Dr. Louise Hart stood on a chair at the end of the 2017 Zorgos Awards and shared something from her career as a parent educator: a wonderful exercise that teaches healthy touch. She learned about it in the International Journal for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse & Neglect, way back in the 1980s. Here’s an excerpt from The Winning Family, which inspired The Bullying Antidote.
Nurses would bring mothers who had been raised with abusive touch together with their children, for a cup of tea and a chance to change their natural instincts. This was such a hit they called it the “New Zealand Treat,” in which givers put their hands on the backs of receivers, and act out a “Weather Report.”
It’s important to establish that the body receiving the attention is in charge, and should be giving feedback. (More! Harder! Stop that!) The purpose is to inflict pleasure, not pain. One mother found that she was able to stifle the urge to hit her child by massaging his back instead—with far superior results!
But in a world where the climate is changing and we feel out of control, this give-and-take exercise allows children and adults alike to feel calmer, connected, and more able to cope. It also provides a way to talk about and plan for ways to hande climate disasters as our world changes every day.
Calm the climate in your home with this easy massage practice.
Doctor of Neuroscience David Rock has changed the way businesses think about managing the human needs of their employees. Understanding his SCARF model can also help us to understand our children and teens.
We all have basic needs that must be met for us to feel safe and well. But when we are feeling emotionally uncomfortable, it’s not always obvious what those needs are. The SCARF model of social needs by David Rock seems to be a very elegant way of exploring those needs. Here is a simple and intuitive description of the model:
STATUS – Your importance compared to others.
CERTAINTY – Predicting the future and anticipating change.
AUTONOMY – The sense of control over events, and the need to feel you have a choice.
RELATEDNESS – The sense of safety and belonging to a social group.
FAIRNESS – The fair exchanges between people.
If some of these areas are under threat, we experience an “away” feeling. If these needs are met, we experience a “towards” feeling. Watch your kids relate to peers, adults, information they receive from the world, and YOU, considering this model. The insights you receive will help you find ways to talk to them about what is going on, and how they can better get what they need.
Here is a concept you can share with others to create conversation.
The reason Trump may be so beloved by his supporters is that a lot of Americans relate to the bullying dynamic. A bully’s true power comes from his or her followers, who support and encourage their bravado and dominance. Allying with a bully makes an insecure person feel stronger. The Bullying Antidote is about laws that provide systemic fairness and good leadership that protects the weak from those who would exploit or dominate them.
We have enlisted Mr. Trump to help us get the word out…
Please share! There will be more of these on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.
If bullying is all about climbing on top of someone else’s power, then the antidote to bullying is consent. Consensual interaction feels good to everyone involved. “May I climb on top of your power?” “Sure, and then I’ll take a turn being in in charge!” Sounds funny, but isn’t it much more fun?
At the Oscars last week, Joe Biden introduced a song by Lady Gaga that grapples with sexual abuse (a particularly form of bullying), and got a standing ovation for his speech about ending this social vice. Watch his speech here.
If you haven’t seen the “Tea” video about consensual sex yet, you must. Watch it before showing to your (older) kids. Without talking heavily about drinking, having sex, passing out, it very playfully—and very clearly—spells out right and wrong!
The return to school can be filled with hopeful anticipation for some, but anxiety and apprehension as well. Many schools have anti-bullying programs to discourage bullying; these work best when parents are involved, and information is reinforced at home. In families and child-care centers—long before the first day of kindergarten—kids learn skills and behaviors that establish how they will get along with others. Adults can superpower their kids with inner strength by: Continue reading