Kindness Is Its Own Reward | Corona, CA

“A student isn’t a container you have to fill, but a torch you have to light up.” – Albert Einstein

If we know anything about tiny humans, it’s that they love to help. Whether it be sharing a snack or helping in the kitchen, if they think they can help, a toddler is first to volunteer. It isn’t because they were raised in any special way; science has proven that young children get a positive boost in their emotions when helping others. As they reach school age and other factors are introduced into their environment, it is important to continue to instill this good quality.

The world feels scarier every day, but it doesn’t have to be. Today is World Kindness Day – so let’s take a moment to do something kind for one another. And while you are at it, inspire a student to do the same. Children learn by example, and being kind feels good. The Golden Rule isn’t just a saying.

Kindness shouldn’t be forced or done only to get something back. The reward is the goodness you feel inside. Don’t teach sharing with a bribe. Like a smile, being kind is contagious.

Encourage students to be kind to one another by offering examples. Discuss ways to be kind. Hang inspirational posters. Be the friendly face your student can count on to brighten their day. Who doesn’t want to be a ray of sunshine?

Lastly, teach gratitude. Saying thank you when someone is kind to you is a kindness in itself. Not only does the giver feel special, but it makes them more inclined to be kind again. Eventually, there won’t be a need for a World Kindness Day. But until then…

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

Beware of Halloween Scares…for Your Teeth | Corona, CA

We’ve finally made it – it’s Halloween, the day that we get to be anything we want for an entire day. Bonus? It involves free candy! Here’s the problem – it isn’t all that great for your teeth. But far be it for us to tell you not to enjoy the greatest holiday? Let’s just leave you with this… These are the best and worst candies for your teeth. Pick and choose your favorites and have a safe Halloween:

Sugar-free candy and gum. Was there a surprise here? Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue that can cause cavities.

Chocolate. It’s true! Chocolate, without sticky fillings, won’t stick to your teeth and therefore is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet.

Hard candies. Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers may not stick to your mouth, but they take a long time to dissolve, giving sugar plenty of time to attack your teeth.

Sour candies. We know it’s a child favorite. But sour candy is bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel. They may not require chewing but contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities.

Sticky candies. Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. Because it’s tough to get out of these crevices, sticky candies are the worst option for your sweet tooth.

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

Don’t Be a Bully, Be a Buddy | Corona, CA

bullyingNo one wants to be bullied, yet it seems like bullying is becoming more and more an issue in schools. Before you let you or your buddy become a victim, kit is important to know that there is something you can do. There are things you can do to keep yourself and the kids you know safe from bullying. No one should have to feel alone…

Stick with friends. There is safety in numbers. Avoid being alone in target areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places where the bully hangs out.

Be assertive and confident. Use body language to show you are not afraid. Stand up straight and make eye contact.

Ignore the bully. Walk away. Don’t respond. Get out of the situation. Agree with the bully’s comments, then walk away.

Don’t seek revenge. Remember that using violence to solve problems only makes things worse.

Get help. If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Report all bullying incidents to friends or adults.

Don’t be a bystander. When no one speaks up, bullies learn they can get away with it.

Refuse to join in. Don’t take part in the bullying. Refuse to even watch.

Speak out. Distract the bully by changing the subject or using humor. Stand up for the victim. Tell them to stop.

Give support. Be a friend. Make an effort to include others who are normally left out or rejected.

Get an adult. Report any bullying you see to teachers or other adults. They can set clear, nonviolent consequences for future bullying behavior. Your friends can go with you to talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, or parent, in case you’re nervous to go alone.

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.

Protect Those Little Humans with Pool Safety | Corona, CA

Let’s face it – it feels like the earth is basically melting beneath our feet these days. Not only do we have to worry about hydration and wildfires, but now we get to add immanent death to the list. But nothing can beat the heat more than a dip in the pool. Your pool, a community pool or a good friend’s pool are the best meeting points for summer fun. But amidst all that fun we need to make sure we are also safe. After all, pool and spa submersions and drownings happen quickly, especially when they involve children. And believe it or not, but a child can drown in the time it takes to answer a telephone. Be alert to the hazards of drownings, non-fatal submersion injuries and drain entrapments — and how to prevent them.

For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach. For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions. If this is your 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 electrical appliances near the pool
  • No diving in a pool that is not deep enough
  • No running on the pool deck
  • 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 you would like to learn more about pool safety, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Can Sibling Rivalry Cross a Line to Bullying? | Corona, CA

Siblings have been documented as fighting since the time of Cain and Abel, but is it possible for it to go beyond sibling rivalry and into more of a bullying issue? New research suggests that even when there are no physical scars, aggression between siblings can cause psychological wounds as damaging as the suffering caused by bullies at school or on the playground. The findings offer an unusual look at an area of family life that has rarely been studied, in part because fighting among brothers and sisters is widely considered a harmless rite of passage. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is difficult to distinguish what is harmless teasing and what is deeply affecting a child at home.

Ordinary skirmishes over the remote or joystick are one thing, constant physical and verbal abuse is another. 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.

Nationwide, sibling violence is the most common form of family violence. It occurs four to five times as often as spousal or parental child abuse. According to some studies, nearly half of all children have been punched, kicked or bitten by a sibling, and roughly 15 percent have been repeatedly attacked. But even the most severe incidents are under-reported because families are reluctant to acknowledge them, dismissing slaps and punches as horseplay and bullying as kids just being kids.

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.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2016

September marks National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which is a time to help promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others and how to talk to someone about suicide without increasing the risk of self-harm.

Mental illness and thoughts of suicide does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of their age, background or gender. Suicide is the second leading cause of among young people and is often times the result of a mental illness that attacks people when most vulnerable. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) more that 41,000 Americans take their own lives and more than 494,000 Americans have received medical care for self-harm. These numbers are staggering and suicide should not be considered common. Suicide is preventable – know the warning signs and you may be able to save a life.

What are the warning sign for suicide?

  • Threats or comments about taking their life, also known as social ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts such as “I wish I wasn’t on this earth anymore”, but can become more dangerous
  • Increased use of alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic, over-the-top mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thoughts about death
  • Impulsive and reckless behavior

Behavior that should be taken into consideration

Anyone that is exhibiting these behaviors should seek professional help immediately:

  • Putting their affairs in order and giving away possessions
  • Saying goodbye to family and friends
  • Mood shifts from manic to calm
  • Looking around to buy, steal or borrow the tools they need to commit suicide, like firearms or prescription medications

Someone who is experiencing such behavior or thoughts should seek immediate help from a mental health care provider. Having suicidal thoughts does not make someone flawed or weak. Mental health professionals are trained to help people understand their feelings and can improve mental-wellness and resiliency – don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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

Understanding & Overcoming Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Individuals bully for a number of reasons, understanding why they bully can help you overcome bullying or help others who may be being bullied move past it as well. The truth is bullies are basically lashing out as a form of concealing their own troubles or shortcomings.

Reasons why a bully is bullying:

-To look or appear powerful

-Because they themselves are being bullied

-To make themselves popular

-They are jealous of you

-To escape their own problems

Tip #1: Understand the truth about bullying

  • Walk away from the bully. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.
  • Protect yourself. If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.
  • Report the bullying to a trusted adult. If you don’t report threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive. In many cases adults can find ways to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.
  • Repeat as necessary. Like the bully, you may have to be relentless. Report each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying.

Tip #2: Reframe the problem of bullying

By changing your attitude towards bullying you can help regain a sense of control.

  • Try to view bullying from a different perspective. The bully is an unhappy, frustrated person who wants to have control over your feelings so that you feel as badly as they do. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
  • Look at the big picture. Bullying can be extremely painful, but try asking yourself how important it will seem to you in the long run. Will it matter in a year? Is it worth getting so upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Focus on the positive. Reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. Make a list and refer to it whenever you feel down.
  • Find the humor. If you’re relaxed enough to recognize the absurdity of a bullying situation, and to comment on it with humor, you’ll likely no longer be an interesting target for a bully.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—including the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to bullies.

Tip #3: Find support from those who don’t bully

Having trusted people you can turn to for encouragement and support will boost your resilience when being bullied. Reach out to connect with family and real friends (those who don’t participate in bullying) or explore ways of making new friends. There are plenty of people who will love and appreciate you for who you are.

  • Find others who share your same values and interests. You may be able to make friends at a youth group, book club, or religious organization. Learn a new sport, join a team, or take up a new hobby such as chess, art, or music.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a parent, counselor, coach, religious leader, or trusted friend. Expressing what you’re going through can make a huge difference to the way you feel, even if it doesn’t change the situation.
  • Boost your confidence. Exercise is a great way to help you feel good about yourself, as well as reduce stress. Punch a mattress or take a kick boxing class to work off your anger.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make a bullying incident worse by dwelling on it or replaying it over and over in your head. Instead, focus on positive experiences you’ve had(Source: help guide.org).

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s probably the bully thats actually suffering and not to dwell on it or think you’re less than. Recovering from bullying can take time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace. However, if you do find yourself dwelling on the incident(s), it’s important for you to seek help from a parent, school counselors, a teacher or a professional therapist.

What Can You Do If You See Someone Being Bullied? | SACK of Corona, Ca

BystanderWhen you help someone who’s being bullied, you may also help yourself. It can feel great to support someone in need and to stand up for what you believe! Many of us see someone being bullied at some point. It may be easier to just stand by, or even to laugh. But if you are brave and kind, you can be a real hero. Remember, the person being bullied may feel awful and all alone.

Bullying usually involves one or more people teasing, being violent towards, or harassing somebody on an ongoing basis. Bullying can happen in person and online and through cell phones.

What can you do if you see or know someone being bullied?

  • Stand up for the person. If it feels safe, defend the person being bullied. Bullies often care a lot about being popular and powerful. If you make the bullying seem uncool, the bully may stop.
  • Tell an adult. If you feel uncomfortable telling an adult, ask the adult to keep your comments private.
  • Encourage the bullied person to talk to an adult. Offer to go with them.
  • Offer support. Ask if the person is okay. Be friendly the next day. You can make a big difference just by showing you care.
  • Don’t join in or watch bullying. Bullies love an audience. Walk away, and see if you can get others to leave, too. Of course, don’t just abandon someone who is in real danger. Go get help.
  • Stop any rumors. If someone tells you gossip, don’t pass it on to others. You wouldn’t want someone spreading rumors about you(Source: girlshealth.gov).

If you see someone being bullied and you don’t do anything to help them then it will just continue and may get worse. People who are being bullied can feel really distressed and it can have a serious impact on their life and health. In very serious cases bullying could lead to self harming, or even suicidal thoughts. Often other people at school don’t realize the effect that bullying has when it goes on day in day out. If the bullying involves violence or threats, or if you think your classmate is in danger of getting hurt or harming herself, talk to an adult about it right away.

For more information call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

Halloween Candy & Your Teeth! | SACK of Corona, Ca

Halloween CandyDid you know that pure sugar is better than sticky caramel(WHAT?!), and dark chocolate is always a winner. Everything in moderation is typically okay and of course brushing your teeth (or at least rinsing your mouth with water) after enjoying your Halloween candy is always a great idea!

Below are a few tips for happy Halloween teeth from the worst to best choices in holiday candy:

WORST: Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it–which could produce cavity-causing acid.

SECOND WORST: Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers, are almost as bad.  Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve.  The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic your mouth becomes. 

PRETTY BAD: Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel. While powdery candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.

NOT SO BAD: Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore is a much better option if you’re craving something sweet.

BEST: Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, and it is sweetened with xylitol–a natural sugar the bacteria is unable to form plaque on(Source: parenting.com). 

Because there is never a candy deficiency around Halloween, it is important to be aware of the lasting negative effects Halloween candy can have on your teeth. Excessive intake of these candy can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and loss of enamel. Be sure to always brush your teeth after eating candy to ensure no surprise visits at the dentist! Nobody wants to see the dentist pull out that drill! Eek!

Have a safe Halloween, everyone!

For more information call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at http://simpleacts.org

World Kindness Youth Conference (W.K.Y.C.) Celebrates 9 Years! | Corona, CA

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Simple Acts of Care and Kindness kicked off its annual World Kindness Youth Conference again this year at Crossroads Christian Church.  This two-day event gets bigger and better each year and the singers, speakers and sensitivity camp exhibits were amazing!

A huge “Thank you” to all of our 4th graders and teachers who participated in the event as well as all of our volunteers who make this event happen.  We couldn’t do it without you.

The W.K.Y.C. was first held in 2004 and uses seminars and activities to help students learn the many areas of life into which care and kindness can be inserted. Seminars and discussion groups dealing with bullying and other relationship topics fill the morning. After lunch, students visit exhibitors who have come with messages about care and kindness for themselves (staying health with good food and physical activity), their family (anger management, safety, emergency procedures at home), their community (programs for the developmentally disabled, helping keep parks clean and green…), and their world (recycling, planting trees…).

Contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness today at 866-459-7225 or visit our website for more information.

Simple Acts of Care and Kindness proudly serves Norco, Riverside, Lake Elsinore, San Bernardino, Eastvale and surrounding areas.