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Event Prep Guide
ABOUT OUR SCHOOL BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM
Schools (teachers and students) have been holding assemblies, hanging posters, wearing tee-shirts, signing promises, sharing heart-wrenching stories, creating no-tolerance policies, passing laws, holding unity days and still the bullying continues. In many schools, it's getting worse.
What's going on? Is it really a lack of empathy? Are kids just cruel and enjoy the entertainment of causing pain?
Adults forget that middle school and high school are mini versions of the "whole world" from a young person’s perspective. That reduces the opportunity to fit-in, to belong, significantly.
The most important thing young people have going-on, is obtaining (and retaining) social position and social status. Social media has only exacerbated this, making it a 24/7 job to create an image worthy of others' attention and approval.
Teasing and bullying are far more about establishing and securing your own position in the social hierarchy (belonging and fitting in) than it has anything to do with other people. Asking "bystanders" to sacrifice their social position to intervene is not a good exchange for most. They won’t do it.
To complicate matters, parents (also living in a status/image, material-driven world) feel just as invested in their child's social status, as the kids are themselves. Parents have become consumed with making sure nobody (including teachers or principals), for any reason, lowers their child's social status or position. Even if that means justifying bad behavior or bullying. You know I'm right.
Indifference has become an acceptable response if you want to exclude people. Gossip is okay. Hatred, retaliation, and revenge are all acceptable, as long as you are justified (and everyone is always justified.) Excessive clothing, expensive cars, constant social media worthy activities, cash, weed, alcohol, parties and more, have become normal "tools" of securing social status. Being envied has become a worthy pursuit. What are we doing to our kids?
When someone is mistreated - and believe me, in this war of social position and social status, everyone will be mistreated at someone point - some more than others - but when someone is mistreated, our answer has been to chain them (imprison them) to the pain. We allow it to become their identity, their mission, their every thought, their everything and "their story."
We tell them it's "suicidal worthy pain." (We even make Netflix series to demonstrate it.) We tell them it's so bad it will last a lifetime. We make them believe that unless other people acknowledge their worth (likes, followers, invites etc), that they will be scarred forever - that they will never belong - that they will never fit-in. The only solution is to beg and plead for people to be kind.
Talk about helplessness!
Remember when you were 3 and would fall down? Your parents would not respond with alarm (even if you needed stitches), but with encouragement "you're okay, you're fine, you're tough." See, we used to teach PERSPECTIVE! If you get a child to BELIEVE it's not as bad as it looks, then addressing the actual "damage" is much more manageable. You don't ignore the injury, but you also don't blow it up to create panic. Yet, with bullying, we do exactly that! We create panic!
We've sold our kids on the idea that OTHERS determine their worth! So we must FORCE others, to see them as worthy. (Even though that's not possible)
We've sold our kids on the idea that the approval of OTHERS determines their identity. (So social media and material things are very important.)
We've sold our kids on the idea that OTHERS control where they fit-in (social position) and have a place in this world, or not! So if someone is in their way (by teasing, gossip, rejection etc) that person must removed with laws or punishments. Forgiveness is out.
We have sold them on the idea that "online pity" is a solid way to SHAME YOUR BULLIES into submission and get the attention (belonging) you deserve.
We've actually demonstrated that the only solution we believe in is to beg, plead and punish OTHERS to change, while we wait helplessly for it to happen.
If you haven't noticed, it's not working. None of this is working. Kindness and empathy are worthy elements of good character! But "pity" is not going to help our kids. Making them believe emotional pain will leave you alone and scarred for life, with no escape until another person changes - well that's outright dangerous.
Listen, young people are DESPERATE to fit-in; to belong. They are desperate to know they matter and have a place in this world. They are desperate to know they are loved, wanted, worthy and have a purpose. They are desperate for hope! Not the hopelessness of waiting on someone else to change.
Do you know what else they are desperate for? To relax and not have to fight so hard to belong. They don't want to work to be envied online, at school or anywhere. They really just want to be good-enough without "all the stuff" defining their worth. Isn't that what we all want?
What they need is to detox self-hatred and self-judgment.
What they need is to realize that this quest, this FEAR, to belong and fit-in, has far more to do with THEM, than it has anything to do with OTHERS. And that true belonging, means they don't belong, thus they belong everywhere.
They NEED to be freed from this insane prison of false ideas that's been created for them to obtain social status.
"You are free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all." - Maya Angelo
The Hate Detox is going to shatter all the false beliefs that create hopelessness. Students will no longer have to WAIT on others to determine their worth or social position.
They will learn the power of being FOR something, instead of AGAINST something.
They will learn about human psychology and neurobiology of "why we hate" and "why we judge" so that they never have to feel offended again. NOR will they ever have to chain (or imprison) themselves to mistreatment. They will have perspective restored.
They will learn about the negative effects of bullying themselves (self-hatred, self-condemnation, self-judgment) and how to stop it.
They will learn how to free themselves from the pressure cooker of social (and parental) pressure to "be everything" or be rejected.
They will learn the power of being able to belong EVERYWHERE - whether at the top, the middle, the bottom or alone. They will be free!
With personal hope restored, students will have the opportunity to learn, in detail, how they can live their best life in a manner that will not only attract an abundance of success and friendships - health, wealth and happiness - but that will truly contribute to making the world a better place.
We are going to walk students through (online e-learning) building a life with purpose, meaning and value - and it will have nothing to do with the false beliefs of status, appearance, talent, money or material things. They will learn to live by a CODE, that will govern all they do and say.
Students will not only become advocates for their own lives, but they will become the people that restore our faith in humanity!