No Put Downs

"Think About Why"

  • LIght BulbThis skill is about AWARENESS.
  • “Think About Why” invites children to begin to define, identify and investigate their own use of putdowns.
  • There are 2 essential questions:
    • “Why do I use putdowns?” and
    • “Why do other people use putdowns?”
  • This skill urges children to stop and think before automatically responding to a putdown.
  • Children learn that anger, hurt, fear, jealousy, ignorance and power are often underlying reasons for putdowns.
  • By taking the time to “think about why,” a child may sense that a putdown was motivated by strong emotions, and the best response is to show empathy rather than trade insults.

"Stay Cool" Strategies

  1. FanStop and Think – Freeze Please.
  2. Count to 10.
  3. Take Deep Breaths.
  4. Daydream or Imagine.
  5. Positive Self-Talk

"Shield Myself" Strategies

  1. UmbrellaBelieve in myself; Show self-confidence.  (I can do this!)
  2. Don't believe putdowns.  (I know I am not dumb!)
  3. Keep trying.  (I will do better next time.)

"Choose a Response" Strategies

  1. ChooseDo little or nothing/Ignore/Shield Yourself!
    • Don’t react.
    • Don't look at the person.
    • Don't listen to the person.
    • Don't talk to the person.
  2. Agree with the person (just don’t argue with them).
    • "I sure am."
    • "You are right."
  3. Change the subject.
    • Talk about something else.
  4. Walk away.
    • Move away or walk away from the person or situation.
  5. Use friendly words.
    • Give an "I Message".
    • Use your words to say how you feel, what they are doing, and what you want them to do instead.
    • Be friendly – “Please stop.”
  6. Use firm words.
    • Let them know that you really mean it.
    • Don't yell, just change your voice a little.
  7. Get adult help.
    • Explain to a grown-up what happened and ask for help.
  8. WISE Steps – Use Words and Ideas to Settle or Explain It.
    • Come up with a compromise!

"Build Up"

  • Build UpA “Build Up” is the opposite of a putdown.
  • It is anything we say or do that makes people feel happy.
  • It is encouraging and supportive communication and behavior.
  • It’s about building community, appreciating differences, and pulling together as a class and a school to create a respectful, accepting and safe environment.
  • Students learn about giving and receiving compliments, encouraging each other and working together.
  • The focus of this skill is on sincere caring and respect.

How can family members reinforce the work of the No Putdowns Program?

  1. Use the language of the program – Think About Why, Stay Cool, Shield Myself, Choose a Response, and Build Up.
  2. Refer to the skills in daily interactions.
  3. Observe the use of putdowns at stores, restaurants, on television and radio.
  4. Think about establishing an incentive program to reinforce the use of the skills.
  5. Tune into your own use of putdowns.
  6. Emphasize positive communication:  listening, eye contact, questions, paying attention to the speaker, fighting fair, and encouraging rather than discouraging.  These are all skills that can be practiced and used.
  7. Remind your children that as parents and as adults, you have a right and responsibility to correct their behavior and that there is a difference between constructive criticism and reprimands – and putdowns.  However when you need to get a point across, try to do it without a putdown.  Instead of “You’re so sloppy or lazy”, try “After you pick up your toys, you can go out and play.”  You can get your point across without a putdown.