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Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas Surviving Girlhood.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas Surviving Girlhood."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas Surviving Girlhood

2 Aims & Objectives To define bullying, and understand how female and male bullying may differ To explore Relational Aggression and understanding girl relationships To define and explore the Drama Cycle as a conduit for peer pressure To explore needs, beliefs, and values as foundations for behaviour To explore the five key themes of Surviving Girlhood to build girl awareness and understanding To explore and practice the Surviving Girlhood activities and resources

3 Introducing Surviving Girlhood

4 About Full Circle

5 What We Do


7 Why Girls? Why Bullying?

8 Half of all births in the developing world are to adolescent girls 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating. Teen girls that have a negative view of themselves are 4 times more likely to take part in activities with boys that they've ended up regretting later. 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.

9 The UK has one of the highest rates of self-harm in Europe, at 400 per 100,000 population (Clinical Medicine, 2002), and studies estimate as many as 10% of the population may have self-harmed in the past or may injure themselves on a regular basis Girls were 15 times more likely than boys to contact ChildLine about self-harm 1 in 10 children and young people aged suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around three children in every class Bullying is symptomatic of wider problems Why Girls? Why Bullying?

10 Meet Sophie…. Pressures Conflicting Messages Physical & Hormonal Changes Unmet Needs

11 Understanding Bullying “Bullying is generally considered to be deliberate, hurtful behavior, repeated over a period of time, where a sense of powerlessness can make it difficult for the victim to defend him or herself. Bullying can occur in three main ways: physical, verbal or indirect.” Physical (e.g. hitting, kicking, theft) Verbal (e.g. name calling, racist remarks) Indirect (e.g. spreading rumors, excluding someone) Cyber Bullying (e.g. bullying by text message, , online)

12 Girl Bullying There is not much difference in the reported level of bullying by girls or boys, but the tactics they use are often different Girls are more likely to utilise relational and emotional tactics, such as spreading rumours, giving dirty looks, ostracising someone, etc., than attacking physically Growing rise in both boys and girls using technology to bully - cyber bullying Often, incidents of girl bullying can go under the radar, unnoticed by adults as it appears to be girls “falling out” or dismissed as friendship issues

13 The Escalation Model Confront Exclusions Escalate it further Agencies Involved Adult ResponseLevel of Behaviour Low Level Behaviour Hitting; gossip; friendship issues Disruptive Behaviour Continual disruption; physical violence; relationship breakdown Intense Behaviour Deflect / Ignore Ineffective Response Pay it ‘lip service’ Adults contributing to the problem Avoid / Inconsistent Ignore the behaviour Minimise Dismiss as a ‘one off’ HIGH

14 The Bullying Cycle

15 The Surviving Girlhood Background & Ethos Aimed at reducing girl bullying by preventing and responding to the friendship issues that escalate to cause bullying An “inside-out” ethos – starting with a girl’s inner development Building girls self awareness, self respect and relationship with herself, to enable better relationships with others Not an overt focus on bullying

16 Stopping Bullying Promoting Positive Relationships Focus on tackling bullying, punishing bullies and encouraging victims to speak out Focus on creating a positive relationship with self & others; creating an atmosphere of respect & safety

17 Relational Aggression Relational aggression is behaviour that is intended to harm someone by damaging or manipulating his or her relationships with others (Crick and Grotpeter, 1995). Two distinctions of relational aggression include proactive and reactive relational aggression: Proactive behaviours are a means for achieving a goal (e.g. may need to exclude someone to maintain your own social status) Example: A girl is mad at another girl for being “more popular” so she spreads a sexual rumour about her to ruin her reputation. Reactive relational aggression is a defensive response to provocation with intent to retaliate. Example: A child is being teased repeatedly in school and then becomes a teaser himself for protection.

18 What does RA look like? Direct Control (i.e. “You can’t be my friend unless…”) Social Alienation (i.e. giving peers the silent treatment) Rejection (i.e. telling rumors or lies about a peer so that others in the group will reject him or her) Social Exclusion (i.e. excluding a peer from play or a social group) (Crick, Casas, & Nelson, as cited in Yoon, et al., 2004, p. 304) Negative Body Language or Facial Expressions (Simmons, 2002, p. 21)

19 Why do girls engage in RA? Power is found in relationships – popularity, having a wide social circle (in real life or online), having a romantic relationship - linked to status Girls can lack the skills to sort out problems in a positive manner using language Socialised to act feminine, not be aggressive or fight physically, and not to engage in open conflict/confrontation Relationally aggressive acts go under the radar of adults (Simmons, 2002)


21 The Drama Triangle Victim (Blameless) Rescuer (Acceptance ) Drama Triangle Persecutor (Power) The persecutor exerts their power over others physically or emotionally and may feel locked in this position, for fear of losing control or appearing vulnerable and a victim themselves. The victim may have a “poor me” attitude with a perception of themselves and their actions as without fault or blame. They may take little responsibility in resolving conflict. The rescuer may continually be the physical and emotional supporter of the victim; a role which can become a burden or lead to accepting the full weight of responsibility for the victim and a sense of martyrdom.

22 Inconsistent friendships in girl group; girls constantly making and breaking friends Leads to prolonged relationally aggressive behaviour, girl group dramas and pervasive bullying Leads to learnt behaviour and consistently inauthentic relationships & lack of social connections Leads to insecure, inauthentic and harmful romantic relationships (individuals) Creates a culture of disrespect, disharmony, conflict and disconnection (collective – school/community level) Consequences of Relationship Dramas

23 Girl Group Roles Queen Bee Banker Floater Sidekick Messenger Wannabe Target

24 Girl Relationships As girls reach adolescence, huge changes in their physical, emotional and social being take place Girls become more self-conscious during adolescence - the safety of a group is paramount Girls’ brains are ‘hard-wired’ to care about one-on-one relationships while the brains of boys are more attuned to group dynamics and competition with other boys. At a time of great personal change and upheaval, being singled out to be ‘different’ is a danger. The friendship group represent safety

25 Boys… Have a greater need for physical activity Fight physically, not verbally, and then it’s over - anger manifests physically; better able to argue or fight it out and then move on – girls hold a grudge Forge friendships around interests rather than emotional connection Have feelings, too

26 Function of Aggression in Girls Gain a reputation for toughness Power! Social identify and status Boyfriends are ‘emotional possessions’ – issues of ownership and control Refuge – protection from abuse, male to female violence Gang - sense of belonging, family, safety


28 Theme 1: Being Me Theme 1 builds girls’ understanding of themselves Explores needs, beliefs, and values Linking needs and beliefs as drivers for behaviour Exploring whether our behaviour is in contrast to our values – does this create internal conflict? Building a better relationship with ourselves helps us to build better relationships with others

29 Meeting Needs Everything we do is a way for us to meet a need we have – whether we’re conscious of it or not Physical, emotional, social needs are greater in adolescence Friendships are a place for us to meet our needs, particularly if our key relationships are not stable or don’t provide us with what we need When our intrinsic needs are not met, we may seek to meet them in any way possible e.g. the need for attention being displayed as unruly and disruptive behaviour in the classroom Unmet needs lead to girl bullying and friendship issues Looking to one person to meet a high proportion of our needs is risky – e.g. a best friend

30 Meeting Our Needs Low Self Esteem Negative Outcome (Feelings, Behaviour, Actions of Others) Seeking to Meet Needs Unresource -fully Unmet Needs

31 Thoughts Unbalanced, Pessimistic, Critical Feelings Anger, Fear, Distrust, Anxiety Behaviour Destructive, Avoidant, Inappropriate Thoughts Balanced, Optimistic, Aware of Alternatives Feelings Happy, Calm, Relaxed, At Ease Behaviour Appropriate, Measured, Constructive Thoughts-Feelings-Behaviour

32 Needs–Beliefs-Values Our needs can drive our beliefs, which in turn create our values Our beliefs are wide-ranging, not just “I believe in something”, rather, our beliefs are often unconscious thoughts we hold true about every aspect our ourselves, our lives, the world around us Our beliefs create our perceptions – how we see the world Beliefs form values: what we see is important. We can experience problems when our actions conflict with our values.

33 Who is your ‘Sophie’? Discuss your own ‘Sophie’ with a partner What needs may she have that could be going unmet? What needs does she seek to meet in negative or unresourceful ways? What is her belief system? What values have her key role models instilled in her? What’s important to her?

34 The ‘OK Corral’ “I’m OK; You’re OK” “I’m OK; You’re not OK” “I’m not OK; You’re OK” “I’m not OK; You’re not OK”

35 The ‘OK Corral’ “I’m OK; You’re OK” Secure attachments High self esteem High sociability Trusting and accepting of others Positive self image Optimistic outlook “I’m OK; You’re not OK” Anxious attachments Fearful; angry; boastful Exaggerated self image Inability to relate to others Low trust in others “Dangerous world” and defensive mentality Higher sociability “I’m not OK; You’re OK” Dismissive attachments Low self esteem Low confidence & sociability Poor self image Victim mentality Negative self perception; exaggerated positive perception of others “I’m not OK; You’re not OK” Fearful attachments Low self esteem Low sociability Victim – persecutor mentality (cycles of being both) Negative perception of self and world Pessimistic outlook

36 The Interconnectedness of Relationships

37 The Language of Conflict Resolution Providing girls with the language to resolve conflict ‘I’ statements Expressing feelings Understanding needs RESTORATIVE APPROACHES

38 Best Practice Prevention Reporting and Recording Intervention and Support Monitoring

39 Creating the Right Ethos Set the tone in the school; communicate expectations; rule with authority and dominance or favor collaboration and connection. This is communicated to staff and parents. Principal, Senior Staff All other staff; parents Pupils Cascade down the mindset and attitudes of senior staff and head teacher. Poor leadership from above becomes poor teaching and poor relationships with pupils. Parents support the school, or not, creating harmony or discord Consciously and unconsciously act upon the attitudes of adults; poor leadership translates into poor behavior. A lack of pride, hope or belief from above translates into poor attendance, behavior and academic results.

40 Prevention Ensure that policy reflects practice, and vice-versa Train staff to notice and respond to girl bullying and relationship issues Discuss friendship, conflict, and relational aggression tactics when exploring other forms of bullying (remember the escalation model!) Model positive behaviour The Four C’s: –Consistent –Co-ordinated –Cohesive –Communicated

41 1.Speak to each individual separately, including bystanders –What happened? –What did you see? What happened next? –Who was responsible? 2.Create a written record; share with other staff as needed 3.Create a plan of action –Validate the stories and ensure the allegations are true –Enforce consequences for breaking the rules –Inform parents (if necessary) 4.Plan of action for the victim – what do they want to see happen next? (e.g. mediation, move to a different class) 5.Monitor situation. Intervention and Support A step-by-step approach


43 Contact Us Full Circle Education Solutions /myfullcircle

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