Social Emotional Learning: How Questions Looking at bullying as a social phenomenon

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1 1/4/14 Bullying & Bad Behavior: Knowing the Difference, Doing What Works Lynn Lyons, LICSW lynnlyonsnh.com Goals for Today Update you on the current bullying climate Differentiate the categories of bullies Make sure interventions fit the type of bullying situation Discuss what works (and what doesn t) Create a climate that rejects bullying, and in the meantime supports targets of bullying Help you to think strategically rather than globally More kids worry about being harassed at school than coming to or from school. According to a report by Sandra Graham published by the American Psychological Association 5 th to 12 th graders are more concerned about emotional maltreatment and social cruelty than anything else. Kids are more likely to engage in socially/ emotionally abusive behavior as they age. By high school, both genders move away from physically abusive behavior Social Emotional Learning: How Questions Looking at bullying as a social phenomenon 1

2 1/4/14 What do these students know how to do, what do they NOT know how to do, and how do we teach it? Types of Bullies The Socially Dominant/Connected Bully The Marginalized Bully The Impulsive Aggressor The Cyberbully (which can be all of the above) Cyberbullying Recent study with 3 rd, 4 th, and 5 th graders (11,700 students) (Most research looks at ages 12+) Results show In 2010, 19% of girls grades 3-5 on Facebook In 2012, that number was 49% More than 50% of 5 th graders had smartphones 18% said they had BEEN a cyberbully The good news One-time meanness was more common than repeated bullying Kids are reporting it more Education and prevention seems to be working MA Aggression Reduction Ctr. (MARC) American Educational Research Assoc. Socially Dominant Bully... Popular and well-connected Sees violence as a positive quality Enjoys power and uses it to his/her social advantage Physically and emotionally strong, attractive Insensitive to the feelings of others Good self esteem May be aggressive to any person, no matter what position of authority 2

3 1/4/14 The Marginalized Bully Low self-esteem Trying to gain some power or status Poor social skills Loners, or will form groups after being rejected by others Bullying and aggression are only two of many problems The Impulsive Aggressor Poor impulse control Acts out when angry or frustrated Actions may not fit the definition of bullying Bullying defined by an imbalance of power, and acts that are repetitive and targeted The intervention must fit the type of bully 1. What is the goal of the bully? 2. What does the bully NOT know how to do, and HOW do we teach it? 3. How do we decrease the effectiveness of this bully? Socially Dominant Bully... Popular and well-connected Sees violence as a positive quality Enjoys power and uses it to his/her social advantage Physically and emotionally strong, attractive Insensitive to the feelings of others Good self esteem May be aggressive to any person, no matter what position of authority Socially Dominant Bully... Same sex bullying during times of transition, when social status and hierarchy are in flux (Pelligrin 2010) Externalizes is a blamer Lacks empathy (insensitive to the feelings of others) Think strategically Thrives in an environment where there is a pecking order, where physical strength is valued, or where there is a climate of strength=leadership 3

4 1/4/14 The Salient HOW Questions How do you teach/promote empathy? How are these types of bullies given more power/status in the school environment? How do we connect these kids with a variety of kids? How do we promote the skill of accepting responsibility? How do we teach other kids to handle these types of bullies? (Hold on for this one) The Marginalized Bully Low self-esteem Trying to gain some power or status Poor social skills Loners, or will form groups after being rejected by others Bullying and aggression are only two of many problems The intervention must fit the type of bully 1. What is the goal of the bully? 2. What does the bully NOT know how to do, and HOW do we teach it? 3. How do we decrease the effectiveness of this bully? The Marginalized Bully... More likely to go after opposite sex when bullying Lacks social skills and positive social connections Isolation is what they re trying to avoid, and puts them at greater risk for depression and acting out Other family/external problems complicate emotional status The biggest risk Students that are bullied AND are bullying have more negative outcomes than a single bully or bullied groups. (Ttofi et al, 2011) The biggest risk Disabilities and bullying: children with a disability are twice as likely to be identified as a perpetrator and/or a victim Disabilities characterized by poor social skills or impaired communication skills have a higher likelihood of being involved in bullying 4

5 1/4/14 The Salient HOW Questions Learning Disabilities Autism Lesbian Gay Bisexual How can we help with social connection? How is bullying a means of connection? How do we recognize these kids early enough to act preventatively? How can we use adult mentoring effectively? How do we teach other kids to handle these types of bullies? (Hold on for this one) The Impulsive Aggressor Poor impulse control Acts out when angry or frustrated Actions may not fit the definition of bullying, but using aggression, and it may be kind of working Bullying defined by an imbalance of power, and acts that are repetitive and targeted Remember those questions What is the goal of the bully? 2. What does the bully NOT know how to do, and HOW do we teach it? 3. How do we decrease the effectiveness of this bully? What does this kid NOT know how to do? Lousy emotional management skills Low frustration tolerance Lacks ability to PROBLEM SOLVE and think a step ahead (poor sequencing) Calm self physically The Salient HOW Questions How do we support problem solving? How can we use the abundance of problem solving opportunities in school to impact social learning? How do we teach frustration tolerance? How do we help kids understand and practice the concept of emotional management? (Feelings shouldn t drive the bus.) # How do we teach other kids to handle these types of bullies? (Hold on for this one) 5

6 1/4/14 The Skill of All Skills Social Emotional Learning The ability to step outside your own experience (cognitive and emotional) long enough to evaluate it. Emotional, Cognitive, and Social Management How we manage the relationship between what happens on the outside and our reactions on the inside has a huge impact on our relationships and how we deal with challenges. Emotional Management The ability to feel and tolerate emotions without putting them in charge of decisions Difficult concept for teens: emotions can be NOT so helpful when dealing with relationships and achievement issues Most effective therapies move people from a feeling mode to a doing mode We are gently challenging the importance of emotions The Targets Targets are more likely to be isolated, and the more isolation, the greater the emotional damage. Targets tend to be internalizers; blame self. The bully and the target are NOT on equal footing. Peer resolution does not work in severe or ongoing bullying cases, and is in fact detrimental. Five to fifteen percent of kids are chronic victims, who are at risk for long-term issues (emotional, relational, behavioral, academic) 1. Internal attributional style: It s me. 2. Global thinking 3. Social Isolation 4. Self-injurious behavioral (anger turned inward) 5. Physical symptoms/somatic responses 6. School refusal and anxiety 6

7 1/4/14 Children who have few friends, who are actively rejected by the peer group, or who are victims of bullying are unlikely to have the cognitive and emotional resources to be able to do well in school. (Juvoneu and Graham, 2001) Suicide is rare Depression is NOT Victims of bullying are about 50% more likely to be depressed later in life. Ttofi, et al (2011) The danger of why bother Recognizing a Child at Risk: Isolation Hopelessness Statements like no one is helping or nothing will help Other indicators of depression What to do? Avoid the instruction to ignore the bully Focus on social skills and connection Mentor/buddy/peer kindness Make the child an expert and give her the facts (to decrease internalizing) What works? Bystander Approach Parental Involvement Emotional Immunization (Experiential Training) Farrington & Ttofi, 2009 Hawkins & Pepler,

8 1/4/14 The Bystander Approach Children intervene in 10 to 20 percent of bullying situations. They report intervening MUCH more often than they actually do. Interventions are usually aggressive. 75% of incidents have at least 4 witnesses assistants take part reinforcers show signs of approval (O Connel, et al 1999) The Bully and the Bystander: Let s Teach Kids About the power of group think and risky shift HOW to intervene and make it frequent, concrete, and experiential How to help with isolation How to seek adult help Early Intervention in the Classroom... Communication games (the importance of nonverbal communication) Using stories and role playing to teach empathy and connection ( ie A Friend Like Ed) Practicing how to intervene/stand up (should be experiential) Setting clear expectations in the classroom, and with parents Effective Interventions The power of modeling by a popular student Parent peer groups: natural chit chat where parents can share openly and get support Reframing stepping forward as courageous rather than tattling or narking recentissues/2012-janfeb/item/1645-the-decline-and-fall-ofparental-authority Parent Involvement What matters? Frequency and duration of trainings Helping with differentiation Involving parents in skill-building Guidance for parents of the bully 8

9 1/4/14 Recognizing A Child s Behavioral Risk Factors: Aggressive climate in the home Sense of entitlement Blaming of others/need to be right Complaints by school or other parents q Would another parent come to you if they heard your child was involved in mean behavior? q Would you want to know this information? q How would you respond to this report by another adult? q Would you go to another adult with information? Role of Adults in Schools Do the adult bystanders need more training? Teacher Involvement A 2011 NEA survey of school personnel: 62% witnessed bullying 2 or more times a week in the last month 98% said their job was to intervene 61-74% said they needed more training Sexual/gender issues and cyberbullying most difficult What helps targets: Be visible, vocal, and respond to every report Keep an eye on those that are different Protect those that are smaller physically or different Be aware that kids who are chronically bullied believe that no one will help. Role of Adults in Schools v Hot Spots: training needed for ALL adults (most bullying does not happen in front of teachers) v Perceptions Vary: 58% of students vs 25% of teachers/staff report that students push, shove or trip weaker students. (Low, Brown & Smith, 2011) 9

10 1/4/14 Be aware of these common thoughts Being harassed builds character or teaches strength Victims bring it on themselves Harassed children become violent teens Ignoring by the victim helps the problem go away (versus removing the audience from the bully) AND Dealing with bullying may make you uncomfortable Questions? Thanks, and Good Luck Lynn Lyons, LICSW lynnlyonsnh.com Playingwithanxiety.com

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