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?”