Bullies Hurt Themselves Too | Corona, CA

Bullying is so prevalent that we often consider the victim when working towards a kinder society, but bullying impacts everyone involved, including the bullies themselves. Generally, bullies are often grappling with their own inner struggles, whereas happy individuals typically have no reason to bully others.

Consider this: with each act of bullying, perpetrators become increasingly desensitized to the suffering of their victims. They begin justifying their actions by convincing themselves that their targets somehow deserve mistreatment. Eventually, they adopt the belief that bullying is the only way to assert dominance. Consequently, bullies fail to develop crucial social skills like empathy, reciprocity, and negotiation – skills essential for fostering meaningful connections.

The ramifications of bullying extend far beyond the immediate moment. If left unchecked, childhood bullies often carry these behaviors into adulthood. Studies reveal that former childhood bullies exhibit higher rates of aggression, antisocial behavior, weapon possession, school dropout, criminal convictions, emotional volatility, traffic violations, drunk driving convictions, depression, and even suicide.

Furthermore, adults who experienced bullying in their youth may inadvertently perpetuate the cycle by tolerating or even encouraging bullying behavior in their children. This perpetuates a dangerous cycle, contributing to the proliferation of bullies in future generations. Therefore, it’s imperative to extend empathy and understanding towards individuals engaging in bullying behavior.

If you’re interested in learning more about bully prevention, consider reaching out to Simple Acts of Care and Kindness for additional resources and information. Together, we can work towards creating a society where compassion prevails over cruelty.

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

Sibling Rivalry: When Healthy Competition Turns Harmful | Corona, CA

When a new baby arrives, it’s natural for older siblings to feel a mix of emotions, including excitement, curiosity, and sometimes jealousy. While a bit of rivalry is expected, it’s important to recognize when it crosses the line into something more serious. New research suggests that aggression between siblings can cause psychological wounds as damaging as those caused by bullies at school.

Ordinary disagreements over toys or TV shows are common, but when these conflicts escalate into constant physical or verbal abuse, it becomes a cause for concern. Healthy competition can encourage growth and development, but when one child consistently becomes the victim of another’s aggression, it can lead to serious consequences.

Unfortunately, sibling violence is more common than many realize, occurring four to five times as often as spousal or parental child abuse. Shockingly, nearly half of all children have experienced some form of physical aggression from a sibling, and about 15 percent have been repeatedly attacked. Despite these alarming statistics, many families dismiss such behavior as normal sibling rivalry, failing to recognize the harm it can cause.

The effects of sibling violence can be profound, eroding a child’s sense of identity and lowering their self-esteem. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and anger, affecting their emotional well-being for years to come. Parents must recognize the signs of sibling violence and intervene early to prevent further harm.

If you’re concerned about sibling rivalry in your family or are witnessing concerning behavior at your school, or during a playdate, it’s important to seek help.

Organizations like Simple Acts of Care and Kindness offer resources and support to help families navigate these challenging dynamics. By addressing sibling rivalry early and promoting healthy relationships, we can create a more supportive and nurturing environment for all children.

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

How To Recognize and Stop Cyber Bullying | Corona, CA

When bullying moves from the playground to online spaces, that is when it becomes cyberbullying. Bullying via cell phones, computers, or gaming means that negative, harmful, false, or mean comments are being expressed. It can include making someone feel embarrassed, or humiliated, or sharing their private information.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are on social media platforms, text or messaging apps, instant messages, email, and gaming forums. Bullying via these means leaves a record of comments shared, is harder for teachers to recognize, and can scar one’s reputation.

Cyberbullying has the same consequences as bullying that happens in person. It can make targets feel awful about him or themselves, scared, or embarrassed, and often don’t think their stories won’t be believed. If your son or daughter is the victim of bullying and comes to you with their stories, thoughts or questions, it’s important to make them feel heard and help them identify hateful comments online.

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

4 Ways to Encourage Kindness | Corona, CA

Teaching our kids to be kind tends to begin by example. When you are kind to those around you, or your child is exposed to kindness, that is how they begin to understand what it is. They can see, hear, and often feel the energy kind words and actions emit, and ideally, begin to repeat those actions with their friends. Verbally communicating that your child should be kind, is much different than their experience of, and practice with it. Here are four ways you can encourage kindness in kids.

  1. Walk the walk. Be the person you’d like you’d like your child to be through example. Your child won’t follow your instruction when it contradicts the examples you set.
  1. Talk the talk. When talking to your child individually, or to them when they are around their friends, make sure to speak positively, and know how to word things in such a way that everyone feels included and considered with kindness.
  1. Reward acts of kindness. If your child wants to support a good cause in some way or otherwise goes out of his or her way to do something unconventionally kind, its important to reinforce that behavior with praise, and maybe a little something special.
  1. Teach empathy. Taking kids outside of their routine to expose them to new experiences and people who differ from them teaches them a lot about their situation, and how it may compare to that of their peers. It’s important to teach children empathy at a young age, so they may practice it, and be an empathetic adult.

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

Five Tips For Making Friends in the New School Year | Corona, CA

Moving to a new place, entering a new school, or returning to school with a different mindset than you had from the year before can mean you’re in a position to make new friends. This can be an exciting prospect, or intimidating task depending on your desire and aptitude for it. Here are a fe things to keep in mind when trying to make new friends this school year.

1. Start with “hello” –  Even if you’re shy, greet classmates you haven’t talked to before—even if the person seems intimidating, or part of a different social group, you won’t make friends if you don’t start with “hello”. 

2. Remember to make eye contact – When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying. It also helps you learn about them, because you can watch their expression as you learn about the things you have in common.

3. Forget stereotypes – Stereotypes are unfair ways of categorizing and generalizing people or their experiences. Its unkind to base your opinion of someone on a stereotype you may associate with them, and it will keep you from learning who they really are.

4. Be a good friend – The tried-and-true way to make friends is to treat them the way you would want to be treated. Don’t allow negative experiences to cause you to behave poorly towards others, you didn’t deserve that, and they don’t either.

5. Be someone who can be trusted – Keep your friends secrets to yourself, speak your truth, and be someone others can trust with their truth. Being there for people, and retaining your own integrity is a big part of making and keeping friends.

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

How To Intervene When Bullying Happens | Corona, CA

Bullying happens. It’s a sad fact that in our lifetimes are likely to either be bullied, be a bully, or be in proximity to a situation in which bullying occurs. Here is what you can do if you are ever in proximity to a bullying situation.

Intervene. Ignoring or minimizing the situation helps no one, and really does more harm than good, as it can encourage the bully’s behavior, and victims feel helpless. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Even if what you are observing is questionably bullying behavior, it’s still better to step in somehow. Pay attention to children’s facial expressions, actions, words, and body language to help you determine what is going on.

Be firm but appropriate. This can be a difficult line to walk along, but bullying is serious and needs to be taken as such. Yet, fire doesn’t fight fire in these situations, so remaining calm is also important. Intervene, share with the children your observations, and remain calm while being firm in your explanation of why what is happening needs to stop.

Reach out for help. If things get physical, or there is more than one bully, you may need to seek help on another person to deal with the situation properly and safely.

Avoid a lecture. Your goal by intervening is to end the behavior, not shame the bully. Lecturing and scolding often provide the bully with the attention that he or she finds rewarding. Additionally, don’t ask children to “work things out” for themselves. If they could have, they would have without you.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Allow yourself time to consider the incident and obtain any clarifying information—then decide the best course of action. This also allows them to consider their actions, and hopefully learn from them on their own, prior to receiving an appropriate consequence.

Show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention. Kids who witness bullying are the perfect people to introduce alternative actions they can employ other than bullying, and encourage to help safely stop it the next time it occurs.

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

The Difference Between Harassment and Bullying | Corona, CA

The difference between bullying and harassment is a thin line. They both revolve around power dynamics, control, harmful actions, and the perceived ability of the target to stop their experience. Yet, the things that differentiate bullying from harassment stem from the notion that the target its part of a “protected class” designation. Here are some things to be aware of when you consider whether what your child is experiencing is bullying or harassment.

According to California law, there is not an express definition of prohibited bullying conduct beyond guidelines for schools to determine disciplinary consequences. In order to suspend or recommend expulsion, a school must find the following requirements within any circumstance that has been brought to their attention.

“Severe or pervasive physical or verbal acts or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act … directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably predicted to have one or more of the following effects. 

  1. Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that pupil or those pupils’ person or property.
  1. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health
  1. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance
  1. Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school.”

While California only sets these precedents for bullying, both California and federal law prohibit harassment based on legally protected attributes associated with “protected class” designations. Protected classes include race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, and national origin. Harassment, as it pertains to students, is defined as conduct that creates a “hostile environment” that limits students from participating in or benefiting from school activities or services.

In California, the Education Code states that the school may suspend or recommend for expulsion students in grades 4 to 12 when the school has determined that “the pupil has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of either school personnel or pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment.”

It is important to note that harassment may include bullying, and there are instances in which this holds true. For example, harassment under federal law does not need to be directed at a specific target, is not necessarily motivated by the intent to harm, and is not always repeated, as with bullying.

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

Bullying Prevention Begins With Developing High Self-Esteem | Corona, CA

Building up your child’s self-esteem is paramount to bullying prevention. When we help our children recognize and feel proud of, their accomplishments, we help teach them their worth. Over time, we can help him or her recognize how their strengths contribute to those around them, teaching them in turn how to repay that support to their peers. When a child is so busy focusing on their skills and cultivating new ones, they don’t have time to be a bully to others- they are busy improving themselves! Here are some easy ways to begin building your child’s self-esteem:

High-lows: At dinner, ask you child what their “highs” and “lows” for the day were. Maybe their “high” was helping a friend solve a math equation, and their “low” was experiencing bullying for being good at math. You can be proud of your child for their willingness to help while reinforcing that being good at math is a good thing, and that maybe the child who was being a bully about it, really just wants some help, because it’s not as easy for them to absorb.

Win-wins. Ask your child about their day, and when they share a moment in which they “won” i.e. felt good about themselves, or did a good thing, reinforce the behavior, and ask how they helped or can help in the future, someone else “wins” tomorrow.

When our children feel confident in themselves, they will move confidently through the world, helping to make it a better place for those around them.

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

Your Child Can Help Prevent Bullying, Here’s How | Corona, CA

Believe it or not, you can teach your child how to be an effective and empathetic support to their peers experiencing bullying. Here are five ways you can foster the notion within your child that he or she can be a champion for change and help prevent bullying.

  1. Communication starts in the home. Bullying can be a difficult topic to bring up with your child, but if you establish a foundation of trust with your child, they will be more likely to share their positive and negative experiences at school. When you make them feel safe and heard, they may begin to make their peers feel that way in kind.

2. Being a safe bystander. When children witness bullying, it can affect them too, even if they don’t directly engage in the situation. Help your child understand how he or she can help their classmate by offering to listen to their feelings or tell a teacher what’s going on, without getting directly involved.

3. Respond intentionally to conversations around bullying. When your child brings bullying to your attention, you can help them learn how they should respond, by being intentional with your response. Listen to him or her, ask questions that illicit a thoughtful response, and try to share how you feel he or she can act the next time they experience something similar.

4. Raise awareness. If your child is consistently sharing instances of bullying, share with him or her the ways they can safely take action, and reach out to adults closer to the situation to inform them of what you are being told. Raising awareness in your child about how to react, and within your community about the issue, is more likely to solve problems that prevent future bullying.

Visit StopBullying.gov for more helpful tips on how to prevent bullying, and have a great school year!

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

Who Is at Increased Risk for Bullying? | Corona, CA

Bullying happens, and any child can be bullied for several reasons. Unfortunately, however, some individuals become a target of bullying more than others. Whether children are spreading hate online or in person, the consequences can be damaging for the recipient. Whether your child is the direct recipient or an indirect observer, bullying is so common, it’s likely every child will have some relationship with bullying.

Students seen as being ‘different’ or ‘non-conforming’ to their peers are at an increased risk of being the recipient of bullying. Children with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, those who are overweight, those perceived as insecure, and the quiet ones are all potential targets of being ‘othered’ and bullied because of it. Instead of being accepted for who they are, these students are made to feel poorly about the ways they were born, and how they move through the world.

What’s worse, is that many targets of bullying aren’t speaking to their families or teachers about their experience. Many times, they feel hopeless, that they won’t be believed, or that if they were to share, an adult will take actions that result in retaliation against them once out of the adult’s sight. As an adult, it’s important to make your child or student feel heard, safe, and take actionable steps that work to mitigate the chances of retaliation.

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