REALgirl's Anti-Bullying Program
Be a REALgirl®, not a MEANgirl:
Identifying, Preventing, and Stopping 'Mean Girl' Behavior Among Girls
Studies have shown that nearly half of 4th-12th grade students have been the victims of bullying. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that bullying is the third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24, and there is a strong correlation between bullying and suicide.
In our dynamic and interactive anti-bullying workshop, participants are guided to identify the causes of bullying and ‘mean girl' behavior, differentiate between behavior that is rude, mean, and bullying, and are given tools and action steps to guide them when they encounter bullying, either as the victim or as a bystander. Participants are encouraged to take the ‘Pledge of Sisterhood,' and commit to creating a supportive and empowering environment amongst themselves and their friends.
About Bullying/MEANgirl Behavior
Bullying is intentionally mean behavior, repeated over time that involves an imbalance of power. It may be physical, verbal (spreading rumors, calling names), relational (exclusion, turning other friends against you, refusing to talk to you) or carried out via technology (cyberbullying). Bullying amongst girls is also referred to as ‘mean girl' behavior, and it has been linked to:
- Behavior problems
- Difficulties in academic performance
- Low self-esteem
- Poor social skills
- Lack of close peer relationships
- Low school engagement
- Undermined feelings of competence
The REALgirl Approach to Bullying/MEANgirl Behavior
So how do we stop it? At REALgirl® Empowerment Programs, we believe that the key to stopping bullying and MEANgirl behavior lies within each girl involved in the situation. This includes the bully, the victim, and the bystanders. Our approach is dedicated to getting to the root of the problem and creating a lasting impact. It is only when all parties involved are empowered and anchored in their sense of self-value that bullying can truly be a thing of the past.
This Intensive workshop can be customized to fit the time available, from a short, 2-hour session to 1 and 2-Day workshops. Be a REALgirl Not a MEANgirl covers the following:
- Defining bullying/MEANgirl behavior
- Understanding the root of the self-esteem crisis in girls
- Exploring low self-esteem as cause of mean girl behavior
- Tips to deal with MEANgirl and bullying behaviors
- REALgirl Pledge of Sisterhood
Contact us today to bring Be a REALgirl®, not a MEANgirl to your community!
REALgirl® Tips to Deal with MEANgirls & Bullies
Tip #1 – Remember: It's not about YOU. Remember the reason the MEANgirl or bully is doing what she or he is doing. It's never really about you. Anything they are saying or doing is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. This doesn't make their behavior acceptable but holding on to this thought will help you hold on to your power and avoid being convinced that there is something wrong with you.
Tip #2 – Use your voice. Using your voice to stand up for yourself is very empowering. Here are 3 ways to use your voice when dealing with MEANgirls and bullies.
- Speak up for yourself: Imagine someone walks up to you, says "Come on, let's dance," and starts dancing. You use your voice to clearly tell them that you will not be dancing with them and stand perfectly still. They may continue to dance for a minute or so, but soon they'll leave to try to find someone else to dance with.
The same is often true for bullying or MEANgirl behavior. The bully is trying to engage you, to get a reaction from you. If you don't give her or him that reaction, they will stop trying to engage you. With the right words, you can send a clear message that you are not going to engage with the bully or give up your power. If you think about what you would say in a bullying situation before it happens, it will be easier to find the strength to say it in a clear and assertive voice when it does happen. Decide what words will best help you to hold on to your power. Some examples are:
"Nope. Not doing this."
"I don't care what you think."
"Your words can't hurt me."
"I don't let people treat me like this."
- Tell a trusted adult: Talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, coach, or any trusted adult about the situation even if you don't want them to intervene. It's good to have an adult who knows about the situation that you can talk to, and can help you if you need them to. If you aren't looking for an adult to intervene, make sure you clearly communicate your wishes to the adult and you choose the adult you tell wisely.
- Speak up for others: When someone outside of the situation speaks up for the person being bullied, the bully is automatically put on the defensive instead of the offensive. Now she or he must justify why they are bullying someone, and there is never a good answer. Speaking up for someone else helps the person who is bullied regain her sense of power, shows the bully that their behavior is not ‘cool' or acceptable to their peers, and it helps you feel empowered because you had the strength to speak up for what you knew was right.
Tip #3 – Commit to and uphold the REALgirl® Pledge of Sisterhood. One of the main causes of MEANgirl behavior is the misguided belief that girls and women need to be in competition with one another. In order to stop MEANgirl behavior, girls must start recognizing one another as allies, not enemies. You can do your part by committing to and upholding the following pledge:
"I pledge to treat others and myself as I wish to be treated, to support other girls in being their best selves and to speak up whenever I see MEANgirl behavior."