Friendship & Other Weapons Workshops: Helping Kids Cope with Bullying
21st century bullies have mastered the art of blending in with the crowd, flying under an adult’s radar, and wreaking havoc in subtle ways. Today’s intimidators often top an adult’s “what-a-nice-kid” list and make their way into their victims’ inner circle before showing their true colors. Blink, and even the most astute observer may miss the bully’s hostile actions the first few times around. While bullying tends to peak in the middle school years, it is clear that this vicious behavior has its roots as early as elementary school. Too often, friendship is the weapon of choice for covert but soul-crushing tactics like social exclusion, humiliation, and rumor-spreading. Friendship & Other Weapons workshops provide information, activity ideas, and clear-cut strategies for what adults can do to understand and change bullying in their schools, treatment programs, and communities.
Professionals and Parents (Customizable half and full-day workshops)
Bullying among school-aged children is a widespread problem in the United States. If there was a one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, it would have been suggested and implemented long ago. You wouldn’t be thinking about it and I wouldn’t be talking about it. Getting a handle on bullying in schools and in cyberspace is a complex challenge that leaves many educators, youth care professionals, and parents feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that “big” solutions are trumped each and every day by the small, powerful acts that trustworthy adults can use to signal to individual kids that their dignity is paramount and that their safety will be prioritized. Friendship & Other Weapons workshops for professional and parents focus on 12 of the most important, impactful things that adults can do to confront and change bullying in schools, treatment programs, and communities. Using video, discussion, role play, and many hands-on ideas and activities, Signe demonstrates the many ways that adults can play a role in changing the culture of bullying.
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Mothers & Daughters (Customizable half and full-day workshops)
Parents often struggle with the question of, “Should I intervene in my daughter’s friendship problems?” The line between helicopter and hands-off parenting can get confusing, as adults waver between wanting to protect their daughters from any kind of hurt and believing that girl fighting is an inevitable rite of passage.
Mother-daughter seminars based on Friendship & Other Weapons bring moms and girls together to address such topics as picking healthy friendships, standing up to bullying, and using social media wisely. Girls gain from learning how to talk about the nature of girl bullying and friendship challenges with their parents while Moms benefit from learning the red flags of relational aggression (aka girl bullying,) in today’s social media landscape. Mother-daughter workshops help open the lines of communication and foster trusting relationships between parents and children.
Elementary School Students (45-60 minutes)
In this interactive presentation, girls will participate in engaging games, strength-discovering exercises, and hands-on activities to learn important friendship survival skills such as:
- Recognizing the Red Flags of Girl Bullying
- STANding up to Bullying
- Stopping Rumors
- Realizing Personal Strengths
- Connecting with Healthy Friendships
- Fostering Empathy & Cooperation in Girls
- Becoming an Ally to Others Facing Bullying
- Resolving Conflicts Directly
- Using Technology and Social Media Ethically
- Reaching Out to Trustworthy Adults
- Making Values-Based Decisions
Interactive workshops are about breaking the code of silence that governs conflict among kids in the early school years. By creating safe, open, and fun forums, participants of all ages can talk, listen, compare experiences, and gain new skills for confronting incidents of cruelty disguised as friendship.
Assembly organizers can select from the topics above to create a unique, hands-on experience for students.For more information about the Friendship & Other Weapons curriculum or to arrange a customized workshop in your area, please contact Signe at Signe@SigneWhitson.com