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“Friends don’t bully friends. We are all connected,” says a wise seven-year-old.

Bullies, Battles & Bickering: Character Education

This may not be a popular notion, because it is much easier for parents to blame schools and schools to blame parents, but it is time to take responsibility for our behavior in teaching bullies how to bully.

Every time we raise our voice and demand compliance, we teach that volume has power.

Every time we grab a child and say, "We don’t push and shove our friends," we teach that size has power.

Every time we withdraw, pout or retreat, we teach that manipulation has power.

We have to look at our own Power Tools, first. Then we can start Bully Prevention Training — or rather, Friendship Training, Operation Cooperation or Kid Connections.

Whatever you direct your attention to will expand. If your emphasis is on bullying, that is what you will get. If your focus is on fighting, fists will fly….and gossiping will increase with girls.

Brain Tender focuses on teaching children connection, cooperation and conflict resolution. Once you know how patterns of behavior form, you will learn to water the vines of friendship and prune the vines of power.

Staff training, parent seminars, classroom teaching modules can dedicate an hour, a day or a school year to teaching the behaviors we want to see in our classrooms.

According to research, patterns of bullying emerge in preschool. They become habit in elementary school. Character Education in middle school is too late.

Character Education Topics

Difficult children are a passion of Sheridan’s. ADHD, Sensory Integration, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Learning Disabilities and very bright children can turn a classroom into chaos. Sheridan helps teachers with tips, tricks and strategies to support these learners and incorporate these children into the classroom rather than sending them to the office!

children work in a muddy garden