Raising promising leaders-Managing Peer Relationships

By Ana Díaz
Guest Columnist

In recent years, a lot of attention has been given to the issue of bullying. It seems like today’s youth are facing levels of bullying previous generations did not. Many agree that social media has aggravated an issue that has existed for a very long time. It is critical that we equip our youth with knowledge and language that will help them deal with conflict in a proactive and healthy manner.

1. Teach them to express their frustration in a clear and respectful manner. Phrasing our thoughts in a statement such as, “When you do __________, it makes me feel_______. Please don’t do that again.”

2. If the person stops doing what they were doing, it was a conflict resolved and we move forward. We do not bring it back up.

3. If the person continues to treat us in a manner that hurts, we need to report it to a trusted adult; a parent, a teacher, guidance counselor, or school administrator.

4. If after adult intervention, the issue continues, it’s important to continue to report any new incidents. A conflict becomes bullying if it is  repeated, purposeful and there is an imbalanced of power.

5. Teach them to be compassionate even towards those who do not appear to deserve our kindness. Sometimes, they are the people who need it the most.

Great leaders know that we cannot control the actions of others, but we can certainly control ourselves.  When we communicate our feelings with clarity and respect, we invite others to treat us with the respect we deserve.

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