My name is Ramona Sousa and I am a counselor. I have worked in big schools and little schools, both public and private. But the best part of my job has been working with all the different students, teachers, principals and parents, to help them find solutions.
“My friend and I were making a snow fort in the playground. There was another group of boys and they were making one not far away from us. One boy from their group was coming over and kicking our fort and taking things we had collected for it. At first we tried to get our stuff back. But then soon we were fighting, pushing each other down, and throwing snowballs. Some of the kids in my group were crying because they were getting hurt, and another kid had to go to the hospital because he slipped on the ice and couldn’t breath. What do we do if something like this happens again.” Andrew, Age 10
Learning how to play together and get along is an important life skill that we learn on the playground. Unfortunately, in your situation things got out of hand very quickly. I often teach students to keep their W.I.T.T.S. about them.
‘W’ stands for—Walk away. This often solves a lot of potential problems on the playground. As you know, people who act aggressively are often just trying to get your attention. When this does not work, we move to ‘I’ for—Ignore. Ignore the person who is trying to get you angry.
If this does not work we move to ‘T’ for—Tell. Tell the person who is kicking down your fort to STOP.
Sometimes this can lead to ‘T’ for—Talk it out.
Using our words to try and find a new solution that both of you can live with. When none of these methods work, you must go quickly to ‘S’ for—Seek help!!! A supervising adult or parent needs to get involved to help sort things out. W.I.T.T.S. can help you face challenging playground situations. Try it next time before things get out of hand and people get hurt.
Talking or writing about something always seems to help. Let me know what is troubling or puzzling you about the people in your life. I refer to people that try to pull us down as ‘Peace-Busters’. Do you have a question about the Peace-Buster in your life? Please let me know.
“Put yourself in someone else’s shoes to find solutions.”