AVOID FIGHTS 6.14
Goal: To improve conflict management skills
1. The student will maintain self control when in a stressful situation.
2. The student will demonstrate alternatives to fighting, such as walking away, using verbal discussion, or asking for help.
1. Stop and count to ten.
2. Decide what the problem is.
3. Think about your choices:
a. Walk away for now.
b. Talk to the person in a friendly way.
c. Ask someone for help in solving the problem.
4. Act out your best choice. (McGinnis and Goldstein, 1980 p. 149)
Definition: Staying out of fights means staying out of situations where anger controls the person's choices and avoiding physical confrontations.
Rationale: It is important to avoid fights to prevent physical harm to the other person and/or yourself. there are often negative consequences for fighting, and legal consequences may be given (for example, assault, destruction of property, disorderly conduct, etc.). Fighting causes emotional harm, does not solve the problem, and may lead to continued fighting.
• Review the skill using self control.
• Discuss why it is important to avoid fights, (legal and school) .
• Situations - Brainstorm situations and reasons when avoiding fights is important: at all times; does not solve the problem and consequences can be severe; situations may include school, especially recess or before and after school; on the street in the neighborhood.
• Review body signals with students, which can be useful in helping students determine the best way to handle the situation.
• Discuss that fighting will not solve the problem and may lead to further fighting.
• For the student who appears to be very easily angered, the teacher may utilize "Anger Control Training" from the Prepare Curriculum, by Goldstein.
Set the Stage:
• Display a bulletin board or collage with news articles showing arrests and/or consequence (hospitalization) of physical aggression.
Model/Role-play with Feedback
• Practice using the appropriate nonverbal behaviors when talking to the other person to avoid fighting or when asking for help to avoid a fight: (Special School District, 1989 p.263)
a) face the person
b) make eye contact
c) use a neutral tone of voice
d) have a neutral facial expression
e) keep a straight body posture
• Students write script based on real experience. They select actors and enact the skit.
• Students watch cartoons and note decision of characters.
• Students should list possible alternate behaviors to fighting.
• Students view teacher selected portions of movies (such as The Karate Kid), noting choices made by characters.
Role play situations:
• Someone says you did poorly on your school work.
• Your younger sibling tattles on you.
• Someone doesn't play fairly in a game or calls you a name.
• A classmate is angry at you and makes a threatening gesture.
• You see a group of your friends fighting another group of students at your bus stop.
• A classmate talks about your family unkindly.
• Someone takes food off your lunch tray.
• Classmate purposely trips you when you walk by.
• You see a neighbor riding your bicycle which was stolen from your driveway.
Role Play situations from Walker and et al, 1988 p. 68-70:
• You are walking to a friend's house in the late afternoon. A car full of kids you don't know stops, and they start yelling threatening things to you. You are about one-half block from your friend's house.
• It's early in the morning and the school isn't open yet. While you are waiting by the door to get in, three other students come up to you. They start harassing you.
• You are on the school bus and the kid in the seat behind you grabs you around the neck and starts choking you. He and all his friends laugh. Then he finally lets you go.
• The school bully backs you up against your locker and demands that you give him your lunch money or he'll break your thumbs.
• It is your first day as a freshman (or sophomore) in high school. Your school has a policy of no initiations for new students, but you are approached by two older and bigger students who want to initiate you by making you wear some silly clothes and painting you up. They say that if you don't do this they will beat you up.
• While you are waiting for the bus at school, a larger student grabs your books and throws them onto another bus that is pulling away from the curb. When you protest to the student, he/she starts to threaten you.
• On the bus to school, an older student gets on the bus and pushes you out of your seat so that he/she can sit down.
• At the dance, you have just finished dancing with someone when another student comes up to you and tells you that you are dancing with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend and that if you do it again you will be sorry. Then he/she hits you in the stomach.
• You are at the grocery store shopping for your mother when you are approached by a gang of kids older than you. They tell you to steal some magazines for them or they will beat you up when you come out of the store.
• You are at a school football game when a group of students tell you to leave the game or they will beat you up.
Application with Feedback
• Teacher completes checklist when students become involved in any fight, noting strengths and weaknesses in demonstration of process step. Specific feedback is given to student in private discussion. Situation can be reenacted to demonstrate a positive outcome at a later point.
• Parent checklist is sent home. Parents are asked to role-play situation and/or provide feedback on student's performance.