Counselor’s Corner: Bullying Prevention – Assertive vs. Aggressive

As parents, we try to instill in our children a strong sense of self and positive ego in order to handle life’s challenges.  Responding to peers who are unkind to us can be tricky to maneuver. Even in the classroom, at a young age, we teach students about the differences between assertive and aggressive responses. Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking about this topic so you can have these important dialogues with your children as they learn to manage social situations with their peers.

Scenario #1:

Put Down: “You’re too fat to play with us!”

Passive Response (Unspoken but thought): No one ever wants to be with me.

Assertive Response (Spoken): “I’ve been working on my free throws. I think I could make some points for your team!”

Aggressive Response (Spoken): “Look who’s talking. You run like a pig.”

Scenario #2

Put Down: “Nice acne honey… goes well with your fat thighs.”

Passive Response (Unspoken):  I hate my body.

Assertive Response: (Spoken):  “That’s out of line. I treat you with respect and I expect the same from you.”

Aggressive Response: (Spoken): “Time for you to get into the gym; my little sister could beat you up.”

Scenario #3

Put Down: “So, how are you going to be teacher’s pet today?”

Passive Response (Unspoken):  I’m going to keep quiet in class. I won’t raise my hand or speak all day.

Assertive Response (Spoken):  “I’m proud of my grades.”

Aggressive Response (Spoken):  “I’m just glad I’m not stupid, like you.”

Keep an eye out for more posts on our blog and social media throughout the month in recognition of October’s National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions at (714) 999-5055, Ext. 1456.

Jill Thomas, MFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fairmont Private Schools Counselor

Leave a comment

Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”