Loading... Please wait...


Making the Case for Social Skills to Combat Bullying

Posted by

Making the Case for Social Skills to Combat Bullying

Bullying today has reached epidemic proportions, no matter where we are in civilized society. Many of the laws, policies, programs, and agendas designed to deal with or prevent bullying are not working.

Let’s explore some common truths about our society. I am sure that all of you have experienced rudeness at some time. Perhaps you encountered road rage on a super highway or your small town street. Or, maybe you had a meal in a nice restaurant ruined by a child running around while his parents were oblivious to his behavior. Then there is the obnoxious parent screaming at (and embarrassing) their own child, at a game that is supposed to be fun.

We wonder what happened to kids’ manners today. Maybe we should also wonder what happened to the manners and social skills of adults. Numerous studies over the last 20 or so years have reported that nearly 90% of us (in the US) consider rudeness a serious problem in our society. I’m sure you would agree with that. The worst of rudeness is bullying and violence, which are issues of great concern to kids, parents, educators, and community leaders. School bullying is so prevalent that all 50 US states now have legislation designed to deal with these issues.

I have always told students that there is good news and bad news about manners and social skills (which are just socially correct behavior.) The good news is that if they stay in their rooms 24/7, they won’t have to know any “manners stuff.” The bad news is if they come out of their rooms, they will have to know how to get along with others.

Considering that nearly 90% of us in the US, consider rudeness a serious problem in our society, and that 50 US states now have legislation requiring schools to deal with bullying and violence, it seems that we need to rethink the importance of manners and social skills training.

I have always believed that good manners contribute to a more caring, respectful, and successful life. When most people hear the term “good manners,” they assume you mean table manners or dining skills. But manners and social skills are much more than dining; they teach us how to behave in an acceptable way wherever we go and whatever we are doing.

If a child hasn’t been taught to play fair, share, and to get along with others, he is at a distinct disadvantage when entering school. He may suffer from lack of friends, ridicule, delayed learning, and other negatives. If a high school girl has never been taught to eat in a manner that doesn’t gross out others, she may not be invited to a dance or party, or be ostracized by peers. Later, when entering the job market, the candidate with good social skills will secure the job over candidates with equal qualifications, but lacking in social skills. So, teaching children social skills is important.

Manners or etiquette rules have come into being because of a need for them. Some, such as the handshake, have been around a long time. Others, such as where to park your carriage (and what to do with the horse) when visiting someone’s home, disappear because times have changed. Now we have Netiquette, which is Internet Etiquette, or how to use the Internet so you don’t offend anyone and everyone is friendly and can get along.

Since table manners are what most people think manners are all about, we often think about the formal times in our past. Those formal times have caused many people to think etiquette is elitist; only for rich people, and that those rich people made up all the rules. So, if you aren’t going where rich people go, who needs them?

Manners and etiquette have gotten a bum rap over the last 30-40 years. “They keep me from being myself.” “They spoil my fun.” “Who cares if I have good manners?” “So what if I don’t teach my kids this stuff, I didn’t learn it and I’m fine.” One of the biggest myths about manners is that they don’t matter.

Our children need manners and social skills training, and they need it at a young age. Equipping them with social skills tools will help them reject bullying. Watch out for positive behavior changes; they really want to know how to do the right thing, be kind and respectful, please the adults in their lives, and have more friends.

(C) Cool Kind Kid

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - September 18 - September 24, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

ANTI-BULLYING TIPS FROM BARBARA  With school back in session in most places, and a huge number of kids riding the bus to and from school, its important to stress that bullying can be prevented by older kids caring about and watching out for younger kids, obeying and driver, and following [...]

Read More »

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - September 11 - September 17, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

ANTI-BULLYING TIPS FROM BARBARA  Whether playing a game with friends or working together on a school project, cooperation is needed. Kids need to learn from an early age to share, give preference to another, and take turns. When these things are present, the game or project run smoothly [...]

Read More »

Tips for Recognizing Bullying

With October just around the corner, we'll see a huge push everywhere to bring attention to bullying.  As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, schools, communities, educators and parents, as well as the media will be focused on finding strategies and solutions to end this pervasive problem.  Many will be offering definitions of what bullying [...]

Read More »

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - September 4 - September 10, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

TANNER'S TUESDAY TIPSI know some kids who are scared to go to school because they are afraid they might be bullied. I try to encourage them and stand up for them when I see a kid who bullies approaching them. I even get some other friends to stand [...]

Read More »

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - August 28- September 3, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

ANTI-BULLYING TIPS BY BARBARA Whether going to school or daycare, kids are going to encounter other kids who don't look like them. Prepare them early by introducing them to neighbors who are of different races, ethnicities, or religions. Stress that we are all the same on the [...]

Read More »

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - August 21 - August 27, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

ANTI-BULLYING TIPS BY BARBARA Though it may be okay for kids to throw a tantrum, scream and yell, or curse at home, it isn't going to be okay at school or daycare. Teach your kids early how to handle their emotions. Equip them with strategies for dealing with [...]

Read More »

GUEST BLOG POST by Tina Nocera, Parental Wisdom

What legacy will you leave behind?Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess DianaParents wonder if our children hear our words, learn the lessons we try to share or see the actions we model. Yet [...]

Read More »

FACEBOOK POST REVIEW - August 14 - August 20, 2017 [In case you missed a few.]

ANTI-BULLYING TIPS FROM BARBARA "Treat others the way that you want to be treated," is The Golden Rule. Too many kids, and adults, follow a different rule; "Treat others the way they treat you." A small difference in wording, but a big difference in meaning. Role-play scenarios [...]

Read More »

GUEST BLOG POST by Laura Pearson

Five Things I Learned When I Found Out My Child Was Being Cyber-bulliedAfter my family and I packed up and moved across country, my son seemed to be settling into his new school. His grades were fine, and he seemed to be making friends. Then he started to become isolated. He didn’t want to hang out with his new [...]

Read More »

Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates