themselves or feel like they ’re less popular in a group. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    15. 15. Alternative Aggression Hurts Everyone <ul><li>Targets </li></ul><ul><li>Agents </li></ul><ul><li>Bystanders </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    16. 16. What CAN You Do? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    17. 17. D.E.A.R. Conflict Resolution Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    18. 18. AIMS Conflict Problem Solving Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    19. 19. Words of Caution <ul><li>• Pushing Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>• Outside Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>vs Inside Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>• Threatening with Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>• False Intentions </li></ul><ul><li>• Fake Apologies </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    20. 20. Practice Makes Less-Heart-Attack-Inducing! Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    21. 21. When It ’s Bullying <ul><li>Power is uneven </li></ul><ul><li>Intent to harm </li></ul><ul><li>Repeated and Sustained </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Relational Bullying </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    22. 22. Bullying Intervention <ul><li>Know when it is bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Stand up for yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them to stop the behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Seek healthy support </li></ul><ul><li>Tell an adult </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    23. 23. Ally Skills <ul><li>Don ’t bully </li></ul><ul><li>Speak up when someone else is being bullied </li></ul><ul><li>Assume positive intentions, but don ’t let that assumption make you silent </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions to clarify and to educate </li></ul><ul><li>Don ’t make the person who is bullying into someone who is getting targeted </li></ul><ul><li>Actively include those who are easily left out </li></ul><ul><li>If you know someone is getting bullied, tell an adult at school or at home </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the climate healthy </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    24. 24. Debrief • What information was new, useful, or interesting to you? • What other questions do you have? Who in your life can help you figure out the answers? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    25. 25. “ The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlan Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    26. 26. Questions, Comments, Concerns? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    27. 27. Presenter Information <ul><li>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee </li></ul><ul><li>6th Faculty and </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Seattle Girls ’ School </li></ul><ul><li>2706 S Jackson Street </li></ul><ul><li>Seattle WA 98144 </li></ul><ul><li>(206) 709-2228 x 219 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    28. 28. Resources <ul><li>Joshua M. Aronson, Ph.D., “Improving Achievement & Narrowing the Gap,” Learning and the Brain Conference, Cambridge, MA, November 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Roy Baumeister, Case Western Reserve University, Various Social Psychology Experiments on the Effects of Social Exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Beatbullying Toolkit for Teachers, </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cycle of Bullying,” North Central Educational Service District, </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Jennings, GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) </li></ul><ul><li>Allan G. Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference. </li></ul><ul><li>Tara Kuther, “Understanding Bullying,”, </li></ul><ul><li>John Medina, Talaris Research Institute, various studies on theory of mind and power. </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Thompson & Kathy Schultz, “The Psychological Experiences of Students of Color,” Independent School Magazine, </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    29. 29. Gender Specific Resources <ul><li>JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters, How Girls Thrive </li></ul><ul><li>Pooja Makhijani, Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America . </li></ul><ul><li>John Medina, Talaris Research Institute, various studies on early gender differences in competition and play and “Love Lab.” </li></ul><ul><li>Northwest Girls Coalition, Protective Factors for Middle School Girls - What can Parents Do? </li></ul><ul><li>The Ophelia Project </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Pipher, Ph.D., Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls </li></ul><ul><li>Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out, Odd Girl Speaks Out, Curse of the Good Girl, </li></ul><ul><li>Harriet R. Tenenbaum, “Gender Achievement Motivation,” Learning and the Brain Conference, Cambridge, MA, November 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Rosalind Wiseman, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, </li></ul><ul><li>Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth, Promiscuities </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (