Sticks and Stones May Break May Bones…but Words Hurt Just as Much | Corona, CA

As schools slowly begin to open back up, it is important to remember that we still need to look after one another. Not only by physically washing our hands and keeping our distance, but by watching what we say so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’ve been separated for a long time and as we start to come back together, we need to appreciate all that has happened. No one liked being in quarantine, away from friends and family so it is important to make life so much better if we are friendly to one another and help out wherever we can.

Earlier this month was Words Matter Week, a week-long celebration of our language and the way we speak to one another. Created by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), this week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.

Because it seems bullying starts at a young age, it is a good idea to speak to your little ones about the way various forms of speech affects others, both positively and negatively. Try these questions to spark a discussion:

  • Words can change history. What word, speech, or document do you believe to be most important?
  • What writers make your heart sing? Why?
  • What word, said or unsaid, has or could change your life? How?
  • Communication breaks down when words are misused. What is the funniest or worst break-down you’ve ever observed?
  • What person in your life helped you understand the importance of choosing words carefully?
  • If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?

If you would like to learn more about Words Matter Week, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

What Is Seth’s Law? | Corona, CA

Seth’s Law is named after a 13-year-old California student who tragically took his own life in 2010 after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address. Now that we are in the midst of these types of discussions and legislations again, but on a national level, it’s a good idea to refresh our memories.

Seth’s Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and religion.

California law says that all public-school students should have equal rights and opportunities. Yet many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students report that they experience significant bullying in California schools. And teachers, administrators, and other staff often fail to address the bullying when they see it.

What does state anti-bullying law require school districts to do?

  • Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
  • Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
  • Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
  • Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.
  • School personnel must intervene

Seth’s Law specifically contains the following requirement: “If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.”

(Education Code Section 234.1(b)(1))

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Abbotsford Boy Aims to Educate with Anti-Bullying Bracelets | Corona, CA

bullying

BY RIA RENOUF

Posted Jan 26, 2021 7:11 pm PST Last Updated Jan 26, 2021 at 7:12 pm PST

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — When nine-year-old Hudson Walters saw and heard some of his classmates being bullied, he was disappointed.

“A lot of kids in my school were getting bullied because of their weight, and how they look,” he tells NEWS 1130.

While Hudson is a big fan of telling the bullies to leave the victim alone and inviting the person at the receiving end of taunts to come play with him, he wanted to do more.

After some time to think about it, he decided to go to his mom to figure out if there was some way to send a message of kindness and positivity.

Tonight on @NEWS1130: we’re hearing from a 9 y/o boy in #AbbotsfordBC fundraising to give friendship bracelets to kids at his school. Hudson wants to share a message of positivity & to educate those who bully…he also wants to change the perception around bullies. Details at 7p.

— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) January 27, 2021

Karen Walters says she was proud to hear of her son’s ambitions, but he wasn’t sure how exactly to help.

“He was like, ‘I don’t really like calling kids bullies because they’re just kids and learning and they need to learn, so I want to show them a way to tell other kids that they’re your friend,’” she says.

They ended up going with friendship bracelets, and Hudson’s goal is to give one to each kid in his school just in time for Pink Shirt Day, which is set to take place on Feb. 24.

Hudson thinks that if kids may say or do something mean and they’re looking at the bracelet, it’ll make them think twice about their actions.

“I want it to succeed and I hope everyone has a voice,” he says.

Karen believes the bracelets will be a simple reminder that kindness is key.

“It’s hard when there’s a group of people, and he didn’t really know what to do in a group of people, and I said, ‘well, what about if you could give them something?’ And he said, ‘yeah! I could give them like…a friendship bracelet!’ And that would show them that they always have a friend.”

They’re looking forward to ordering the silicone bracelets – and hope to put the word ‘friendship’ on each one.

Just days after the GoFundMe was posted, Hudson’s efforts raised more than $600. His mother is hoping the extra money can be used for a program at the school that can help Hudson’s message continue to last.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Webcasts | Corona, CA

Being in a pandemic is not only rough on us mentally; but can also begin to take a toll on our relationships. Thankfully, there are lots of resources you can turn to if you feel that you or someone in your life is being affected by bullying. The more information we can gain about how to actively treat a situation, the easier it will be to correct a bad situation before it gets out of hand and causes more issues. Here are just a few webcasts to give you some handy tips:

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be an Upstander

Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Families: Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

We believe that all persons have the right to live life as the persons they are, with their similarities and differences to others, and not live in fear of being bullied.  This webcast shares a little bit about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help family members support the individual with special needs who is a part of their life.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Educators:  Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

Did you know that 60% of students with disabilities report being bullied compared with 25% of students without disabilities? This is why we need to focus on how to help the students who are usually the most vulnerable in schools. This webcast shares information about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help school staff support the individual with special needs.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying webcasts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When It’s Time for a Parent to Step in | Corona, CA

No one wants their child to be bullied. Unfortunately, we are in a world that is full of bullies. Until we come to a point where bullies no longer exist, we need to do our parts at home. To protect them from potential bullying, sit your child down and ensure them that they can come to you if they ever feel like they’re being bullied. In fact, while you’re at it, make sure they know it is never good to be a bully either. Not only can bullying make a child’s daily life very difficult, but it can also affect them down the road in life. If you find that your child is being bullied, there are a few things you as a parent can do about the situation:

Provide them with comfort and advice. Knowledge is power and this is no different. Provide your child with tips for avoiding such harassment. You, as a parent, should listen calmly and carefully if your child does approach you about being bullied, meaning you shouldn’t overreact. Take your child seriously and avoid laughing the situation off, or again, they may cut communication in the future. Your goal should be to show your child you care and understand the challenges of being bullied. Assure that you will stop the bully together as a team.

Contact your child’s school. If you find that your child is being bullied at school, contact the teacher and/or principal. Adult intervention is a necessary step in bringing the bullying to an end. Before you approach anyone, make sure that you know the bully’s name and the specific instances when the bullying occurred.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Family Dynamics: Sibling Rivalry | Corona, CA

Unless you are an only child, you have to deal with siblings. They could be the same sex, they could be opposite, you could have a mixture of both. But no matter what the equation, siblings enrich a family’s dynamic in some of the best ways. It also spurs a little something we call sibling rivalry.

Let’s be honest – even the closest of sibling will fight. It’s gone on since the beginning of time and will likely never stop. Friendly competition is a good thing. Challenging each other helps us grow. But there is a difference between sibling rivalry, and bullying.

But ordinary skirmishes over the remote or a certain toy are one thing. But constant physical and verbal abuse is another. A study involving children and adolescents around the country found that those who were attacked, threatened or intimidated by a sibling had increased levels of depression, anger and anxiety. And now that we are all stuck together in a house due to COVID-19, it is important to analyze these behaviors and make changes as soon as possible.

Normal rivalries with siblings can encourage healthy competition but when the line between healthy relations and abuse is crossed it is cause for alarm. When one child is consistently the victim of another and the aggression is intended to cause harm and humiliation, it is then to be considered a serious situation.

Overall, a third of the children in the study reported being victimized by a sibling, and their scores were higher on measures of anxiety, depression and anger. During this time, let’s take a moment to enjoy our time together and make improvements to solidify your family bonds.

If you would like to learn more about sibling rivalry, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Stop the Bullying Between Children | Corona, CA

We are in a very scary time and the last thing we want is to perpetuate violence or bullying. But how? When it comes to students, it is important for us, as adults, to intervene immediately. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the problem, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. If you don’t intervene, children won’t either.

Intervene. Observing children’s actions, words, body language, and facial expressions will help you determine if bullying is occurring. Even if it’s not, aggressive behaviors need to be stopped.

Separate and diffuse. Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room.

Respond firmly but appropriately. Remain calm but stern. Convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Allow yourself time to consider the incident and obtain any clarifying information – then decide the best course of action.

Don’t leave it to the children.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict; it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stay put. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

When Bullying Affects Our Bodies | Corona, CA

During this stressful time in our lives, it is important for us to look after one another more than it ever has been before. Not only is there no school or activities available but staying inside all day can become an issue for families living in close quarters. Bickering and rough housing is bound to happen, but that is completely natural. What isn’t natural is bullying others online or otherwise. Not only is it mean, but it affects the bullied more than one may think. Not only does bullying have a huge emotional impact for those on the receiving end, but it can have a significant adverse effect on health, both in terms of current and future health.

Mentally. Anyone who has ever been bullied knows the stress that it can bring to your life. This anxiety also leads to insomnia and disturbed sleep, which not only impacts on how we perform, but how we feel. Your mood becomes depressed, including a loss of confidence and reduced self-esteem.

Physically. Feelings of fear increases its production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which trigger a number of changes within the body. General muscle pain and headaches is commonly experienced by those who are bullied. Abdominal pain, nausea and altered bowel habits are also commonly reported by people who have experienced bullying, as some bullied will have radical weight changes. Studies also show that when stressful situations are more prevalent, colds, flu, sore throats and chest infections are more likely to occur, as our white blood cells are not adequately prepared to fight the bacteria and viruses that cause these before they take hold.

If you would like to learn more about the affects of bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

It’s Got to Stop Somewhere | Corona, CA

We all would like to live in a world where bullying doesn’t exist, but these days it feels like it is getting worse than ever. Everywhere you look, someone is bullying someone for something and at times it feels like it’s never going to end. And it needs to begin within ourselves. But where do we even begin to make the changes that will spread to our neighbors? Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind for you and your family. It all begins at home – let’s teach our children how to be better.

Can you recognize a bully? Recognizing when bullying is taking place is an important step in finding solutions. By understanding the reason and roots of the problem, you and yours will begin to form an idea of how to spot bullying, like teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault.

When you see or hear about bullying taking place, remember that your reactions provide a framework for how the little ones involved will respond to and understand the situation. Children need to see adults being powerful and respectful in reacting to problems – stay calm, respectful, and persistent.

Positive peer to peer relationship skills help to put a stop to bullying. Teach children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation, like stepping out of a line or changing seats. 

Lastly, keep yourself informed as to what your child’s school and school district have a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and that they educate their staff on how to stop bullying and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying.

If you would like to learn more about bully prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Bullies Hurt Themselves too | Corona, CA

These days, it is easier to find bullies than heroes. But it shouldn’t be the way and we should focus 2020 on becoming a more tenderhearted society. Because bullying doesn’t just affect the victim, it affects everyone involved, including the bully. I know it may be tough to make sense of all of that, but if you think about it, it really isn’t tough to see. If you are a happy person, you have no reason no bully anyone. No, bullies are generally hurting themselves at the same time. 

Think about it – each time a bully hurt someone, they become more and more removed emotionally from the suffering and pain of their victims and begin to justify their actions to themselves by believing their victims deserve to be bullied. Eventually, they believe that the only way to get what they want from others is to be that bully. As a result, bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – the very things that form the basis for lasting friendships.

But that’s not all. There is a lasting affect that results if a child bully doesn’t change their ways. As they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out of high school
  • Convictions for crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Traffic violations
  • Convictions for drunk driving
  • Depression
  • Suicides

Some adults who have been bullied as children may be more likely to allow their own children to bully others, thus raising a new generation of bullies. So, if you know a bully, take the time to reach out and understand why they feel the need to bully.

If you would like to learn more about bully prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.