Botvin LifeSkills are about promoting health and personal development, and it does more than teach information about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, as the lessons promote healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to help youth. The 8 lessons are; Self-Esteem, Decision Making, Smoking, Advertising, Dealing with Stress, Communication Skill, Social Skills, and Assertiveness. These lessons are taught to students in grades 3-11 in Carteret County, with each lesson progressing from school year to school year. We want the Botvin LifeSkills lessons looked at as a culture at WOES as we want all of our students to be physically and mentally active, healthy for life; while supporting the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development of our students.
The LifeSkills Training program is different than other prevention programs in several important ways. First, it is based on science. It was carefully designed to target the primary causes of tobacco use after an extensive review of existing research literature. Many prevention programs are based on guesses and hunches about what might work, but LifeSkills is based on what the latest research tells us about the causes of substance abuse. Second, it’s comprehensive – it doesn’t just focus on one aspect of the program, it addresses all of the most important factors leading to adolescents to use one or more drugs by teaching a combination of health information, general life skills, and drug resistance skills. Third, although it uses a variety of teaching methods, it emphasizes the use of proven skills training methods. Fourth, the effectiveness of LifeSkills approach is documented by over 30 years of rigorous research. It is one of the only prevention programs proven to reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
Lesson #1: Self-Esteem
Vocabulary to remember
o Short-term goals
o Long-term goals
o Risky Behavior
With 3rd grade, we will teach students what self-esteem is and how it is developed. To make students aware of the fact that they can do things well, even though they are young.
o Students will define self-esteem
o Identify how self-esteem is developed
o Differentiate between good self-esteem and bad self-esteem
o Identify things that they can do
With 4th grade, we will teach students what self-esteem is and how it is developed. To make students aware that they are unique and should feel good about it.
o Students will define self-esteem.
o Identify how self-esteem is developed
o Identify things about themselves that they share and don’t share with others.
o Students will also discuss what makes each child develop into a unique person.
With 5th grade, we will help students feel better about themselves by looking with a broader perspective at what they have already achieved and at what it is possible for them to achieve in the future.
o Students will identify short-term and long-term goals they hold for themselves.
o Students will also discuss the relationship between risk behaviors and goal achievement.
When we talk about a child’s self-esteem, we are talking about how a child feels about him or herself. In the past, educators relied on the family to provide children with self-esteem. However, children no longer come to school armed with a strong sense of self. More and more of our children are faced with a family life that actually encourages the development of low self-esteem. Even children who come from stable and supporting families are at risk. Every child in this nation is exposed to violence, stress, anger, drugs, and poverty; if not in the neighborhoods where they live, then from other children who they relate with in school or from the media. Studies have shown that children with high self-esteem are less likely to engage in alcohol, tobacco or other drug use. Children who feel good about themselves do not need to use drugs just because their friends are using them. They are less susceptible to peer pressure because they do not have problems fitting in and making friends. Children with a strong sense of self-esteem are also less likely to experiment with drugs as a way of coping with problems.
Lesson #2: Decision-Making
Step 1: STOP – Ask yourself what the decision or problem is
Step 2: THINK – Ask yourself what your choices or options are. Also think about the possible outcomes of each choice
Step 3: GO! – Do what is best for you!
With 3rd Grade we will teach students a simple step-by-step process for making decisions.
· Students will identify how we make choices
· Be able to identify the basic process for making decisions
· Practice applying the decision-making model to personal choices.
Vocabulary to be learned
With 4th Grade we will have students identify how their daily decisions are influenced in direct and indirect ways.
Students will review the basic step-by-step decision-making process
Students will discuss direct and indirect influences on decision-making
Identify and map factors that influence their decisions
Vocabulary to be learned
With 5th Grade we will teach students how to make decisions in tobacco-related situations.
Students will review the Stop-Think-Go! decision-making model
Students will practice making decisions related to tobacco
The truth is that children are notorious for making poor choices. They are impulsive and rarely think about the consequences of their actions. When working with children today, decision-making is not just a matter of whether to run out into the street after a lost ball or talk back to the teacher. Decision-making becomes more serious when one realizes that the decisions a child makes today may impact their future alcohol, tobacco or other drug use. Decision making is a behavior, and like any other behavior, it can become a habit. If children get into the habit of making quick and impulsive decisions, they are more likely to make those types of decisions for the rest of their lives. If, on the other hand, children are encouraged to think out their decisions carefully and deliberately, they might develop positive habits that stay with them forever. Teaching decision-making skills to your students can arm them with the skills necessary to make the appropriate decisions about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. At some point in life, every child will be faced with the decision to experiment with drugs. Alcohol or tobacco. If children are prepared with strong decision-making skills, they are more likely to make the appropriate choices.
Decisions are choices that we make for ourselves. We are involved in making decisions every day. Some decisions we might face in the future will not be easy and will require a lot of thought. By using the Stop-Think-Go! process, we will be able to make choices that we are happier with and that go along with what we believe to be right for us. Our decisions are often influenced by friends, family and other social groups. We are also influenced by what we see and hear in the media. Movies, television, video games, the internet, books, magazines/newspapers and even what we hear on the radio impact on the decisions we make every day. Understanding that we are sometimes influenced by others when making decision can allow us to make the best choice without being manipulated in either direct or indirect ways. It is important to remember when you are making a decision to ask yourself, “is this something that I really want to do, or am I being influenced to do it by someone or something else?”
Again, we are involved in making decisions every day. Sometimes we make snap decisions without really thinking them through. That’s all right sometimes, but if you do this too often, you run the risk of being disappointed that you made the wrong choice. Other decisions require more time and conscious effort to determine whether we are being influenced, or whether it’s something we really want for ourselves. As people get older it is likely that they will face more difficult and challenging problems to make decisions about. Practicing decision-making skills can help prepare you for a time when a serious decision must be made. Using the Stop-Think-Go! model can help you slow down and make the best decision.
Lesson #3: Smoking Information
With 3rd grade we teach students to weigh the pros and cons of smoking.
· Identify basic facts about the effects of smoking
· Discuss reasons why people choose to smoke or not to smoke
With 4th Grade we teach students about the consequences of nicotine and tobacco products on their body.
· Practice taking their pulse
· Compare resting heart rate to a “smoking” heart rate
· Discuss the relationship between increased heart rate and cardiovascular disease
· Learn about the difference between a healthy lung and a tar-filled lung
· Hear and observe what happens to the alveoli when a person smokes
· Observe how much tar passes through the lungs of a pack-a-day smoker
· Visualize what tar from cigarettes looks like in the lungs
With 5th Grade we will familiarize students with the many different kinds of tobacco products and teach them that attitudes, norms and laws about smoking in this country are changing.
· Compare the different types of tobacco products
· Identify ways that smoking laws are changing
· Write new laws related to tobacco use
About 18% of adults in this country smoke. Many began smoking just to see what it was like, or just for fun. Unfortunately, smoking quickly turns into a habit that is hard to break. Smoking causes many illnesses that can harm a person’s body. The effects of smoking can be immediate and long-term and are harmful to both a smoker’s health and well-being. Smoking cigarettes places the lungs at risk. Tar collects in the lungs and makes them turn black. If a person smokes, their nice soft lung tissue becomes hard and dry. When this happens the alveoli- the air-containing cells of the lings can pop, making it herder to breathe. When a person’s alveoli pop, they get a disease call emphysema. Nicotine, the name of the drug in cigarettes and e-cigarettes, is a stimulant that artificially speeds up the heart rate. Both the immediate and long-term effects of smoking are harmful to a smoker’s health and well-being. The best way to prevent these problems from occurring is not to start smoking in the first place.
· Eyes – Causes the eyes to become red.
· Mouth – Deadens taste buds, causes bad breath and mouth infections
· Throat – Causes bad coughs
· Nose – Decreases the ability to smell
· Skin – Causes wrinkles on the face to appear more quickly
· Teeth and Fingers – Stains teeth and fingers a brownish-yellow color.
· Heart – Speeds up the heart rate
· Lungs – Begins to turn lungs black from tar
· Lungs – Causes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or lung cancer
· Heart – Causes heart disease
· Brain – Causes a stroke
· Mouth – Causes mouth cancer
As you know, children are experimenting with tobacco at younger and younger ages. Even before students actually try a cigarette, they are developing attitudes about smoking. Children see other people smoking and see actors on television and in the movies smoking. Being children, they naturally wonder what they are missing. Studies show that if a person has not started smoking by the time they are twenty-one years old, they probably won’t start. In the past, teachers have tried educating high school and middle school students about smoking. What they found was that, in many cases, they were too late. By the time the children got to middle and high school, even if they hadn’t tried smoking yet, they had already formed their attitudes about smoking. The new research about tobacco suggest that students need to start learning about tobacco in elementary school. The tobacco education they receive will help counteract the information they are exposed to from society and the media. One reason kids experiment with tobacco is because they are curious about it or because they think that using it is glamourous.
Lesson #4: Advertising
With 4th Grade we will develop an awareness of how tobacco advertisers manipulate advertisements to try and entice people to smoke.
· Identify and discuss eight different tricks that companies use to try to get people to smoke.
· Analyze cigarette advertisements to determine how tobacco companies attempt to lure people to buy cigarettes
Vocabulary to remember:
With 5th Grade we will create an awareness in students of the many techniques and appeals that advertisers use to get consumers to purchase their products.
· Understand that we are all consumers
· Understand the purpose of advertising
· Be able to recognize the various advertising techniques used to persuade consumers
· Be able to define “target markets” and identifying how advertisers use them to sell products
· Create an advertisement for a product utilizing a technique discussed
Tobacco companies use advertisements to “trick” people into thinking that smoking is fun and healthy. These companies try to lure people into buying their cigarettes and e-cigarettes. They use these advertising tricks because in reality, smoking is bad for you. If tobacco companies told the truth in their advertising, no one would buy cigarettes or e-cigarettes and the company would go out of business. By knowing what tricks to look for in advertisements, kids can prevent themselves from getting “tricked”!
· Bandwagon – Everyone smokes, so you should too
· Image Appeal – You will be more glamorous or macho if you smoke
· Maturity – If you smoke you will appear older
· Have a Great Time – Smoking is fun and enjoyable
· Popularity – You will have more friends if you smoke
· Free Stuff – If you smoke our brand you can mail away for free stuff
· Health Appeal – Our brand is healthier than all the others
· Scientific Evidence – Our brand is better than all the rest
Advertising is very powerful source of influence in our lives. Many of our daily decisions are shaped by the advertisements that we see and hear all the time. Many of our choices as consumers are a result of gentle, and not so gentle, pressure form advertisers that tell us to choose their products over others. If we look at advertising closely, we can learn about the many techniques that are used to persuade us to purchase things that we may or may not need.
How Advertising Affects You
Advertising is all around us, twenty-four hours a day. We see and hear so much of it that we may think we are immune to it, but we are not. Be critical when you see or hear an ad. Learn to be cautious when exposed to advertising, because the real objective of advertising is to make money for the company selling the product. Young people are especially vulnerable to advertising because they are often targeted for products. Don’t believe everything you see and hear in advertising. When a product claims to be better than the rest, ask how and why. Think for yourself. The advertising industry’s primary job is to convince people to buy whatever product is being sold. Over the years, advertisers have changed their marketing strategies. They realize that people develop their product preferences at early ages. They also realized that younger people are more receptive to marketing strategies than older people. Younger people are more naïve and impressionable. They may not realize they are being manipulated. Among other industries, the tobacco industry is notorious for targeting children to buy their products (cigarettes). Research on advertising coupled with research showing that most people begin smoking by the time they graduate from high school or don’t smoke at all, made youth an irresistible target for tobacco companies.
There is a growing awareness of the tobacco advertising campaigns targeted at youth. Some people are trying to change public policy to make these campaigns illegal. Educators can help to prevent children from being susceptible to these campaigns by teaching children about advertising and the techniques companies use to persuade people to buy their products. The more aware children are that they are being manipulated by advertisers, the less likely it is that the advertisements will work.
Lesson #5: Dealing with Stress
With 3rd grade, we will teach students to recognize stress and to practice techniques to deal with stress.
· Describe stress and the physical sensations that are associated with stress.
· Identify causes of stress in their lives
· Practice deep breathing and stretching to reduce stress and anxiety
With 4th grade, students will:
· Identify positive and negative ways to cope with stress.
· Discuss how to tell the difference between a positive and a negative coping technique.
· Practice guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation techniques.
With 5th grade we will teach students that because stress does not go away, one of the best ways to deal with it is to prevent it.
· Identify specific types of stressors experienced by different age groups throughout life.
· Compare and contrast types of stressors common to all people.
· Discuss stress-prevention techniques
Everyone is our society experiences stress. We can’t escape it. There are many different things that cause people stress. Not all stress is negative. Many times, stress can also be caused by a positive or happy event too. What can be bad for us is the way we learn to cope with stress. There are many ways that people cope with stress. Sometimes people adopt the coping technique that is best for them. Other times people use a coping technique that they have seen someone else use. Negative coping techniques do not actually reduce stress, in the long run, they make more stress! Once students find a positive and effective way to deal with stress, they should practice it and try to make it a habit. Stress has become a commonplace phenomenon in our society. It is an accepted fact that all adults experience stress. Less attention has been paid to the fact that children also experience stress. Homework, tests, babysitters, kids at school, parents and diverse are all sources of stress for our students. In fact, every person in our society experiences some form of stress. There is hardly a time in a person’s life when they can say they have no stress. Babies need diapers to be changed, toddlers have a hard time learning to walk, children feel stress going to school for the first time, high school kids feel stress about getting into college, college kids feel stress about finding a job. The list can go on and on.
If we accept the fact that we will be dealing with stress our whole lives, the issue becomes not what is causing us stress, but how to deal with it. Stress management is like any other behavior, it becomes a habit. Unfortunately, many people in our society develop unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. When they get stressed out they turn to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to cope with their stress. These substances do not make the stress go away. In fact, they may even cause more stress in the long run. If every time someone got stressed out, they reached for a cigarette, it would be very easy to develop a smoking habit. We all know that smoking leads to cancer, emphysema and other disease. Therefore, smoking would actually increase stress over time. The trick in preventing unhealthy ways of dealing with stress is to intervene when children are young and have not yet formed habits. If we can teach children about stress and some positive ways to cope with it, it is possible that they will develop healthy stress-movement techniques instead of unhealthy ones.
Below is a Guided Imagery Relaxation Technique, a muscle relaxation technique, test taking techniques, and study skills that all students can use!
Guided Imagery Relaxation Technique
Think of a beach…. No one is on the beach but you…. It is summer, and the temperature is 75 degrees…. The wind is blowing slightly…. The ocean is calm, the sky is blue… You smell the salt water in the air… there are seagulls flying over head, but they don’t land…You feel so comfortable… With your bare toes scrunched in the warm sand… You are walking along the beach, you feel so relaxed, you don’t have a care in the world.
Can you smell the suntan lotion? It smells like coconut… Can you feel the sun? It feels warm but not too hot… Can you feel the sand in your toes? The sand is soft and white, there are no shells or pebbles to hurt your feet… Do you see the seagulls flying in the sky? You see some white wispy clouds float by… Do you see the ocean?... Some dolphins are jumping in and out of the water… Do you feel the breeze blowing your hair?
As you are walking along you find a bleach blanket that someone has left… You lie down on the blanket and look up at the sky… You see some hot air balloons float by…. The balloons are beautiful colors, red, yellow, orange, purple, all the colors of the rainbow…. The balloons float peacefully by… You feel so happy and so relaxed… You wish you could feel this way forever….
Studying is a habit like any other habit. If students develop good study habits when they are young, they will get better grades with less effort as they grow older. Listed below are some good study habits that students’ practice.
1. Assemble necessary books and materials. You want everything you need at your fingertips, so you don’t have to keep getting gup to find things.
2. Eliminate all distractions. Close your door to turn the television and radio off. You want to be able to focus on the task at hand.
3. Study one subject at a time. Decide which subject needs the most time: the course that is the hardest, or the class that has a test coming up.
4. Make notes about important fact. Writing things down can help you remember them.
5. Repeat important points to yourself several times or make note cards that you can carry around and review.
Studying for and taking tests is one of the biggest stressors for students, whether they are in elementary school, middle school, high school or college. Unfortunately, you probably couldn’t count the number of tests you will have to take before you graduate. The best thing you can do is learn how to cope with them in the least stressful way. Read the tips below to help decrease your stress when you are taking tests.
1. Plan ahead. Figure out before hand how much time you will need to study for the exam. Make sure you leave enough time to complete homework for other classes. Pack any supplies you need and remember to include extra pencils, erasers and pens.
2. Get a normal night’s sleep the night before the test. Staying up late to study at the last minute is sure to cause stress. In addition, you’ll be so tired when you have to actually take the exam that you won’t be able to concentrate.
3. Eat a good breakfast or lunch before the test. Some people skip meals when they get stressed out. Not eating, however, will just make you tired. You won’t have enough energy to think straight when answering questions on the test.
4. Do not talk about the test with the other students once you get there. If you need to, sit in a corner by yourself. Stress is contagious. If other students are stressed out, they make you feel more anxious than you need to be.
5. Take a deep, relaxing breath. During stressful situations, breathing becomes short and rapid. Deep breathing not only helps to keep your brain supplied with oxygen, it will also help you relax before the exam.
6. Read the entire test through before starting. Then go back and prioritize the questions according to their importance to you and their point value.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique
· Tighten your right hand, make a fist and hold the fist, hold it, now let go…
· Tighten your left hand, make a fist and hold the fist, hold it, now let go…
· Tighten you right arm, straighten your arm and hold the arm tight, hold it, now let go…
· Tighten your left arm, straighten your arm and hold the arm tight, hold it, now let go…
· Tighten your right foot, scrunch your toes tight and hold them, hold them tight, now let go…
· Tighten your left foot, scrunch your toes tight and hold them, hold them tight, now let go…
· Tighten you right leg, straighten your leg and hold the leg tight, make a muscle in your leg, hold it tight, now let go…
· Tighten your left leg, straighten your leg and hold the leg tight, make a muscle in your leg, hold it tight, now let go…
· Tighten your stomach muscles, clench your stomach muscles and hold them tight, hold them, now let go…
· Tighten your shoulder muscles, scrunch your shoulders up, hold them tight, hold them, now let go…
· Tighten your face muscles, scrunch your face up, hold those muscles tight, hold them, now let go…
· Now tighten all the muscles in your body up, straighten your arms and legs, scrunch your face, your toes, make fists with your hands, make muscles tight in your stomach and shoulders, hold those muscles tight, hold them, hold them, now let go and pretend that you are Jell-O, you’re so loose…
Lesson #6: Communication Skills
For 3rd grade, we will teach students how feelings are communicated.
· Identify what communication is
· Discuss the importance of communicating their feelings
· Practice using body language to express emotions
Vocabulary to remember:
· Body Language
For 4th grade, we will teach students about the importance of communication.
· Identify what communication is.
· Practice using non-verbal communication skills
Vocabulary to remember:
· Verbal communication
· Non-verbal communication
For 5th grade, we will teach students the importance of communication
· Define communication
· Differentiate between active and passive listening
· Practice active and passive listening techniques
· Passive listening
· Active listening
Communicating is something we do all the time. Communication skills are not something children are born with. They must be developed! We spend most of our lives communicating with other people. We tell secrets to our friends; we ask parents and teachers questions, and we fight with our brothers and sisters. It is important that we communicate well so the people we are talking to understand what we mean. Many times, people depend on talking as their only means of communication. However, there are many ways that we communicate in everyday life. Communication can be classified in two ways – verbal and non-verbal communication. Good communication does not come easily. If we communicate well, other people will be able to understand exactly what we are trying to say and we will be able to understand better.
Active and passive listening are two ways of listening to someone when they want to talk. Sometimes a person just needs to talk to get something of their chest. They are not necessarily looking for advice, they just want someone to listen to them. This is a good time to be a passive listener. Active listening really demonstrates that a person is paying attention to whomever is communicating with them. This technique allows the listener to provide feedback to whomever they are talking with. No one likes to be interrupted or ignored when they have something to say. By practicing active and passive listening you will become a better communicator.
Passive listening is showing a person that you are interested in what they are saying without actually speaking to them. Below are some passive listening techniques:
· Not talking, but suing short verbal responses like, “hmmm”, “really” or “uh-huh.”
· Making eye contact when the person speaks
· Nodding or shaking your head in response to something that was said
· Leaning forward toward the person you are talking to
· Using facial expressions to demonstrate your feelings about what they are saying
Active listening is using verbal responses to show acceptance, understanding, respect, sympathy and encouragement. Below are some active listening techniques.
· Encouraging the person to express their feelings – “I guess you must have felt…”
· Encouraging the person to tell you more information – “Tell me about….”
· Restating the person’s ideas into your own words – “So you are saying…”
· Using verbal responses like “really” and “I see” to show you are paying attention
· Making comments about what is being said, but not giving advise unless it is asked for.
If children feel comfortable communicating their feelings to others, they will be able to talk about their problems. Children who can talk about their problems are less likely to turn to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to “medicate” them. In addition, sometimes children give in to pressure to use these substances just because they do not know what to say. If children are in a situation where they are being pressured to do something they do not want to do, communication skills will help empower them to refuse.
Lesson #7: Social Skills
For 3rd grade students will learn ways of building and maintaining friendships.
· Identify what makes a person a friend
· Identify the characteristics they find important in a friendship
· Describe the qualities they possess which make them a good friend
For 4th grade students will learn ways to get along with their peers
· Define “peer” and “peer pressure”
· Understand that peer pressure can be either positive or negative
· Identify ways to deal with negative peer pressure
· Identify places to go if they need help dealing with peer pressure
· Peer pressure
For 5th grade students will learn ways to deal with conflict in a positive way.
· Identify conflict styles and conflict outcomes
· Identify behaviors that will lead to different conflict outcomes
· Conflict resolution
· Problem solving
We all want and need to feel liked and accepted by our friends. Everyone likes to be appreciated for who they are. That is the good thing about having fiends. Sometimes, however, friends can pressure us to do things that make us feel uncomfortable or go against our personal beliefs. We need to learn that we don’t have to do things just because our friends are doing it. We also need to know where we can go for help if our friends pressure us to do things we don’t want to do. Peer pressure is when someone tries to influence you to do something. Peer pressure can be positive or negative. It’s hard to resist peer pressure. When our friends try to get us to do something, it’s easy to be persuaded. We need to listen to both our minds and bodies about the choices we make. They can help us determine when a decision may be the wrong one for us. Peer pressure is one of the most difficult aspects of growing up. We all want and need friends and we all want to be accepted and respected. However, when our friends are trying to make us do something we do not agree with or are making us feel uncomfortable, we shouldn’t give in to peer pressure. If there is too much pressure, there are a lot of people who can help. Remember, peer pressure can work both ways. Make it your personal commitment to be positive peer and learn to show peer support for your friends.
When people disagree with each other they can behave in three different ways. Sometimes when people disagree they get in a fight. That is called confrontation. Other times when people are made they pretend that nothing is wrong and keep all their feels inside. That is called avoidance. Another option in a disagreement is to make a compromise. That is called problem-solving. In most circumstances, problem-solving is the best way to resolve conflicts. However, if a situation is unsafe, avoidance may be the best conflict resolution technique. If a person’s basic rights are being violated, confrontation may be necessary.
There are three main conflict styles that a person can use to respond to any given conflict.
· Confrontation: Attacking the person you disagree with by yelling at them or physically pushing or hitting them.
· Avoidance: Not dealing with the disagreement by pretending that it does not exist or changing what you do so you do not see the person that you are disagreeing with.
· Problem-Solving: Working together with the person you are disagreeing with to make a compromise.
Different conflict styles lead to different conflict outcomes.
· A win-win situation is when both sides’ needs are met
· A win-lose situation is when only one side’s needs are met
· A lose-lost situation is when no one’s needs are met
*A lose-lose situation is usually caused by confrontation. A win-lose situation can be caused by avoidance or confrontation. Problem solving usually leads to a win-win situation. The more you practice problem solving, the easier it will become.
Social Skills – Peer Pressure
Peers are people who are similar to us in age, gender or other traits. When our peers try to convince us to do something, that is called peer pressure. People of all ages are victims of peer pressure, but peer pressure is especially prevalent among school-aged children. There is not one person who has made it through school without becoming a victim of some kind of peer pressure. One of the biggest components of a social skills unit is teaching children that it is all right to stand up to their friends. Just because people are friends does not mean they have to agree on everything. It is a common behavioral characteristic that as children grow up, they become less interested in what their family wants them to do and more interested in what their friends want them to do. As a matter of fact, friends are a key factor in whether children experiment with alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. If children are friends with children who use drugs, they are more likely to use drugs too. In addition, children who have a hard time making friends are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol or other drugs if they think it will make people like them. Teaching students about peer pressure will help them in a few ways. If students know how to identify peer pressure, they will be able to realize when they are being pressured and might think twice about doing something they do not want to do. In addition, if students learn about peer pressure, the may be less likely to try to pressure others to do things as well.
Social Skills – Conflict Resolution
To be a productive member of society, it is imperative that children learn how to get along with others. However, children are not born with the skills necessary to function as a member of society. Those skills must be learned. One of the social skills that students need to learn is how to deal with conflicts. As our society becomes one where confrontation and violence become commonplace, our children are adopting these negative behaviors, only to find out that they lose friends or get in trouble as a result. Other children, not knowing how to deal with conflict, may try to avoid the conflict and become victims. While adults are accustomed to using problem solving in the workplace or in other social situations, children need to learn problem-solving skills. The classroom can provide children with an opportunity to learn problem-solving behaviors in a day and age when positive role models who exhibit such behaviors are hard to find. Teaching students about conflict styles and conflict outcomes will help them in a few different ways. If students know how to cope with conflicts, it will be easier for them to get out of risky situations. In addition, if children can assess whether the outcome of a conflict will be positive or negative, they can make a more informed choice about how to react.
Lesson #8: Assertiveness
With 3rd grade, we will teach students refusal skills.
o Identify and discuss 8 different ways to say “no”
o Practice at least one way to say “no” in a realistic role-play situation
With 4th grade, we are going to teach students how to develop assertiveness skills.
· Identify what behaving assertively means.
· Practice writing I-messages.
· Practice being assertive with role-playing situations using I-messages.
· Assertive behavior
With 5th grade, we will help students learn assertive skills that will enable them to stand up for themselves.
· Differentiate between passive, aggressive and assertive responses.
· Identify how assertive skills can help a person stand up for themselves.
· Passive behavior
· Aggressive behavior
· Assertive behavior
Sometimes kids do not want to do something, but they don’t know how to stand up for themselves. Sometimes they get mad or upset at someone and do not know how to tell them. Or worse, they tell them and then get even more mad and upset because they end up in a fight. Being assertive, acting in a strong and firm manner while remaining polite, is the best way to stand up for yourself. Using an I-message is a way of being assertive and is a great way to talk to someone if you are mad or upset at them. Even if people are not naturally assertive, they can practice using I-messages. That way, if they are in a real-life situation, the will naturally know what to say.
Standing Up for Your Rights
There are three basic types of behavior: passive, aggressive and assertiveness
Assertiveness means being able to stand up for yourself calmly and firmly. Sometimes, when people are in a new situation, it is difficult for them to think of how to act and what to say. If they think something is not a good idea, they may not say so because they’re afraid people will laugh at them or won’t want to be their friend. Students who are taught how to be assertive are less likely to participate in behaviors where they feel uncomfortable. By practicing assertive skills, you may begin to feel comfortable with them. When faced with a real situation, you may be more likely to call on the behavior you practiced in class and feel capable of reacting in the appropriate way.
Assertiveness means being able to stand up for yourself calmly and firmly. Part of the trouble that children have when they are growing up is that they do not feel comfortable telling their friends they do not want to do something – use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, for example. Students who are taught how to be assertive are less likely to participate in behaviors that make them feel uncomfortable. Part of being assertive is learning how to talk about feelings in a certain way. Using an I-message allows a child to remain assertive while communicating their feelings about a certain issue. Students need to practice assertiveness by teaching them the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behavior. By identifying these behaviors in class, students may begin to feel comfortable with them. When faced with a real situation, students may call on the behavior they practiced in class and feel capable of reacting is an assertive way.