Calgary, AB (PRWEB) October 08, 2011
With the new school year well underway, mean girls have no doubt started to emerge in classrooms, hallways, and change rooms. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, the time of year when teachers and administrators have no doubt already been dealing with bullying and cyberbullying. National attention was brought to the issue this week when Lady Gaga met with President Obama to discuss the need for anti-bullying legislation. Along with Gaga, a number of schools across North America and Australia are facing this issue head on by providing their girls lessons in GirlPower – a friendship program for Tween girls.
The subtle, sneaky behaviors associated with relational aggression (female bullying) are gaining recognition by teachers and administrators. In the past, bullying was associated with overt, aggressive behaviors – kids getting pushed into lockers, threatening fist pumps, and demeaning name-calling or graffiti. Now, bullying has taken on a whole new look - Along with eye-rolling and alliance-building, female bullying manifests in nasty text messages, rumor-spreading through social media, embarrassing photos tagged on Facebook, unfriending – all forms of cyberbullying. The reality is that mean girls, today, are hard to escape. To create an anti-bullying climate within a classroom and ensure girls are achieving their potential, teachers may need to step in to educate girls about healthy friendships and provide tools to help girls put out Friendship Fires (a term used in GirlPower).
GirlPower believes that the root cause of female bullying is girls not having the skills to comfortably manage conflict. “Girls have a natural tendency to avoid conflict at all costs. This fear of confrontation forces girls to manage Friendship Fires through patterns of behavior associated with the ‘mean girl’ persona,” says Dana Kerford, Founder of GirlPower. GirlPower has joined the anti-bullying movement and aims to teach young girls how to create and maintain healthy friendships before entering into the temperamental, unpredictable teen years. Girls learn that conflict is an inevitable part of a friendship, but that there are healthy ways of managing their unpleasant feelings towards a friend. GirlPower teaches girls how to stand up to a friend (a three-step process and tips for extinguishing the Fire) and how to stand up to a bully (Quick Comebacks and coping mechanisms). Girls are taught to surround themselves with friends who treat them with respect because they are worth it.
GirlPower is a friendship program that inspires "Tween" girls to feel empowered, develop a strong sense of self, and love themselves while learning to manage the most important thing to them…their friendships. GirlPower was founded by an elementary school teacher, Dana Kerford, who runs workshops for girls and parents across Calgary, AB. Dana will be presenting at this year’s We Are Girls Conference in Austin, Texas in November. The GirlPower Six-Week Program and Two-hour Workshops are available for Educators to download and teach to their own girls. GirlPower gives Educators and parents a new language for talking about female friendships.
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