As we bring this season to a close and embark upon a new school year, it’s important to send your little one’s off with a happy heart and plenty of family memories. It’s the perfect opportunity for many families to enjoy each other company, while engaging in fun-filled activities. Family Fun Month is a wonderful time to take advantage of enjoying your families company, while bonding over whatever activity you all choose to partake in. Here are some of our favorites:
Order pizza and watch a movie in your backyard
Take a trip to the beach and collect sea shells
Take a day trip to the zoo to learn about the animals
Go on a camping trip to a new and exciting place
Learn about stargazing and then try to identify as many constellations as you can
Pretend to be pirates for a day. Dress up, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate
With summer in full swing, we have all begun to seek refuge from the heat in their backyard or community pools. Pool and spa submersions and drownings happen quickly, especially when they involve children. Be alert to the hazards of drownings, non-fatal submersion injuries and drain entrapments—and how to prevent them.
An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.” For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions, and must know how to swim.
If you have a pool, insist that the following rules are followed:
Keep toys away from the pool when the pool is not in use.
Empty blow-up pools after each use.
No tricycles or other riding toys at poolside.
No electrical appliances near the pool.
No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
No running on the pool deck.
Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa.
Teach children basic water safety tips.
Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
Have a portable telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa.
If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.
If you would like to learn more about Pride Month, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.
If you’ve ever seen the classic movie, Mean Girls, you know that girls don’t really take feelings into consideration when they choose to prey on another girl. It’s a dog eat dog world, especially in schools and sadly, girls are often worse than boys in that they use verbal abuse over physical bullying. Most Anti-bullying programs don’t look at friendship issues, but for girls, that’s where the aggression usually happens. Here are some tips that can help:
Start by building strong connections at home. You want to be understanding and a good listener. But that doesn’t mean asking questions that can be leading or suggest that she has been wronged.
Validate the range of emotions she is experiencing are valid. Help your daughter understand that all emotions, both positive and negative, are normal. Remind her that bad emotions don’t make her a bad girl. By allowing her anger or irritation to play out will help her calm down quicker than if you just play down the situation.
Avoid problem-solving for her. You want your daughter to learn how to handle herself in these situations and in life. Be there for her and don’t just tell her what to do. Helping her work through what is going on by asking her questions.
Try role play to work through the problem. Help your daughter hold her ground with her own strong but not aggressive statements. Sometimes, a better idea is to start developing new friendships and avoid that “friend.”
If you would like to learn more about what you can do to prevent bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.
One of the biggest problems we have in schools is bullying. Thankfully, we have a week every year focused on the impact of words in our communication. During Words Matter Week, we need to consider the importance of our words in our day-to-day lives. This isn’t about of talking just to talk, this is about carefully crafted language. Words Matter Week is a time to focus on banishing grammatically incorrect and hurtful words from our written and spoken communication.
The quote for Words Matter Week 2015 is simple – “If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it”.
Because it seems bullying starts at a young age, it is a good idea to speak to your students about the way various forms of speech affects others, both positively and negatively. Try these questions to spark a discussion in the classroom:
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?
Words Matter Week is celebrated annually, with celebrations held online at www.WordsMatterWeek.com and at libraries, bookstores, and schools nationwide and is sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE).
If you would like to learn more about Words Matter Week and what you can do to prevent bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.
When we think about the typical bully, we think of the big, tough kid on the playground who pushes everyone around. Sure, but those aren’t the only types of bullies. The cheerleader, the class clown, even the quiet kid can be a bully. Bullies can be any size, age, gender or grade.
So, what does it mean to be a bully? When someone uses words or actions to hurt someone who has a hard time defending themselves. Sometimes kids who bully think that it’s cool, but what is cool about hurting someone? Name calling, tripping someone, laughing at them, leaving them out, ignoring them on purpose – how can hurting someone possibly be “no big deal?” If kids think about why they are bullying, they can then deal with those reasons and change their behavior. Not only will they feel better about themselves, but others will think so too.
Do you think you are a bully? Do you think you know someone who is? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to rethink the way you treat others:
Do you hurt other kids on purpose?
Do you like to tease kids about how they look or act?
Are kids afraid of you?
Do you hit, threaten, or leave kids out?
Do you take or ruin other kids’ stuff?
Do you enjoy it when you upset other kids?
Do you blame others for your problems?
Do you say mean things about others, either in person or on social media?
If you would like to learn more about bullying and what you can do to prevent it, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.
Nearly every single parent has probably said, “play nice, please” or “be kind to your bother”. And I’m sure that most parents would agree that they want to raise kind and caring children. But is being kind something that can be taught?
Yes, however, most of the teaching is by example.
It’s our job to be great role models to better mold a kinder generation, as kindness isn’t taught, but rather learned. Verbally telling someone to be a kind and caring can only go so far, and with children words typically go in one ear and out the other.
The following list includes four ways to encourage kindness in kids:
Walk the walk. Children understand the concept of kindness through daily interaction with their families. The way speak to others and your children even when tired are how they learn how to treat other people. So be sure to be the person you’d like you’d like your child to be.
Talk the talk. Encourage your child with kind language. It’s been said that learning empathy and language go hand-in-hand. Kindness is essentially having the ability to take another person’s perspective and then altering your language and actions accordingly. When talking to children of a young age, make sure to speak positively and know how to word things in such a way that don’t demean another person.
Reward big acts of kindness. It’s important to take notice of the “uncommon acts of kindness”, such as when your child builds a lemonade stand for a good cause or they go out of their way to help another person. However, you shouldn’t reward your children every day for everyday helpfulness, like taking out the trash or playing nice. That everyday kindness should be expected of them.
Take them outside their comfort zone to teach empathy. If children haven’t learned compassion and generosity by the time they are 18, it’s very unlikely that they’ll learn kindness in a lecture hall. Young people should interact with people of all backgrounds, to learn how to “put the shoe on the other foot.” Take them out of their comfort zone to encourage personal growth for empathy.
Kindness should never be taken for granted. Teach your children how others should be treated. As the saying goes “treat others how you want to be treated”. If you would like to help spread kindness throughout your schools, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (S.A.C.K.) at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about the S.A.C.K. foundation.
“If you’re like the majority of us, your days are planned out even before your head’s off your pillow. Soccer practice, PTA meetings, hitting the gym – the life pie-chart tends to have some pretty small, yet crucial pieces. And, nothing can unravel a day before it even begins better than a rocky, disorganized, frantic morning.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s imperative. How many times are we tempted to hit the snooze button over and over? Sleep is wonderful, but that last half hour lounging in bed next to a chirping alarm clock won’t make a huge difference. Use that time to get up, make a cup of coffee or catch the morning news before the kids are awake. You’ll be more alert and ready to tackle the day!
PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE
Take a moment the night before to help your kids set out clothes for the next day. Prepare food and pack lunches too – that way, it’s just a simple grab-and-go. Breakfast can work this way too; consider oatmeal or hard-boiled eggs. Organize backpacks and make sure everything is in there. These little things won’t take you long during the evening, but they can make a huge difference during a busy morning.
WRITE IT DOWN
It’s always easier to stay organized when you know what you need to do. Keep a calendar in a central location and keep it updated with appointments and deadlines. Create an age-appropriate chores/responsibilities checklist for the refrigerator to ensure everything you need gets done. And, review these with your kids in the morning. Having all the things you need to know, right in front of you, sets the table for a well-organized day.
SET DAILY GOALS
We asked a mom of two young children to shed some light on successful morning routines. She says she likes to talk with her kids about what they want to accomplish that day, and help them set realistic, enjoyable goals. Nothing like starting the day with a positive, constructive spirit!
Finally, don’t sweat it if things don’t do exactly as planned. Sooner or later, your alarm clock will not go off. Your kids will change their minds about outfits set out the night before. Dogs knock over garbage cans, and folders of homework will mysteriously disappear. By having your routine locked into place, you’ll condition yourself to be calm and collected – and folks with those qualities can handle curveballs!”
“My big girl starts first grade in just over one week.
That delicious feeling at the start of the summer where you have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it in?
In its place, we have 7:00 am departures breathing down our necks. Early bedtime, which means an early dinner, which means next to zero fun free time as a family on weeknights. And…HOMEWORK.
To prolong the magic of summer, I took a day off work during our last week with Abby.
I wanted to do something special with the girls – something with maybe a few less curse words than our last hurrah to summer at the end of my maternity leave last year.
But I didn’t want to swing too far in the other direction of overscheduling us, turning me into That Mom.
“Kids, hurry up! We need to have fun NOW!”
How can you have a wonderfully happy day with your kids, instead of wasting the day in your jammies watching The LEGO Movie and belting out Everything Is Awesome…OR scheduling so much fun that you forget to enjoy yourselves?”