Bullying seminar helps teens 'see the upside to the downside'

Award-winning social skills educator visits Legend High School for Healthy Teen Series

Posted 12/10/18

About 250 parents and students got an unconventional take on bullying as part of an ongoing Healthy Teens Series. Parker Area Counselors for Prevention, a team of counselors from Douglas County …

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Bullying seminar helps teens 'see the upside to the downside'

Award-winning social skills educator visits Legend High School for Healthy Teen Series

Posted

About 250 parents and students got an unconventional take on bullying as part of an ongoing Healthy Teens Series.

Parker Area Counselors for Prevention, a team of counselors from Douglas County schools, hosts the series periodically throughout the year. The free events include parent education workshops, evening symposiums and events focused on the needs of the community.

The Nov. 29 seminar at Legend High School in Parker featured speaker Brooks Gibbs, a social skills educator from Florida. Gibbs has taught sessions on emotional resilience at more than 2,500 schools and to 2 million students nationwide. He is the author of Raise Them Strong, a parenting program to help kids learn the skills of anger management, emotional strength and resilience.

Gibbs, a comical and confident man, took the stage in front of dozens of Douglas County parents and some young children to provide insight on bullying in schools. The hour-long presentation was a mix of helpful tips, audience involvement and bursts of laughter throughout the auditorium.

“We have to teach kids how to understand humor,” Gibbs said. “We admire people who can laugh.”

Takeaways from the evening were:

• We want kids to learn to be content with a few friends that accept them.

• More time with fewer people means deeper relationships.

• We want a child to ignore a push or shove that doesn't cause pain. We build physical resiliency by teaching emotional resiliency —one's ability to adapt and overcome stressful situations.

• People are mean for three reasons: They are trying to control you, they are trying to be funny or you did something to hurt them.

• If the goal is to upset you, the solution is to not get upset.

• Kids need to learn to apologize for their part of an offense.

• We need to victim-proof children.

• We must help kids see the good in the bad, the upside to the downside.

Parents left the presentation with new insight on bullying and tips to help their children become mentally stronger.

“I thought the part about learning how to laugh at yourself was good because that's not something we talk about,” said parent Lisa Clark, standing beside her husband and two sons, who are 7 and 10.

Julie Movizzo, a parent from Franktown, left the seminar with this thought.

“So often we have this victim culture and (Gibbs) is turning that upside down by saying, `No, it's not good guy or bad guy,' ” Movizzo said. “We can't change the world to adjust to sensitivities.”

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