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What is the general intent?

To provide a Conflict Education Specialist and Behavioral Coach* career certification program where participants will develop the ability to teach Character Development –Conflict Education Skills that helps young people to:

  • Learn how to resolve conflict peacefully
  • Develop excellent character-development skills
  • Reduce stress by providing positive outlets
  • Understand the importance of healthy living
  • Train in a safe environment to protect themselves
  • Learn a comprehensive Life Skills Program
  • Recognize the value of community service
  • Improve academic performance

Why is it important to have a quality character development program for young people?

In our fast pace, high stress competitive world young people need a safe place where they can have the leisure to explore themselves and the world around them.

The intent of conventional education is to teach academic skills to prepare young people vocationally. But young people also need a host of day-to-day life skills other than academics to be able to successfully cope with the challenges of living. In an atmosphere of friendship young people need to be allowed to inquire into the essential questions of what it means to live with intelligence, to create healthy guidelines for their behavior and to be able to understand and resolve conflict peacefully. Such is the intent of the Atrium Society Youth Peace Life Skills Program (YPL).

How is the YPL Life Skills Program different from other programs?

The YPL Life Skills Program focuses on the prevention of conflict in understanding what the root causes are in conditioned thinking.

For one thing this program differs from other conflict education/bullying programs is that it is a complete program that teaches young people how to prevent, resolve and manage conflict whereas most conflict education/bullying program focus superficially on the tertiary or management level after a conflict has already occurred.

Are children being genetically born to bully?

There is current significant evidence from the Centre for Infant Cognition at the University of British Columbia that states episodes of bullying that mar early grade school years for hundreds of children may be a partial result of the victim’s DNA.

The study shows that behaviors that most often lead to exclusion and victimization in the classroom or schoolyard have their roots in a student’s genes arguing that children’s genetic makeup has a direct impact on the quality of the interactions they enjoy with their peers.

The study also shows infants learn social stratification as early as nine months. Since according to the study children are being genetically programed to bully, bullying programs now need to address this inborn root cause of conflict by providing innovative environments to prevent this individual and social disorder from occurring. This is the intention of the YPL Life Skills program.


What occupations would benefit using the YPL Life Skills Program?

After School Programs

Work in a setting that provides young people with conflict education/character development life skills after school. This could come under a YPL Life Skills Program outreach program.

Community Centers

One could initiate and run a number of these programs in this type of facility. In this way one doesn’t need the financial or marketing skills necessary to operate the program as they would if one opened for example, an independent facility of their own. For some people this is a better option in that they have less responsibility in the administration of the program and therefore will have more time available to teach.

Workshop Presenter/Trainer

There is a career opportunity in being a Workshop Presenter/Trainer where one is paid to present this program to educators, counselors, school administrators, law enforcement, business personnel and the like who are interested in implementing these skills into their occupational environments.

Summer Camp Director/Employee

Summer time is an especially good occasion to do this program for parents are looking for a comprehensive program that can be taught each day over an extended period of time. This affords one the luxury to go into depth into the more complex issues of conflict education and character development in a cohesive developmental process with little interruption of the learning process. This allows for a better retention for the young person’s natural educational progression.

At Risk Youth

The Atrium Society’s special bullying program has been used with youth at risk nationally and internationally with much success. The program is specially designed to more accurately meets the needs of these special youth. It includes teaching specific child safe mental and physical skills, within a safe and controlled environment, to educate young people in the awareness, resolution, and management of conflict through nonviolent means so they can experience a reduction in emotional and physical impulsivity. The fundamental intent of this program is to stop conflict at the primary prevention level but also at the secondary and tertiary level, and to learn from youth who are at risk as well as identified as problematic behaviorally.

Children of War

The Education for Peace Life Skills Program has been used successfully with over 5000 Liberian children of war since 2003. The first one used for these war torn children in Liberia by Dr. Marvin Davis is Why Is Everybody Always Picking On Us? Understanding the Roots of Prejudice, which generated the internationally claimed book Brave New Child – Liberating the Children of Liberia and the World.

Please note: all the components of the programs below are taught in a multilevel context of role-playing, games, and other educational activities that developmentally enhances the child’s ability to comprehend the information in a more multifaceted manner thus increasing the potential for learning. The proper amount of time needs to be given to teach the components of the program. The minimum amount of time per week should be 2 hours. It is obviously better to have more time thus teaching the components of the program are best taught during a holiday or summer time. In other words it is essential that a continuity be developed consistently over time for young people to grasp the essential insights in the program without undo interruption.)


Life Skills Component

Personal Skills: How do I see myself?

  • How do I stay neat and healthy? Good grooming and physical needs (Yoga for Kids*)
  • Am I creative? Am I smart? Creative and intellectual needs
  • What does it take to feel good about myself? Emotional needs
  • What does it mean to be a friend? Manners and relational needs

 

Social Skills: How do I relate to people?

  • Am I programmed to act in certain ways? Conditioning makes us creatures of habit
  • What part do I play in my family? Parent-child-family relationships
  • How good am I at resolving differences? Disagreements and conflicts
  • What does it mean to be a good friend? Companionship skills

 

Coping Skills: How do I relate to the world?

  • Does every privilege have a responsibility? Human rights and responsibilities
  • Why should I know about time and money? Time and money management
  • Is everything we’re told by “experts” true? Intelligent media reaction and TV watching
  • Do we need boundaries for our behavior? Understanding the law

* Physical Fitness - Yoga For Kids- 12 Ways to Keep Yourself Healthy


The Character Development Component

12 Ways to Act with Respect

  1. Courtesy Being well-mannered and considerate
  2. Gentleness Living with affection and compassion
  3. Honesty Being truthful
  4. Humility Acting without self-importance
  5. Compassion Consideration and sensitivity for another’s well being
  6. Kindness Caring for others, as you would like to be cared for
  7. Order Being aware of what creates disorder
  8. Responsibility Meeting life’s challenges with a brave spirit
  9. Wisdom Living without fear
  10. Respect Honoring the dignity of all life
  11. Courage and Commitment Fighting injustice
  12. Intelligence Understanding what prevents peace

Rights and Responsibilities

  • My right Be able to think free thoughts
    My responsibility Allow others to think freely
  • My right Say and do what I want, when and how I want
    My responsibility Consider the effect on others of anything I say or do
  • My right Ask questions and receive truthful answers
    My responsibility Listen to other’s questions and respond truthfully
  • My right Be honest and open 
    My responsibility Be sensitive with my honesty and openness
  • My right Have my basic physical needs met
    My responsibility Allow others their basic physical needs
  • My right Have my emotional needs met
    My responsibility Care for others emotional needs
  • My right Contribute to any decision that affects me
    My responsibility Be respectful of how my decisions affect others
  • My right Make mistakes
    My responsibility Allow others their mistakes, and learn from my own
  • My right Have privacy; or be with anyone I choose
    ​My responsibility Tell people close to me where I’m going
  • My right Have my own belongings
    ​My responsibility Take care of my belongings; respect those of others
  • My right Feel safe and live free from fear
    My responsibility Talk with someone I trust about any fears I have
  • My right Stand up for my rights
    ​My responsibility Respect the rights of others

The Conflict Education Component*

The approach is a holistic three-level system called The ABC of Conflict Education™. The three levels are: Avoid - Bargain - Control. Each level helps young people keep from being bullied in the following ways:

Avoid

By understanding what causes people to bully in the way they have been genetically and socially conditioned to think and act either as a bully or a victim, a young person can prevent conflict from arising.

Bargain

Through the use of verbal Mental Self-Defense Skills, a young person can learn to use words instead of fists to resolve a bullying situation.

Control

A young person who learns how to handle hurt feelings in a positive way is less likely to react in overly aggressive manner when hassled by a bully, and more likely to maintain control. It also helps them to control a potential conflict situation by having the confidence gained through learning humane self-defense skills so they don’t react unnecessarily in a freeze/ fight or flight manner. Developing one’s level of understanding, learning verbal mental selfdefense skills, becoming wise in ways to handle hurt feelings all lead to an increase in selfconfidence in tough situations and learning to think quickly and efficiently when necessary.

The Introductory Level Conflict Education Program

12 Ways to Walk Away with Confidence

  1. Make friends A bully can be a bully!
  2. Use humor This is a time for fun!
  3. Walk away Act instead of react!
  4. Use cleverness The mind is stronger than the body!
  5. Agree with the bully Yield right of way!
  6. Refuse to fight Just say no!
  7. Stand up to the bully Let’s see that confidence!
  8. Scream or yell Let’s hear that voice!
  9. Use authority Help is on the way!
  10. Ignore the threat The bully is invisible!
  11. Reason with the bully Mind over matter!
  12. Take a stance Show your unmistakable intent!

The S.O.S. Self Options Self-Defense System*

12 Ways to Protect Yourself From Harm (a sample)

  1. The Force
  2. The Circle of Awareness
  3. Friend or Foe
  4. Push - Spin-away
  5. Push - Roll-away
  6. Push - Back Stance - Yell No!
  7. Grab - Release: One Hand
  8. Grab - Release: Two Hands
  9. Grab - Release: Both Arms
  10. Hit - Low Block
  11. Hit - Middle Block
  12. Hit - High Block

*The S.0.S. Safe Options Self-Defense System component is a physically effective, legally safe, age appropriate, developmentally sound, non-lethal integrated system of physical and mental martial arts self-defense skills that gives young people the total confidence to cope successfully with being bullied


The Stranger Awareness Program - for added safety

12 Do’s and Don’ts to Sharpen Stranger Awareness

  1. Do be aware Action your feeling that something may be dangerous!
  2. Don’t talk with a stranger Ignore a stranger when the situation doesn’t feel right!
  3. Do shout “Leave me alone!” Shout “I don’t know you!” to a bothersome stranger!
  4. Don’t be afraid to say “No, thanks!” Walk away from a stranger who wants you to follow!
  5. Do tell a trusted adult Tell a trusted adult if a stranger is bothering you!
  6. Don’t accept gifts Never accept presents from strangers!
  7. Do tell adults where you’re going Let parents and teachers know where you are!
  8. Don’t get into a stranger’s car Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know!
  9. Do go to a “Safe Zone” Go where you know there’s protection!
  10. Don’t go alone into dangerous areas Stay away from deserted houses and dark alleys!
  11. Do trust your gut feelings Listen to the voice inside your head!
  12. Don’t distrust all strangers

Rights and Responsibilities for a Bully Free Society

have the right to not be bullied or physically hurt and the responsibility to learn ways of resolving conflict peacefully.

I have the right to not be called hurtful names and the responsibility to understand what would make me want to call others hurtful names.

I have the right to not be picked on because I do not belong to a certain group and the responsibility to understand what it means to belong to a “group.”

I have the right to not be made fun of because I am “different” and the responsibility not to pick on others for what I have been taught to think are differences.

I have the right to not be bullied because of race, gender, sexual orientation or culture and the responsibility to educate myself about why this happens.

I have the right to not be bullied because of my physical appearance and the responsibility to not pick on myself for what I think others may think of me.

I have a right to not be teased because I am not as smart as other people and the responsibility to educate myself to be as intelligent as I can be.

I have a right to not be bullied because I am not as athletic as others and the responsibility to find other endeavors that give me a sense of well being.

I have the right not to be bullied me because I am smaller or weaker and the responsibility to find ways that will strengthen me.

I have the right to learn the skills to understand and handle bullies without hurting or being hurt and the responsibility to teach others these skills so they will not get bullied.

I have the right to protect myself from harm and the responsibility to use these skills humanely.

Every child everywhere has a basic right to be treated with respect and the responsibility in turn to respect all others.


Advanced Level Conflict Education Program

Ten Stages of Bullying - From the Playground to the Battlefield

  1. Why do we bully? When we can understand the causes of bullying - that is rooted in the way we think- we can prevent it.
  2. Why is everybody always picking on me? When a bully finds a victim to torment, there are always reasons. A victim benefits from knowing the answer to this question and to how a bully thinks.
  3. Why am I always picking on myself? Each of us has an “inner bully” - an inner voice that nags us, intimidates us. This is where bullying continues after one has been personally picked on by another person.
  4. Why can’t I do what I want? Young people need to learn that for every right there is a corresponding responsibility. Leaning this makes for a balanced frame of mind in one’s relationship to others and the world.
  5. Why is everybody always picking on us? When we learn to hate and fear because someone else is different then we are caught in prejudice. Whether it is the color of one’s skin, nationality, age, disability, gender or religion it only creates pain and suffering.
  6. Why are we always letting the bullies pick on them? Bystanders often don’t want to stop a bully situation. Many times they encourage it. But a peacefully skilled bystander can be powerful and resourceful in stopping a bullying incident.
  7. Why are they always getting picked on? Youth-at-risk are bullied by fellow youth and by adults. Understanding how and why they are picked on - by the youth themselves as well as by parents and teachers - can lead to helping these young people lead more healthy lives.
  8. Why are we always picking on each other? Wars break out because one group of people bullies another. It is vitally important to understand how and where this bullying begins in childhood so that young people can begin to end it on the playground before it gets to the battlefield.
  9. Are we hardwired for war? Is it possible that what is inciting people to be in conflict, mainly collective conflict between groups of people who physically attack each other, a genetically generated misplaced instinct for survival?
  10. Are we born to bully? “Most honest combat vets will tel/you, perhaps not eloquently but in their own way, the same thing: essentially that combat is in our human DNA and demands to be exercised .... The question is, can we humans evolve peacefully, or will we succumb to instincts we can’t transcend?” - Former Marine Corp helicopter pilot in Vietnam

An Internationally Acclaimed, Award Winning Program

  • Selected by the National PTA (Parent Teachers Association)
  • Endorsed by Scouting Magazine - Boy and Girl Scouts of America
  • Endorsed by Sports Illustrated for Kids
  • Approved by the New York City Board of Education
  • Endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA)
  • Endorsed by Mothering Magazine
  • Awarded the Robert Burns Medal for literature by Austria’s Albert Schweitzer Society for “outstanding merits in the field of peace-promotion.”
  • Selected by the American Booksellers Association for its resource listing of “Children’s Books About Peace”
  • “Helps young people deal with conflict and violence by describing practical skills for Peace.” Holistic Education Review
  • Chosen as a focus, and highly praised at the International Congress for Teachers for Peace, Paris, France
  • The Center for Applied Psychology, Inc. cites Dr. Terrence Webster-Doyle as an “eloquent leader of the movement to combine principles of education, psychology, and the martial arts to teach young people to resolve conflict peacefully.”
  • “Webster-Doyle’s insight is that by recognizing, understanding, and accepting our violent tendencies, we can avoid acting them out. These new books ... are good for teachers and parents of elementary school children who need appropriate language and activities to help children deal with their feelings and the violence-provoking parts of the environment. To this reviewer, they are realistic and practical.” - Young Children (Magazine of the National Association for the Education of Young Children)

Dr.Webster- Doyle’s books are archived in perpetuity at the University of Connecticut’s Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, Swarthmore College Peace Collection and the University of Southern Mississippi’s de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. The work is also on permanent display in the International Museum of Peace and Solidarity in Samarkind, Uzbekistan, the Commonwealth of Independent States, at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima Japan and at the Samara State Academy of Culture and Arts, Samara Russia. The work is also archived in perpetuity at No Gun Ri International Peace Foundation, South Korea.