Mean girl behaviours suck.
Last time, we found out:
- mean girl syndrome or relational aggression happens in both boys’ and girls’ social circles
- it’s a way of raising your status amongst the group by undermining others
- the effects can be devastating and are just as painful as actual physical violence
So what can you do to make sure that relational aggression is detected and eliminated in your school?
Here are three practical strategies to take away and use in your school today.
1. Be vigilant…
…especially during unstructured times such as break times and lunchtimes.
Watch out for hidden pockets such as cloakrooms, where pupils feel less monitored. These prime times and hot spots are when bullies often strike, as they believe that nobody is watching and they can get away with it.
2. Raise the profile of the behaviours you’d like to see more of
Spending a little time investing in teaching the children what they SHOULD be doing. It will pay huge dividends in the long run.
Role play with children (in circle time) what being kind, helpful, sensitive, considerate looks and feels like.
Then make a conscious effort to catch children getting it right. Look for instances of co-operation and consideration and give praise lavishly.
3. Equip pupils with the tools of what to do if they are suffering from social difficulties with their peers
Empower your students to insulate themselves from bullies.
- Routinely problem solve how to manage social disputes… and what to do when things go wrong
- Help children to understand what level of incident should be dealt with by pupils themselves (and how to do it) and what needs to be taken to an adult
- Educate parents that relational aggression can also happen on phones, group chat (iMessage) and social media (Facebook, Whats App) and they should be helping their children manage difficult conversations taking place online
If you are looking for more anti-bullying ideas that work, check out one of our previous blog posts http://beaconschoolsupport.co.uk/newsletters/antibullying
And in readiness for anti bullying week, I’ve produced an anti bullying pack – a done-for-you assembly presentation that children and parents could be invited to watch together in an assembly.
It’s called ‘Is it bullying?’ and includes a follow up activity sheet for families to complete at home.