For the last couple of weeks, we've been using the Bully-Proof Children Curriculum from Kids Empowered, which has been awesome. I ordered it online, and they sent it to me in the mail. You can do the same from here. Here are some of the issues we've tackled so far:
1. How you can increase your bubble power - which is a visual to see how one can increase their self-esteem, confidence and power, which bubble membrane then acts as a buffer or a layer of protection between you and the outside world (such as a mean friend.) (Positive self-talk, your strengths, being healthy, how you feel about yourself, etc.)
2. How to calm ourselves and why it’s important. (You seriously can’t cover and practice this enough times.)
3. Girls demonstrated what is confident body language + tone.
4. Who are our allies - friendly classmates, who don’t have to be a friend, but someone who is friendly and approachable. How can you be an ally?
5. Tattling vs Reporting - tattling is when children tell adults about something someone is not supposed to do, but noone is getting hurt or property is not getting destroyed. Reporting is when children or property are being hurt - this is when adult help is needed. (They’ve realized that maybe sometimes they tattle too much, and soon after our meeting I heard from a distance “Nori, stop, you are about to go and tattle!) And I think she did stop, because I never heard about it again...
6. And the 3-time strategy - try to deal with a problem 3 times and then get help if needed, because assertiveness takes practice. Love this, and this really helps my daughters to help figure out how to deal with certain issues.
7. How to use your voice - aggressive (shark), passive (sheep/lamb), passive-aggressive (chameleon), assertive (elephant.) "Assertive people express their feelings without being mean about it. They know there is more than one way to solve a problem. They will try and find a win win, compromise or agree to disagree. (The elephant is the symbol for this style because it is big and strong, and rarely uses its force unprovoked. The elephant defends is territory, uses its wits to get things done, and has compassion.)" -from the Kids Empowered curriculum
Interesting points from our CGC meeting:
Kriszti (8) led this meeting for the first time and what an amazing opportunity it is for her and ultimately them. (Previously they would lead the art activity or an exercise, but not the whole thing.) Of course there was drama, because then they all wanted to lead it, but how great it is to have that problem versus noone wanting to lead. Realized to fully harness this desire to lead and fly with it - they learn so much from the process. Public speaking, asking questions, how to reply to answers, etc. The added bonus is that whoever leads it learns to know the issues inside out, because of course we practice it beforehand.
Their thoughts on friendships and what really is assertiveness - which can sometimes be hard to find in between aggressive and passive. For example - "you are not the boss of me," is too aggressive. "I can make my own decisions" is much more assertive and less inflaming. They shared different experiences from their own lives, and it was great to practice what to say. You also get an insight into how they deal with these things at school, sometimes maybe a bit too aggressive, or even too passive. For example, my daughter has a friend who always seems to want to lead and make the decisions about the games they play. (Even if my daughter is her own character in their Harry Potter game, the friend dictates what color hair my daughter can have, etc.) "Fine, have it your way" in a passive-aggressive way is sometimes my daughter's response, or just an aggressive "not playing with you anymore" type of reply. During our CGC meeting we talked about this and told my daughter that her friend may not realize that she is like this. So we practiced her saying something more assertive instead, such as: "Listen, I’ve offered 3 things I’d like to do and you’ve said no to all 3 of them. It’s not fun to play with someone who makes all the rules. So either you’ll let me make some of my own decisions, or I’ll go play with someone else."
The biggest take-away from all of this is how much my husband and I are learning from all of this. This morning I overheard my husband asking Kriszti (whose favorite animal is the elephant), "Kriszti, can I borrow an elephant to take to work with me and leave on my desk? I'd like it to remind me to be assertive at work."