Take A Stand: Prevention of Bullying
5 – 6 YEAR OLDS – Instructional Guide Day 5
By Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D.
- To give permission to tell someone when they’re being hurt
- To discuss resources for getting help
- To discuss the importance of truthfulness and thoroughness when telling
- To teach children how to tell effectively
- To introduce No More Secrets Rule
- To encourage children to tell and list resources for telling
Teacher-Directed Discussion and Role-play
We’ve talked about speaking up for yourself and being an advocate when you see other kids in trouble.
But what if you need to get adult help.
Who are some of the people who can help you if you have a problem?
Who loves you and cares about you?
Who else could you talk to if you were having a problem?
What if you had a problem and you tried to tell someone in your family, but they didn’t listen or didn’t understand what you were trying to say?
It’s important that children learn how to effectively get attention when they need help.
Often parents, teachers or other adults are too busy or preoccupied to really listen to what children have to say.
Role-playing helps children learn appropriate ways to get attention when they need it.
RP: I need someone to help me role-play the steps of getting someone’s attention.
NOTE. Role-playing this is fun and involves several steps.
Allow them to do all the things they normally do that are ineffective so they can see how funny they are before you introduce steps 2 – 7.
Try to get someone’s attention when they’re doing something else.
Talk when they are not listening, pull on the person’s clothes, and put your face in their face. (All of these are more annoying than effective.)
Actually get someone’s attention by asking for what you need:
“Please stop reading and look at me, I have something important to tell you.”
The person actually stops what they’re doing and looks at the child.
Child says what needs to be said using the three elements of communication.
- Eye contact
- Say exactly what you need to say
- Consistent body language
The person understands and does something about the problem.
Also practice having the person not be interested or not helping.
Finally, practice having the child go and tell someone else.
RP: Now who wants to help me put this into practice?
What if someone who is taking care of you is always mean to you?
She pinches you and twists your ears to make you do what she wants you to do.
You want to tell your mom.
What would you say and do if your mom was reading a book?
Role-play getting attention and telling,
RP: What if your grandmother is really crabby and yells at you every day when she gets home from work?
You’re upset and don’t know what to do.
You want to tell your aunt, but she’s always watching the television.
How would you get her attention and what would you say?
Pretend to be watching television and have the child ask you to stop and look at her.
RP: What if your uncle yells at you all the time when you’re visiting, telling you “you’re stupid.” Who would you tell?
What if your dad says, “Oh, he’s always like that, just ignore him?”
Would you tell someone else? Who?
If the grown-up doesn’t understand or help you with your problem, who else could you tell?
No More Secrets Rule
Kids have lots of rules. One rule that is important for us to learn is the No More Secrets Rule.
The new rule says: we’re not going to have Secrets anymore!
If someone asks you to keep a secret, you’re going to say, “No, I’m going to tell.”
Surprises are okay! Surprises are things that get told pretty soon and usually make people happy.
After school, you’ll get a letter to take home to discuss the No More Secrets Rule with your family.
Can the school help with problems at home?
Most young children think school problems are for school and home problems are for home. They rarely think of overlapping their resources.
Can your family help with problems at school or at the neighbors?
Do your teachers care about what happens to you at home?
What grown-ups do you have in your life that care about what happens to you wherever you are?
So, you really have lots of people who care about you that you could talk to.
Why is it important to always tell the truth when you’re asking for help?
Possible discussion points: importance of honesty, consequences of lying (both current and future), impact of lying on the person you’ve lied about.
Whenever you have something you need to talk about, a problem that you need help with, if the first person you tell doesn’t believe you, you need to keep telling until someone does,
In the same way I help teach you new things, there are grownups that help other grownups with their problems so they don’t have to feel so bad.
But, if you don’t tell, no one will know and they won’t be able to help.
Having a community where we are kind to each other, where we treat each other with respect, where no one gets hurt is a job we need to keep working on.
Raise your hand if you promise to keep being an advocate, for yourself and for your friends. It will take every single one of us to be sure we are standing up for ourselves, for each other and making sure we don’t have bullying in our community.
As your teacher, I promise to be someone you can come to with problems, that I will help us have a community without bullies.
No More Secrets Information below.
© 2016 Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D. Used with Permission
No More Secrets Rule
The No More Secrets rule is an agreement you can make with your family stating that you won’t keep secrets anymore (not even in the family) and if asked to keep a secret, your children will say “No, we don’t keep secrets in our family and I’m going to tell.” Younger children can simply say, “No, I’m going to tell.”
Surprises are okay. Surprises are things that make people happy that get told sooner or later, whereas secrets are never told. Children quickly learn the difference, and by age four can respond to a request for secrecy about a birthday gift with “That’s not a secret, it’s a surprise.”
Young children often confuse secrecy with whispering. Explain to them that telling something you only want one person to hear is different from keeping a secret. A secret is when they promise not to tell anyone else.
The No More Secrets rule does not say everyone must know everything. It says your children will not agree to keep something in particular from anyone else in particular.
By age five or six, children can learn that there are many ways to be asked to keep a secret. They enjoy making a game of trying to trick Mom and Dad into keeping a secret without using the word secret. For example, what if someone says any of the following: “This is just between you and me.” “Do you promise not to tell anyone else” “you don’t need to tell your mom and dad, I’ll tell them later.” “We won’t tell them about our little game”? Your children should respond to all of these requests by saying, “No, I don’t keep secrets and I’m going to tell.”
By age seven or eight, secrecy is such an integral part of children’s lives with their friends that they are reluctant to give it up. This includes friendship clubs, secret bonds, oaths, pacts, etc. Essentially, we’re allowing secrecy with peers and discouraging it with anyone older.
If a request for secrecy, whether or not the word secret is actually used, seems confusing or odd or compromising, one option open to older children is to say “I really don’t like keeping secrets and I don’t want to start now,” or “I don’t like this idea, let’s do something else,” or “I’d like to go home now.”
Privacy is not the same as secrecy. Privacy means you can be by yourself or keep something to yourself. Secrecy means you’re bound not to tell. Privacy respects individual needs. Secrecy creates shame and keeps children from getting help when they need it. It’s important that children know the difference.
© 2016 Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D. Used with Permission.