I attended these seminars given by PsychConsult Inc. last Saturday, March 5, 2011. These seminars were “Improving Social Skills in Children” and “Strategies in Dealing with Bullies in School”. These seminars are very rich and insightful. I’m still in the process of transcribing and digesting my notes. However, I’d like to share some salient points that were mentioned:
- Friends can help. Our most important resources in a bullying incident are the quiet ones – the bystanders. Their silence contributes to the prevalence of bullying in schools. We sometimes encourage them to silent so that they wouldn’t be in harms way. “Kung hindi mo away, huwag ka nang makialam Baka ikaw pa ang mapag-initan.” Do we give this message to our children? Maybe we could analyze the reminders we give to them so that we encourage them to become advocates rather than unaffected onlookers during a bullying incident.
- Stop the urge to bully. We often attend to the bullied; however the kid who bullies have needs also which are not met. These unmet needs are often the cause of the urge to bully. Some of them may have unrealistic high regard (but empty) for self, lacks attention and supervision at home, poor impulse control, and poor empathy for others. Some may even have unresolved issues because they have been bullied in the past as well. If we are able to address these and highlight their competence and talents, then the urge to bully may also be minimized.
- Conflict is not a fight to win, but a problem to solve. Even adults like us could learn this lesson. 🙂
- Sumbungero vs. Nagsusumbong. There is a big difference between the two. Dr. Alianan clarified that a “sumbungero” is someone who tells an elaborate and false tale in order to get someone in trouble. A “nagsusumbong” is someone who merely reports the truth. Again, students we should empower students to be advocates. One of the things we should get out of the way in school is the stigma of being the “tattler”. Edmund Burke once said that. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” This statement rings truth even in society at large.
- Do not think about green mangoes. Repeat that to yourself a number of times, and what do you think of? Are you successful in removing the image of green mangoes from your mind? I didn’t think so. Bullying campaigns help but, just as how futile it is to forget green mangoes by telling oneself not to think about green mangoes, it does not take our students’ mind off “bullying” Maybe, instead of coming up with “No to Bullying” campaigns, we could make “Yes to Kindness” and “Yes to Tolerance” campaigns.
- Violence begets violence. This is one of the more controversial points of the talk. Dr. ALianan mentioned that spanking justifies violence in children. It shows them that it is okay to hurt someone for as long as he has done something which is wrong and offensive. Children who are spanked often may also take it out on their classmates who they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable than they are. We should also regulate the amount of violence our children are exposed to from the video games, movies, and TV shows they see. It makes them desensitized to people’s suffering which, in turn, makes it all too easy to hurt one another. Finally, studies show that punishment does not necessarily encourage new behavior, but affirming new behavior encourages the rate of its occurrence in the future.
I will write an entry about everything that I’ve learned from those seminars soon. Many thanks to Dr. Boboy Sze Alianan, Ms. Berny Go, and the rest of the PsychConsult Inc. staff for a wonderful and insightful back-to-back seminar.