What about children and youth prone to bullying? How can we help them? Below is a course outline for behavioural modification for those who are drawn to bullying.
We can run it for you, or mentor /coach you as you lead it yourself.
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Outline: Training for Professionals (2012)
Group work: Training for Professionals, Program for behavior modification for children prone to bullying
Youth/children who bully do so to put it simply” because it feels good” at least in the moment . Many have low empathy for others as they themselves have been bullied or come from challenging backgrounds. Some are just copying others to fit in. If their parents are aggressive then their behaviour is learned and reinforced at home despite school staff efforts. Group work as often as possible should be completed in conjunction with 1-1 work ( see attached)
Fun and learning: The sessions have to be a combination of learning and fun. Lots of games some purposeful and many just for entertainment, while building social skills .
Mixed group: The group needs to be mixed not all chronic bullies. If not they often feed off each other and reinforce negative behaviors . (Include a couple youth with very strong people skills , and make them Jr leaders). Ensure they know they are there to help with setting an example and being positive
Skill sessions: Lots of skill sessions from anger management, to self- esteem, to stress management , to communicating assertively rather than aggressively .
Reviews: There has to be ongoing reviews each week with what happened, when how, and why. And what could have been done instead. And weekly individual check ins ( see 1-1 sessions)
Recognition: Rewards for the absence of bullying, and making better choices, including recognizing milestones. eg. 1 week. 1 month 1yr
Empathy: A lot of group work around empathy, ie visit the pound, SPCA, Animal rescue, Game farm etc. These are also good rewards. Encourage parents to let them have a pet. Bring your own pet to work especially if it is a dog.
Acts of Random Kindness- Have participants do them as homework and report back to the group each week on what they did. You will be amazed at the results.
Identifying with the Bullied child/youth: Teach them the same information and skills you would teach bullied children. Ie BEST.
Empowerment: As the group progresses, they should have the opportunity to teach it others. Believe it or not, they can learn to teach anti-bullying skills to bullied children. Have them mentor individual children who have been bullied.* If possible arrange for them to present to younger students ie local elementary schools. (Of course a staff member has to go with and take the lead.) Note: Once they start teaching to others, it is so much easier to tackle the individual behaviours. The chances of them stepping backwards while having their self-esteem raised and teaching/helping others is lessened. *Exception not if they were bullied by an individual in that group.
Group work will probably take at least 10 sessions to make an impact and ideally should be on going with those who have attended multiple sessions assisting and mentoring newer members.