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No Put Downs
"Think About Why"
- This 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
- Stop and Think – Freeze Please.
- Count to 10.
- Take Deep Breaths.
- Daydream or Imagine.
- Positive Self-Talk
"Shield Myself" Strategies
- Believe in myself; Show self-confidence. (I can do this!)
- Don't believe putdowns. (I know I am not dumb!)
- Keep trying. (I will do better next time.)
"Choose a Response" Strategies
- Do 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.
- Agree with the person (just don’t argue with them).
- "I sure am."
- "You are right."
- Change the subject.
- Talk about something else.
- Walk away.
- Move away or walk away from the person or situation.
- 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.”
- Use firm words.
- Let them know that you really mean it.
- Don't yell, just change your voice a little.
- Get adult help.
- Explain to a grown-up what happened and ask for help.
- WISE Steps – Use Words and Ideas to Settle or Explain It.
- Come up with a compromise!
- A “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?
- Use the language of the program – Think About Why, Stay Cool, Shield Myself, Choose a Response, and Build Up.
- Refer to the skills in daily interactions.
- Observe the use of putdowns at stores, restaurants, on television and radio.
- Think about establishing an incentive program to reinforce the use of the skills.
- Tune into your own use of putdowns.
- 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.
- 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.