This symbol means and is pronounced “positive” in all +Works materials. For example, our organization’s name is pronounced “Positive Works.”
A true bully is a human being who lacks the capacity to feel or empathize with the people he or she has harmed by his or her actions. True bullies are extremely rare. Bullying behavior, however, is rampant in our society, causes unnecessary and untold misery, and needs to be addressed. Our mission is to get ahead of these behaviors by encouraging adults and children to be “upstanders” who value courage over coercion.
Bullying behavior is the frequent use of physical harm or humiliating verbal or written communications by an individual or group against another individual or group. It includes spreading rumors, scapegoating and blaming, exclusion games and shifting of loyalties, nasty pranks, teasing and public humiliation, feuds and backbiting, and cyberbullying. Rarely a one-off negative incident, bullying behavior is more often directed at a person repeatedly with intent to harm and humiliate and occurs where there is an obvious imbalance of (social or physical) power or strength. Boys bully more directly than girls, but both genders are involved in physical and social aggression at all age levels. Bullying behavior in children is, at its root, learned from adults. The good news is these behaviors can also be unlearned.
When a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen, using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Cyberbullying can also be harassment by adults posing as children.
Someone who speaks up for themselves or for another person in a bullying or other negative situation.
A community is a place where neighbors help you raise your children. An upstanding community is a community that collectively values, respects, and considers the thoughts, feelings, and lives of its members. It is a community that fosters and nurtures natural leaders. An upstanding community has zero tolerance for nonaction on bullying and other negative, coercive, dangerous behaviors. It genuinely cares for, and loves, its children as individuals and raises them collectively to become vibrant, resilient, productive contributors to society.
“An individual who repeatedly and indirectly participates in the victimization process as a member of the social system,rather than as a bully or a target,” according to Stuart W. Twemlow, first author of Why School Bullying Programs Don’t Work and Board Member Emeritus of +Works.
The bystander role is an active role that can unwittingly fuel bullying situations — whether the situation is in person or online.
When adults — parents, educators, coaches, neighbors, corporate and professional leaders, community and government leaders — are aware that bullying is taking place in a community and choose nonaction, they are abdicating bystanders.
The abdicating bystander avoids taking part in the essential role of changing the structure of the climate in their home, their school, their business, their team, their organization. They are accountable to their community for this active choice.
Sharing information about someone that is negative or not yours to share — information you would find very difficult to repeat to their face.
Taking a negative situation and working to see it in a more positive, learn-something light in order to manage conflict or future challenging situations.
The capacity to know the situation you are in — with feeling and a rational mind.
The capacity to reflect — to think before you act — and to settle your feelings down so they don’t interfere with good choices. To mentalize is to (1) empathize with others and yourself, so you can humbly acknowledge the other person’s own knowledge of what they think and feel; (2) indicate a genuine interest in understanding in the other person; and (3) master these skills so that you might take up for yourself in a creative, nondestructive manner — and establish boundaries that establish a healthy sense of self.
The day-to-day emotional tugs of war that get in the way of peace in our homes, our schools, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our communities. Power struggles are normal, but don’t get us what we want.They need to be acknowledged and managed for a community to find peace and equilibrium. When we have a power dynamic in our minds, we can tend to be sucked into power struggles rather easily, with nonproductive results. In these situations, power issues become power struggles. In families and schools with a high sense of “well-being,” power issues are minimal and children enjoy being at home and at school.
THE +BIG 5
A hand-full of fundamental focal points proposed by +Works for families and schools: (1) +Pledge and verbal reminders through the day, (2) +Know•Connect•Respect, (3) +Reflection, (4) +Creative consequences, and (5) +Praise.
THE +HIGH 5
A hand-full of fundamental focal points proposed when raising +Ladies and +Gentlemen: (1) Respect yourself. (2) Respect adults. (3) Respect your peers. (4) Respect property. (5) Respect the community and your place in it.
THE CULTURAL COCKTAIL
The +Works concept that we, as a generation of adults, are serving our children a dangerous combination of cultural components — hypercompetitiveness, advanced technology, social networking, and provocative entertainment — that is packed with a power we cannot possibly understand at this moment in time.
Consequences that pertain to the negative behavior choice and that inspire reflection and new action in a positive direction.