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.

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.

Be Kind: It’s Time for the World Kindness Youth Conference | Corona, CA

It’s that time of year again – 2020 World Kindness Youth Conference! And yes, things are a little bit different this year, but even COVID-19 can’t stop kindness from shining through. Being kind can happen anywhere, anyway and anyhow. It could be as simple as smiling at a stranger or helping out a friend. It is a lovely feeling to be kind and the happiness it creates spreads faster than California wildfires. So much so, November 13th is officially declared World Kindness Day.

World Kindness Day was an idea created in 1998 that sprang from Japan’s Small Kindness Movement, which was created in 1963 after the president of Tokyo University was mugged in a public place and no one helped him. This international campaign was designed to bring people from a diverse background together to unite nations through acts of kindness regardless of politics, race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age and even zip codes. It has received support from heads of state and is now recognized as the official day to recognize the important role kindness plays in societies around the world.

We may not have schools to go to, but this doesn’t stop the fun. Each day this week, we will feature a different topic and speaker, all leading up to World Kindness Day. Topics will include: Empathy with John Pritikin, self-confidence with Grandma Rose, self-care mindfulness with Tami and Shred Away Your Worries and finally World Kindness Day and gratitude grateful activity and kindness acts.

It’s going to be a great week, filled with kindness, peace and love. Spread kindness throughout the world and it will come back tenfold.

If you would like to learn more about World Kindness Youth Conference, 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.

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.

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.

It’s Time We Stop Cyberbullying | Corona, CA

As parents, we all want our children to be safe and sound, even when we aren’t around to watch them. Unfortunately, the world has really taken an aggressive turn for the worse with our access to the internet. The more we become closer, the easier it is for those with ill intentions to find us. And with social media, we have a new form of bullying to be concerned about – cyberbullying.

Because social media is now the way of the world, we need to be aware of any changes to our children’s demeanor, in case it takes a turn for the worse. And because it is online, it’s difficult to run away from the bully. Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. It’s a shame that these tools can also be used to hurt other people.

  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
  • Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

For a short video/film on cyberbullying, click here.

Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar. If you or someone you know is being cyberbullied, talk to someone you trust.

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

The ABCs of a Bully | Corona, CA

When it comes to bullies, there is a general personality type we can look for. But how does it begin? After all, babies aren’t born bullies – it is a reaction to the environment they are surrounded by. Children who bully use their power to hurt others, and are often hot-tempered, inflexible, rebellious, and often lack empathy. Let’s trace this behavior back to the beginning…

It may seem young, but in preschool years, bullies often use direct verbal bullying and physical power to control material objects or territory because they may not have the skills necessary to interact in socially appropriate ways.

In the elementary school years, bullies are more inclined to use threats and physical force to make victims do things that they do not want to do. During this time period, some children may begin to use indirect bullying to exclude peers from their social circle and activities.

In the middle and high school years, it is all about fitting in so bullies rely on direct verbal and physical bullying. Rumor-spreading and social exclusion through the use of the Internet or cell phone are also the latest trend. Boys rely on bullying for physical dominance, girls to enhance their social status.

Bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – key necessities to having healthy relationships, and as they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out
  • Crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Depression
  • Suicides

If bullies can change these patterns of behavior before they become habitual and entrenched, will be less likely to suffer with these devastating and long-term effects.

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