Let's Talk about Bullying and the Brain
Join me for a virtual coffee chat at Mylo Coffee Co. I selected this location for Little Rock. It is a good town to learn from history about how to lead kids when times are tough. Also, zeroing in on the pictures from their Instagram account, Mylo Coffee Co. feels like a comfortable atmosphere for a deep conversation about something serious: supporting kids who are being bullied.
Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience long term changes to the brain. There are things that can be done. As leaders of children, we need to know the implications and how to counter the negative effects. The topic of bullying comes out of the post written on Martin Luther King Day. It easy to get emotionally caught up in the injustice of bullying. Taking a break and reflecting on our role as a leaders is the intention of this post. Hopefully this break in your routine can allow for a calmer approach.
Learning from History
Before coffee, let's start with a visit the National Historic Site at Central High School. There we can put ourselves in the place of any adult who positively supported the Little Rock Nine students stand up to the intense anger and violent behavior during the 1957/58 school year. That was the year that President Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne to escort the nine black students to school.
As we head to the coffee shop, let's ponder the adult who supported one of the nine students, Melba Pattillo. She wrote in her memoir Warriors Don’t Cry that her grandmother, India, told her not to cry. Instead she framed what was happening to Melba in a larger context. She also suggested strategies on how to cope. Grandmother India's reaction sounds tough by our current standards of compassion.
Learning from Experts
Interestingly enough, what Grandmother India did to support Melba aligns with what experts on bullying recommend for parents now:
- Listen to the person being tormented.
- Believe what the person is saying and convey that you believe them.
- Help the child identify strategies to face the situation.
Take few minutes to watch this video. It explains the serious impact of bullying on the brain. It is important to recognize this stress and to support victims of bullying with actions that calm the emotional center of the brain.
Reflect and Plan
Next let's reflect and plan how to lead kids.
Do you remain calm when you know your child is being bullied?
Can you listen in a way that calms the child?
What strategies could you discuss with the student?
Thanks for coming along and taking time for a break. It allowed us time to plan ahead to support our kids who may likely encounter very difficult situations as they grow to be leaders. Remember calmness is contagious when it comes to the brain.
Cup of Leadership is...
a blog for people who lead children.
Deanne Bryce is a writer for young children and an advocate for personal leadership at all ages. This post is part of a series of posts where we engage in a virtual coffee chat. It is a chance for people who lead children to take a break and reflect on leadership strategies. In addition we get to virtually visit coffee shops around the world in order to gain a fresh perspective. Suggest a virtual visit or leadership topic by connecting on Facebook or Twitter.