Being Assertive Means...

That you stand up for your thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and rights in a positive and confident manner.

To practice being assertive, use an I-MESSAGE.
This is an appropriate way to express your feelings to others.

Here is how it works:

  1. Say "I feel..."
    (Insert a feeling word here ex: sad, happy, frustrated, excited, angry etc...).
  2. "When..."
    (State what happened).
  3. "Because..."
    (state why that event made you feel that way).
  4. "I want..."
    (State what you need the other person to do in a kind way and/or state a way that you feel the problem could be solved).


  1. Fill Buckets!!
  2. Laugh together
  3. Help each other
  4. Follow the Golden Rule
  5. Encourage one another
  6. Compliment one another
  7. Respectfully stick up for each other
  8. Work together
  9. Solve problems together
  10. Are good listeners
  11. Compromise
  12. Care about each others' feelings
  13. Ask for help when it is needed
  14. Play together
  15. Share and take turns
  16. Talk with each other
  17. Keep healthy secrets
  18. Are trustworthy
  19. Think about each others' point of view
  20. Use kind words
  21. Apologize when feelings are hurt
  22. Agree to disagree
  23. Treat each other fairly
  24. Make responsible choices and set good examples
  25. Teach you things
  1. Dip into buckets
  2. Lie to each other
  3. Call each other names
  4. Hit each other
  5. Kick each other
  6. Put each other down
  7. Cheat
  8. Threaten each other
  9. Push/shove each other
  10. Tease each other
  11. Criticize each other
  12. Pinch each other
  13. Yell at each other
  14. Get each other into trouble on purpose
  15. Bully each other
  16. Boss each other around
  17. Ignore the Golden Rule
  18. Make poor choices
  19. Gang up on each other
  20. Exclude other friends
  21. Create cliques or special clubs
  22. Try to get their way all of the time
  23. Throw temper tantrums
  24. Take anger or frustration out on one another
  25. Steal

Learning To Be Assertive Respectfully Dealing With Bullying...

What does ASSERTIVE mean?
It is expressing one’s feelings and defending one’s rights while respecting the rights and feelings of others.

How do I practice being assertive when I am being bullied by others?

    1. Stand tall, walk with confidence, keep your head up, make eye contact, and move closer instead of backing away.
    1. Do not show the bully that they have made you upset! Wear your serious face so that they do not know they have hurt your feelings.
  3. HOLD YOUR HANDS BESIDE YOUR BODY in a non-threatening way (so it does not look like you want to fight).
    1. Yelling/angry tones in your voice let the bully know that they have gotten a reaction out of you- and that is what they want.
    1. Basic assertive statements- Set your boundaries and lay out your plan of action.
      1. Ex: “Stop NOW!! If you do not stop, I will get an adult to help.”
    2. Fogging technique- Whatever a bully says to insult you- ADMIT TO IT! They won’t know what to do next!
      1. Ex- Bully: “Nice four eyes Tom!!”Reply:“Gee, I never thought of it that way. I guess I do have four eyes!”
      2. Remember that even though you are admitting to it in the fogging approach, it is not the same thing as believing that what a bully says is true. Don’t forget that people can only hurt you on the inside if you let them.
    3. Broken record- Whenever a bully says mean things, respond each time the same way. You can say “so” or “what did you say?” or “and…” Each time they have to repeat what they have said or come up with a new way to insult you, respond the same way in a calm and cool manner. Eventually the bully will get frustrated and give up.
    4. Let it roll off your back- When a bully tries to hurt you with their words respond simply by saying “You are allowed to think what you want, but it doesn’t bother me.” Sometimes you can combine this technique with the broken record technique to get the bully to give up- after all, if you aren’t getting upset, they are not getting the reaction they had hoped for.
    5. Use humor- Come up with a witty retort that will surely stump them!
      1. Ex: Bully: “You have dog breath!” Reply: “It must have been the bones I was chewing on during lunch!”
    6. Be proud of who you are- this technique is all about remembering that people can only hurt you if you let them. Stand up and be proud of you are- put a positive spin on the subject of their teasing!
      1. Ex:Bully: “I have never seen such enormous feet!You have clown feet!” Reply: “Well, I guess that would make me just like some of my favorite basketball players. I hear that big feet help them to run quickly around the court. I guess I am lucky!”

Always remember that you can WALK AWAY from any conversation with someone who is treating you poorly!

Remember to take care of yourself. If you are feeling down about the things that a bully says to you or about you try to:

  1. Build your confidence- be proud of your personal strengths and assets instead of focusing on the things that you aren’t so proud of.
  2. Be your own best cheerleader.
  3. Write about your thoughts and feelings.
  4. Talk it out with an adult.


We all are all different in what we think, how we look, and how we act, but one thing we all have in common is that we have feelings. It is important to know how to enjoy the positive feelings as well as how to manage the difficult feelings. Emotion management skills are important for future success in school, your future career and your life.

Emotion Management Skills

  1. Staying in control
  2. Peaceful problem solving
  3. Talking about your thoughts and feelings

Staying in Control:

This means that you know how to manage how you feel so that you can react to a situation in appropriate ways. Staying in control means that you do not let your feelings get in the way of you behaving in a respectful and responsible manner. How do you do this?

  1. Understand the problem (Be aware of the situation that caused bad feelings).
  2. Calm down (Count to 10 while taking slow deep breaths).
  3. Brainstorm choices (Decide which choice is the best way to react to the situation).
  4. Make the right choice (Make a choice that is responsible and respectful to everyone involved).
  5. Talk about how you feel or how you felt with a trusted adult. You may choose to do this during step 3, or you may choose to do so after you have handled your emotions on your own. Adults can be helpful to give you feedback about whether or not you handled a situation appropriately.

From: The Kid's Guide to Becoming The Best You Can Be! by: Jill Frankel Hauser

Peaceful Problem Solving:

Here are some simple steps to help you solve problems peacefully with someone instead of letting anger, frustration, disappointment, or jealousy get in the way. This problem solving solution is really helpful for problems you are having with friends, for learning how to manage your emotions, and for deciding if you are making the most positive choices. So get out a piece of paper and start writing...

  1. State the problem behavior: 
  2. BRAINSTORM: What are the possible causes for the problem? 
  3. Put a checkmark next to the most important causes. 
  4. BRAINSTORM: What are some solutions to this problem? 
  5. Choose the solution that feels best to you and give it a try. 
  6. If the first solution does not work, pick another one. KEEP TRYING until you find one that works for you, instead of giving up and giving in to your negative emotions.

NOTE: Do you notice that staying in control and problem solving have similar steps? Why do you think that is?


The most important thing you can do when you are having trouble managing your feelings is to talk with a trusted adult about the situation!

  1. Identify those adults in your life that you know you can count on.
    1. Teacher
    2. Parent
    3. Counselor
    4. Grandparent
    5. Aunt/Uncle
  2. Try problem solving and managing your emotions on your own first. If it does not work, ask an adult to help you discuss the problems or causes of your feelings and then help you find a solution that works best for you.
  3. Adults in your life can also be very helpful in telling you if you did a good job managing your feelings and behavior. If you still need some practice, a trusted adult is the perfect person to help you brainstorm better ways to manage your feelings and deal with difficult situations so that you stay out of trouble and feel better about yourself.



Good Listeners...

  1. Talk sparingly. It is important to keep your mouth quiet unless it is your turn to talk. Interrupting and yelling out answers does not demonstrate that you can be a good listener.
  2. Use their eyes to help them listen. When someone is talking to you or teaching you, it is important to look at the person speaking, or the materials that are being presented to you. It can be hard to concentrate on what your ears are hearing if you aren't paying attention with your eyes.
  3. Keep their hands and feet still. Making noise with your hands or feet distracts you and others around you from using your ears to listen.
  4. Open their ears. Be sure that you are paying attention to what the other person is trying to tell you.


What parts of the body are needed to be a good listener? What should those body parts be doing to help us be good listeners?



What does it mean to fill buckets?

Bucket filling simply means that you do your best each day to show kindness and respect to the people around you. Bucket filling can be small acts of kindness like greeting someone in the hallway, or something bigger like sending a grandparent a special card. There are many ways to fill buckets, big and small, and we should always work each day to fill as many buckets as we can!!

Why fill buckets?

  1. Bucket filling makes the people around us feel happy.
  2. When we fill other's buckets with kindness, we fill our own at the same time!
  3. If you live the life of a bucket filler others will want to be your friend.
  4. Showing others you are a bucket filler will inspire them to want to be a bucket filler too!

55 Ways to Fill A Bucket:

  1. Shake someone's hand and introduce yourself
  2. SMILE!
  3. Make a card for someone
  4. Invite someone to play who looks left out or lonely
  5. Be a good listener
  6. Follow your teacher's directions (and your parents too!)
  7. Use your manners when speaking to others
  8. Share
  9. Cheer a friend up
  10. Use words of encouragement
  11. Give someone a compliment
  12. Take turns
  13. Do your chores without having to be asked
  14. Volunteer in your community
  15. Help a friend who has been injured
  16. Stick up for a classmate who is being bullied
  17. Help take care of younger brothers or sisters
  18. Take care of your pets (they have buckets too!!)
  19. Spend time with people that you love
  20. Invite a friend over to play
  21. Do your best work in school
  22. Follow rules
  23. Offer to help make dinner
  24. Shovel snow or rake leaves for the elderly
  25. Tell your close family members that you love them
  26. Draw someone a friendly picture
  27. Tell someone how much you appreciate them
  28. Make good choices
  29. Show respect to everyone
  30. Write a letter to a soldier (getting mail fills their bucket right up)
  31. Keep your hands and feet to yourself
  32. Help someone pick up a mess
  33. Share a snack with a friend
  34. Solve problems with a friend peacefully, instead of fighting
  35. Share the highlights of your day with your family members
  36. Send a friendly card or note to someone to let them know you are thinking of them.
  37. Help someone with their homework
  38. Volunteer to help your teacher collect papers or pass out materials in the classroom
  39. Give someone a hug
  40. Include EVERYONE when playing a game of kickball or soccer
  41. Teach someone something new
  42. Share your talents with others and invite them to share theirs with you!
  43. Ask someone to be your friend
  44. Have a positive attitude every day!
  45. Respect differences, never use putdowns!
  46. Make a new student feel welcome
  47. Always tell the truth, honesty fills buckets!
  48. Listen to a friend, especially if they want to talk about having a bad day
  49. Avoid laughing at the mistakes of others
  50. Do something nice for someone else without letting them know you did it.
  51. Congratulate others on their success!
  52. Forgive someone when they have made a mistake
  53. Apologize when you have made a mistake, and then try your hardest to fix your mistake.Allow other to finish talking before you begin... be sure not to interrupt anyone Spread the seeds of kindness wherever you go... you never know just how far a little KINDNESS can go!!

"One Act of Random Kindness" from Evan Almighty

"Change For A Dollar" by: Sharon Wright


Some questions to consider:

  1. Why is it important to be a helpful person?
  2. Is being a helpful person alot like being a bucket filler? Why or why not? 
  3. Will being a helpful person make me a more successful person in my future? 
  4. What can I do to be helpful?

What can you do to help others?

  • Collect goods for a food bank
  • Get a copy of a book about kindness, put a smile card in the middle, and pass it on!
  • Stop by a nursing home and visit a resident who has no family nearby.
  • Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for someone.
  • Have a clean-up party at a local park.
  • Donate old toys to a shelter, safe house, or the Salvation Army.
  • Shovel your neighbors sidewalk or mow their lawn.
  • Make friendship bracelets to distribute to your friends.
  • Pick someone who has done something nice for you and write them a thank-you note.
  • Make/decorate cookies and deliver them to a local nursing home or family shelter.
  • Befriend another student who looks lonely, and be sure to check in periodically to see how things are going for them.
  • Write notes of appreciation for your teacher.
  • Write a note to your parents/guardians to tell them why they are special to you.
  • Surprise someone in your house with breakfast in bed
  • Bake cookies with your mom or dad and give them to a neighbor
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • Donate Capri Sun pouches and soda tabs to the school so that they can turn them in to raise money for new school supplies.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
  • Do an art project as a gift for someone else.

Many of these suggestions came from http://www.kindspring.org/. Please check out their website for more information and ideas about being a helpful person.

Check out PBS Kids for some fun games about helping: http://pbskids.org/games/helpingout.html

Managing the Anger Monster...

12 Tips to Get Rid of The Angry Monster

  1. Take several deep breaths and count to 10
  2. Talk to an adult or friend you trust about the causes of your angry feelings. It is most useful to talk to an adult prior to expressing your anger. This will help you to make sure that you can cool down and talk through the best way to respond. 
  3. Use positive self-talk. This means that you tell yourself to "calm down" and "take deep breaths." You might also say encouraging things like "You can get through this" or "No need to get upset, you can handle it." 
  4. Distract yourself by doing something fun. This works best in situations where you are only a little angry. This strategy does not always work on the Anger Monster if you are very mad. Sometimes being distracted helps you to calm down and think about how to handle a situation, but it may not make the anger go away if you are really mad. 
  5. WALK AWAY! Sometimes we just have to leave a situation that is upsetting. It will prevent us from acting on our anger and making a poor choice. 
  6. Write down the problem and think it through. Use the problem solving model from the section on "dealing with feelings" on this website. 
  7. CONSEQUENCES, CONSEQUENCES, CONSEQUENCES! When we do not control the Anger Monster we often make decisions that get us into trouble. Before you let the Anger Monster loose... remember that you could get into trouble for making a poor choice. 
  8. Get your angry energy out!! Do something active to get your feelings out like jumping rope, running, or playing basketball. Getting some exercise helps to relax our muscles, clear our minds, and make better decisions about handling the Anger Monster. 
  9. Listen to peaceful music. Calm your mind so that you can make a good decision. 
  10. Squeeze a pillow, stuffed animal, Play-Doh, or clay to get rid of some of that angry energy. It is never okay to hurt yourself or someone else when you are angry, but you can squeeze something that will not break to help you feel better. 
  11. DRAW! If you like to draw, use art to express your feelings in a safe way. You might be mad at a friend for calling you names but instead of calling names back out of anger, draw about your feelings. This will help you to cool down and let your feelings out so that you can make a better choice. 
  12. Write about your feelings. For people who have a hard time getting that Angry Monster to stay away, it helps to keep a journal about your thoughts and feelings. This will help you to think about how often you get angry, reasons you are likely to get angry, and how you handled that Anger Monster.

The Anger Rules

It's okay to feel angry BUT...

  • Do Not Hurt Others
  • Do Not Hurt Yourself
  • Do Not Hurt Property
  • DO Talk About It!


What does it mean to be responsible?

  1. To take care of your property, yourself, and others.
  2. To know what your job is and to do it to the best of your ability.
  3. You can be counted on to make good decisions and demonstrate positive behavior.
  4. When you choose to make a poor decision, you admit to it, apologize for it, and then takes steps to change it.
  5. To do the right thing (instead of the easy thing).

Why be responsible?

  1. It shows others that they can trust you.
  2. When you demonstrate responsible behaviors for others, you inspire them to want to be better people too.
  3. It is a key ingredient in the recipe of success
  4. It lets others know they can depend on you.

Will being responsible help me to reach my goals?

  1. YES! People who work hard to make responsible choices every day are better prepared for life and to achieve future goals.

Responsibilty Tic Tac Toe Game Board (Smart Notebook file)

I'm a Responsible Ant PowerPoint Presentation

Tattling is...

  1. Telling or complaining about something that someone else did. 
  2. Usually meant to get other people in trouble. 
  3. NOT a great way to make or keep friends. 
  4. NOT helping you practice your problem solving skills.

So how do you fix a bad case of "the tattle tongue?"Julia Cook's book "A Bad Case of the Tattle Tongue" has the answers you are looking for. If you can follow these simple tattle rules, you will be able to tackle the tattles on your own. The tattle rules are listed below, but do not forget to check out this book yourself. This is a great story and a great way to review what you need to do to stop yourself from getting a "tattle tongue."


Based on the book "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue" By: Julia Cook
Ask yourself: Is someone in danger?
If that answer is "yes," than telling an adult is not considered tattling, but if the answer is "no" than telling an adult would likely be considered tattling.

Ask yourself: Do I need an adult or can I handle this on my own?
Try to take charge and find a way to solve a problem on your own before asking an adult to help you.

Ask yourself: Does this problem need to be solved right now, or can it wait?
Remember that if no one is in danger or if you can do your job without solving the problem first, than it is likely a "not now" problem.

RULE #4 - M.Y.O.B. (Mind your own business/beeswax)
Ask yourself: Does that problem involve me? Is it a dangerous situation?
If the problem is not about you and it is not a dangerous situation, do not tattle!

Tattle Tongue Powerpoint activity