Preventing Relational Aggression In Your Schools: Dealing with Bullying
Relational aggression is the silent form of bullying.
Relational aggression, the manipulation of relationships for the purpose of causing harm or creating a desired outcome regardless of hurt inflicted, is a form of bullying. When compared to physical aggression, it appears less aggressive or is even considered benign, since it leaves no marks. Research informs the opposite is true. As the effects of carbon dioxide are to the effects of exploding dynamite, the results can be the same – deadly.It often cannot be seen in action, until the outcomes are produced in secondary effects such as absenteeism, school refusal, dropping grades, loss of interest in activities, anxiety, depression, or even suicide. It primarily acts as a cancer to self-esteem, eating away from the inside out. It’s a form of crazy-making, leaving one to doubt her mental health.
Relational aggression is the predominant method of bullying used by females. Starting as early as 2.5 years, this dynamic can interfere with relationships and academic progress in grade school girls, tweens, and teens. Without understanding the dynamics of relational aggression, many girls don’t realize their ways of relating might actually be bullying. Some girls know exactly what they’re doing. Without intervention, relational aggression can persist.
Relational aggression can wreck havoc in the classroom. Ranging from recess squabbles that carry into the classroom to an entire class that cannot concentrate on a lesson, it’s a primary enemy of productive academic time. In grand scale, unchecked relational aggression can take down the climate of a school, as tradition builds a dysfunctional way of interacting. Especially in a school where adults practice relational aggression against each other, students will follow in kind.
Beyond the years of formal education, girls and women may continue to be affected by relational aggression, whether the bully, bullied, or bystander. This type of bullying can negatively affect a female in her work world, personal relationships, and leadership potential throughout the rest of her life.
If you would like to learn more about how to identify and prevent relational aggression, consider the following available self-paced facilitated online course titled “Anti-Bullying: Guiding Girls Through Relational Aggression”.
For more information please contact us at PD@TeachnKidsLearn.com or toll-free 1-855-498-4400.