In our recent Six Seconds Education Webinar: Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a Sustainable Approach to Bullying Prevention,  Lauren Hyman Kaplan, prevention expert and educational consultant in NYC, and Alex Russell, Six Seconds Program Manager, and Susan Stillman, Six Seconds’ Director of Education asked our participants this question:

  • Did you know that a child’s ability to handle frustration, control emotions, and get along with others is a better predictor of success than IQ?

What is our definition of success and how is this related to bully prevention? When students are able to know themselves and their feelings, navigate their emotions, and make healthy choices and with purpose, they are able to develop quality relationships, their problem behavior is reduced, and they are able to be more successful in school and in life (Durlak et al., 2010).  What if our definition of success also included being able to respond to and even prevent bullying in school? What if our definition of success included going even further — being able to stand up for respect, inclusion, and appreciation of differences in our classrooms? What if our definition of success meant contributing to a culture of caring and compassion, an environment where all youth are nurtured, respected and cared for,  and feel safe enough to learn?  What if our definition of success meant not only addressing the so called “bullying problem”  but also meant contributing to a school climate, where all youth and adults are included, able to grow, take risks, share perspectives, and help each other to succeed?

A New Way to Think of Bullying

All over the world, administrators, teachers, counselors, and parents and, of course, kids struggle with bullying in schools on a daily basis.  Much research has gone into trying to find a solution. And yet, it may come as no surprise that, as a society, we have not resolved the “bully problem.”

Why not?  Bully prevention is not meaningful and sustainable without  the implementation of  a comprehensive social emotional learning (SEL) program, of which bully prevention is only a small part.

In our last webinar, we discussed best practices in bully prevention. Practices like

  • creating needs assessments
  • reviewing survey data and creating action plans
  • developing clear cut policies, rules, and consequences
  • staff training
  • universal classroom “anti-bullying” lessons

Going to the Root Causes of Bullying

We proposed, however,  that these best practices only go so far and not far enough. What is needed is a simultaneous, serious, and sustainable SEL program, that addresses the EQ competencies that all students and the adults working with students need.  A sustainable SEL program helps adults and students to develop measurable emotional intelligence competencies.

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Our Six Seconds model consists of three pursuits: Know yourself, Choose yourself, and Give yourself and comprises eight competencies: enhance emotional literacy, recognize patterns, apply consequential thinking, navigate emotions, engage intrinsic motivation, increase optimism, increase empathy, and pursue a noble goal. Imagine how important these might be to preventing bullying!

I6seconds_model-clearf your child were bullied, which EQ competencies would be helpful to him or her?

If your child was engaging in bullying behavior, which EQ competencies would you hope to instill?

If your child were to be an ally to others who were victimized, which EQ competencies would help her or him to do that?

If your child were to become a leader in creating a safe, compassionate, and nurturing school climate, which EQ competencies would help him or her to do that?

 

Please join us on a future webinar – here’s the schedule.

 

Dr. Susan Stillman

Director of Education, Six Seconds' Global Office: With years of experience as an educational leader, scholar-practitioner, K-12 school counselor, and higher ed faculty, Susan brings a diverse background and set of skills to bear on her mission to build and sustain the Six Seconds' educational programs and to support Six Seconds' team members around the world, working to develop EQ in children, educators, families, schools, and communities.

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