The best deterrent for mean girl behavior
The best deterrent for mean girl behaviors is how much girls come to know, understand, and care about each other; SEL programs create these results.
Put a girl into a safe, nurturing, nonjudgmental environment like my camps and she blossoms. Observe that same girl in the judgmental hallways at school and you might see a different kid altogether.
Anti-bullying programs need to be student-driven
Schools plaster some character education posters on the walls and force-feed some platitudes and rules at the beginning of the year, all adult driven and derived. But these have little effect or staying power because it doesn’t come from the girls.
Benefits of social-emotional learning programs
Social-emotional learning (SEL) programs in schools have been well researched, and the results are incredible. The following are just a few of the many outcomes when these programs are instituted in schools: better sense of community, more positive attitudes towards school and learning, higher academic achievement and test scores, better problem-solving skills, reductions in aggression and disruptions, higher classroom engagement, improved coping with school stressors, and decreased alcohol and drug usage. Teachers thus have more time to actually teach vs. put out fires, and students are more focused and engaged.
Lessons I teach in my Strong Girls, Strong World school program
Here are a few of the lessons we teach girls in our Strong Girls Strong World school program:
Setting intentions for their learning community, how they want to treat each other
Skills for resolving conflicts directly, peacefully, create win-win solutions with individuals or as a class
How to run regular class meetings & take full responsibility for the learning environment, brainstorm & win-win negotiation
Learn more about each other, learn that they have more in common than they think
Their class quickly becomes safer, less judgmental, and closer. The best deterrent for mean girl behaviors is how much they come to know, understand, and care about each other.
When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower. Alexander Den Heijer
Fix the toxic environments that stifle girl’s growth & connections
If you want girls to bloom, stop focusing on labels and diagnoses and drama and instead guide them in fixing the environments in which they live. Encourage their school to adopt a social emotional learning program. Improve and fertilize the garden and watch the flowers blossom.
For more information on Dr. Jordan’s Strong Girls Strong World school program, check out his website at www.drtimjordan.com
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