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Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas

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1 Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas
Surviving Girlhood Preventing & Managing Girl Bullying and Friendship Dramas

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 Our mission is to reduce the barriers faced by children and young people, to support attainment, school attendance and aspirations. Our vision is to connect every child and young person to their limitless potential

5 What We Do - Training for professionals - Consultancy services
- Events - Products

6 What We Do Working with vulnerable girls
Community engagement and social action with young people Tackling key issues affecting youth, such as homophobia Preventing disengagement and promoting aspirations

7 Why Girls? Why Bullying?

8 Why Girls? Why Bullying? 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 Why Girls? Why Bullying? 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

10 Meet Sophie…. Pressures Unmet Needs Conflicting Messages Physical &
Parents divorced; both remarried quickly Two younger siblings, both boys New to the school ACTIVITY – Think of a girl you know and create a pen profile. What are her values, beliefs, needs etc Physical & Hormonal Changes

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 HIGH Confront Exclusions Escalate it further
Agencies Involved Adult Response Level of Behaviour Intense Behaviour Deflect / Ignore Ineffective Response Pay it ‘lip service’ Adults contributing to the problem Disruptive Behaviour Continual disruption; physical violence; relationship breakdown Adults can reinforce and escalate the behaviour with ineffective and inappropriate responses; adult response can reinforce the negative thinking and behaviour of the young people involved without equipping them with the skills to manage future conflict. Avoid / Inconsistent Ignore the behaviour Minimise Dismiss as a ‘one off’ Low Level Behaviour Hitting; gossip; friendship issues

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 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 Stopping Bullying Promoting Positive Relationships Many school programs aim to stop bullying, which is, of course, what we want to do. However, that what we give our attention to, grows. When you look for poor behaviour in your classroom, you see it. When you strive to notice children behaving well, you’ll see that too! Lets focus on what we want to see, not what we don’t want! Having a ‘war on bullying’ is incredibly counter-productive; we can’t fight fire with fire. Truly preventing bullying is achieved through the promotion of positive relationships, social skills, creating an atmosphere of citizenship and respect – where a reduction in bullying is a by-product.

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. Crick and Grotpeter (1995) argue that girls are just as aggressive as boys if gender differeneces in the expression of aggressive behavior are recognized. Thus, although 27% of boys are aggressive versus 22% of girls (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995), girls tend to display this aggressive behavior through covert, relational acts (e.g., spreading rumors and excluding others from social groups) and boys through overt, physical acts (e.g., hitting or threatening to hit others).

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) Newer research suggests that boys and girls may use RA and be on the receiving end of such behaviour, but girls perceive it as more hurtful than boys do” (Yoon, et al., 2004, p. 305). Social and emotional effects of relational victimization are greater for girls than boys” (Crick, Bigbee, & Howes; Paquette & Underwood, as cited in Yoon, et al., 2004, p. 305).

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 Drama Triangle Victim (Blameless) Rescuer
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. The Drama Triangle Victim (Blameless) Rescuer (Acceptance ) Drama Triangle Persecutor (Power) As girls move toward adolescence and teenage years, their social standing and friendship groups become increasingly important. There is a perceived sense of safety and prestige in being a part of a group, where reputation and social connections are key. The friendship group can become a powerful entity for manipulation and control to gain the all-important sense of “popularity”. Girl groups can quickly be overcome with drama and relational aggression, leading to bullying or the cycle of falling out and friendship that can exhaust parents, teachers and youth workers. 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. Girls can quickly become embroiled in the drama cycle: the Triangle demonstrates the relationship of roles between the victim of the girl group, the perpetrator and the rescuer – the victim needs a perpetrator to perpetuate the role, as much as the rescuer needs a victim to save.

22 Consequences of Relationship Dramas
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)

23 Girl Group Roles Queen Bee Banker Floater Sidekick Messenger Wannabe

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 The need for the safety of a friendship group becomes all the more crucial – friends are no longer simply playmates or those who share common interests, but a protection from being singled out and being seen to be different. Relate earlier: as early as infancy with eye contact; Acquire access to left brain earlier than boys – social and emotional skills have roots there; Ability to relate carries over into play – girls play is less competitive (there are no winners in hopscotch or jump rope) Emotional damage: Girls resort to rumor, gossip, exclusion and other forms of relational aggression, rather than using fists; girls use words Bodies: earlier onset of puberty; cultural messages are critical – sexualized clothing, body size, eating disorders Equal but feminine: be strong women but still women (compassionate, nurturing) studies examining gender differences in adolescent reports of intimacy indicate that females (1) develop more intimate friendships, (2) stress the importance of maintaining intimacy, and (3) expect more intimacy in their friendships than do males (Clark & Ayers, 1993

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 Physical activity: Often in trouble more; more rambunctious; counter to what we want to see in school; need to build in opportunities to move, be physical Fighting: anger manifests physically; better able to argue or fight it out and then move on – girls hold a grudge Friendships: connect through experiences, things outside themselves; social lives are more straightforward Feelings: actually more emotionally sensitive and fragile early in life than girls – more separation anxiety, harder to soothe once upset; express themselves differently but feel no less feeling; other boys still tell boys that boys don’t cry or aren’t afraid (even if parents no longer say it);

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 A young person who is unaware of what they need, and why, is likely to unconsciously meet her need through any means necessary, such as joining a bullying group of pupils for the safety of being in a group, even if it conflicts with her own values and her intrinsic needs for a more compassionate friendship. All behaviours are tools and strategies to meet our needs, some of which are more positive and resourceful than others. Girls with unmet needs for acceptance, attention, or even for love and support, will unconsciously seek to meet these needs in any way they can, such as trying to take centre stage in a social group by targeting another girl with bullying behaviour, gathering the group around her in support of her quest. Seeking to meet these intrinsic needs with destructive behaviour is unlikely to succeed for the long term, as is the effort of looking to others to meet individual needs – the group will never be able to consistently provide her with the support, love, and acceptance she truly seeks. So begins a spiral of low self-esteem as the resultant negative outcomes and feelings eventually surface, such as the group rebuking her behaviour and isolating her, further exasperating her unmet needs.

30 Meeting Our Needs Low Self Esteem Unmet Needs
Negative Outcome (Feelings, Behaviour, Actions of Others) Seeking to Meet Needs Unresource-fully Unmet Needs Having crucial needs umet, such as a need for inclusion, love, support, or acknowledgement can lead people to try and meet these needs in unresourceful ways. This is particularly key during adolescence, when young people are redefining what it means to be them, and experiencing internal and external changes that leave them feeling vulnerable. Meeting our needs is often an unconscious process. Trying to meet our needs in unresourceful ways that are unlikely to produce sustained results will often lead to negative outcomes and ultimately a cycle of low self esteem. Identifying and living in alignment to our values is also crucial. When our values are in conflict, we feel conflicted. Our programs and the resources contained in our book, “Surviving Girlhood” start with a basis of exploring our relationship with ourselves, including our needs and values, which is contained in Theme 1 activities, “being me”

31 Thoughts-Feelings-Behaviour
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 Our thoughts influence our feelings, which creates a behaviour response – whether we are aware of it, or not We can recognise this link in girls’ perceptions – she thinks someone said something nasty about her, feels angry and retaliates – we need to challenge the validity of the original thought. T-F-B links to CBT work which can be hugely helpful when working with young people, exploring how to track their thoughts and feelings, test the accuracy and validity of thoughts and control unhelpful feelings. We have a choice in how we behave. Prolonged negative, pessimistic thinking creates a similar state of being.

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. E.g. We can hold beliefs that we are unworthy, we will fail, others are better than us, or that anything we try we will succeed at, the world is a safe place, there is so much opportunity for me....etc Linking back to why its important to start with the inner girl before working on whole relationship issues with others – her perceptions create her beliefs, which is informing how she lives her life and interacts with others. If she believes

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 “I’m not OK; You’re not OK”
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” A model from the theory of Transactional Analysis, created by Eric Berne in the 1950’s highlights how ingrained beliefs about the self can create a damaging and destructive perception of all aspects of life. The ‘OK Corral’ (Berne, 1970) defines four stances from which to view the world: Children who regularly inhabit the roles of ‘I‘m not OK’, or ‘You’re not OK’ are in danger of accepting these self-loathing, fear-inducing positions for life The girl group ‘leader’ who rules through manipulation and creates dramas to rival any soap opera storyline may well be acting from a position of ‘I’m OK; You’re not OK’, just as the girl who strives to fit in at any cost may view herself and others in terms of ‘I’m not OK; You’re OK’. Having an awareness of these roles and their impact can inform your classroom practice and day-to- day interactions with young people, as well as assisting them to build more positive perceptions of themselves and others

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 sociability Victim – persecutor mentality (cycles of being both) Negative perception of self and world Pessimistic outlook

36 The Interconnectedness of Relationships
Leading on from the OK Corrall discuss how this spreads – how i relate to myself affects others. Single person: ie it starts with us; how do I relate to myself? Do I value myself? Am I meeting my needs? How do I expect to be treated? --- Affects --- Group of people; affects how i relate to others, the value I place on friendships and connections, how much energy I put into relationships, how I view relationships (are they used as a tool to gain power, popularity, for personal gain, or for connection, support, care, love, etc), – [linked to how this demonstrates why bystanders may not get involved in bullying cases] The school culture as a whole, the ethos and culture of the school, what is expected of all members of the school community The underpinning theme of all our work is that before we can learn to be in relationship with someone else, and therefore before we can tackle bullying, we have to learn to develop a healthy and successful relationship with ourselves. This is what we need to teach girls: we can’t solve bullying solely by focusing on it

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

38 Reporting and Recording Intervention and Support
Best Practice Prevention Reporting and Recording Intervention and Support Monitoring Having a “bullying program” is not enough – there needs to be a coordinated, consistent approach Go ahead and discuss with someone near to you what you think are some good prevention tools, and some support mechanisms you might put in place for the children you work with. HALF WAY THROUGH.

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 Regardless of what prevention techniques and strategies you put in place, the ethos and climate must be conducive to supporting harmony, peace, connectivity and a care for others. If staff have little pride in the school or don’t care about the welfare of children, children will not care about the welfare of one another. Task: What kind of values are evident, or missing, in your school or setting? What is being communicated to children and young people, and how? Individually or in small groups, look at the values sheet and determine what values are present, or need to be cultivated. 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 Explore girl bullying and RA in the curriculum, and specifically with girls – highlight that tactics such as ignoring someone IS BULLYING if it is repeated and deliberate. It’s important for schools to take a line on responding to all issues of bullying and relationship breakdown, while also highlighting the role and responsibility young people have themselves to prevent and respond to their own issues.

41 Intervention and Support
A step-by-step approach . Speak to each individual separately, including bystanders What happened? What did you see? What happened next? Who was responsible? Create a written record; share with other staff as needed Create a plan of action Validate the stories and ensure the allegations are true Enforce consequences for breaking the rules Inform parents (if necessary) Plan of action for the victim – what do they want to see happen next? (e.g. mediation, move to a different class) Monitor situation Cohesive: The organization’s ethos and policies must be fed from the top-down and embodied by ALL staff Coordinated: One key person (or group) should coordinate all anti-bullying practices, curriculum, prevention strategies and support services Consistent: All staff are following the same protocols and using the same strategies Communicated: All staff should be aware of information pertaining to the organization’s policy, and relevant staff should be made aware of bullying and bullied children to ensure consistent monitoring and support


43 Full Circle Education Solutions
Contact Us Full Circle Education Solutions @FullCircle1 /myfullcircle

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