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.

How to Recharge on Your Winter Break! | SACK of Corona, Ca

Head And Shoulders Portrait Of Chinese GirlWhen winter break finally arrives, you have definitely earned some rest! However, the school year isn’t over – so relaxation and a plan of action to tackle the remainder of the school year are heat things to do during your winter break. Recharging while structuring the remainder of your school year is a great way to hit the ground running in 2016 and upon arrival back at school.

Here are 7 ways you can take some time to recharge over the holiday so you hit can hit the ground running in 2016:

1. Turn off your alarm clock: Is there anything better than switching off the alarm and sleeping in? Nope!

2. Binge-watch something!: It doesn’t matter which show you choose. The sheer joy of being able to do something unproductive for a few hours is what makes this a great relax-and-recharge tool.

3. Read: Grab that book that everyone’s been talking about, curl up and check out.

4. Get Outside: There’s nothing like fresh air to reinvigorate the senses. Talk a jog or a walk, regular exercise will keep you energized and your immune health up.

5. Take Naps: Take every opportunity to catch up on your rest during vacation.

6. Defining Goals: Take some time over the holiday break to write down on paper as many of your goals you hope to accomplish in the new upcoming year.

7. Create an Action Plan: Once you’ve defined your 2016 goals, set in to motion how you’re going to accomplish them.

Finding that balance is the key to a winter break that is not only restorative for you, but provides long-lasting benefits into the remainder of the school year and beyond!

Cyber Bullying | SACK of Corona, Ca

No-BullyingKids and young adults have a lot on their plate now a days, especially with the internet and social media. Sadly, these social media forums can turn in to an unsafe place-even when you may turn to them for some decompressing. In todays world, social media can and has become a place for bullying. Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior. 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. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people.

Why Cyberbullying is Different:

-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(Source: stopbullying.gov).

Check out this short video/film on cyberbullying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5PZ_Bh-M6o (Source: youtube.com / Strutt Central)

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. Like a parent or a teacher.

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

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

What is Bullying? | SACK of Corona, Ca

Bullying happens everywhere and no one type of person is immune. But, what does the word make you think of? For some people, it’s that girl at school who always makes fun of them. For others, it’s the biggest guy in the neighborhood who’s always trying to beat them up or take their things. Sometimes “bully” means a whole group of kids, ganging up on someone else. No matter what situation or form it comes in, bullying can make you feel depressed, hurt, and alone. It can keep you from enjoying the activities and places that are part of your life.

No-Bullying

Let’s start by looking at the different kinds of bullying:

Physical bullying means:

  • Hitting, kicking, or pushing someone…or even just threatening to do it
  • Stealing, hiding or ruining someone’s things
  • Making someone do things he or she don’t want to do

Verbal bullying means:

  • Name-calling
  • Teasing
  • Insulting

Relationship bullying means:

  • Refusing to talk to someone
  • Spreading lies or rumors about someone
  • Making someone do things he or she doesn’t want to do(Source: http://pbskids.org)

What do all these things have in common? They’re examples of ways one person can make another person feel hurt, afraid, or uncomfortable. When these are done to someone more than once, and usually over and over again for a long period of time, that’s bullying.

But why should something that can make a person so miserable have to be part of growing up? The answer is, it doesn’t!

So what can you do?

  • SPEAK UP: If you feel uncomfortable with the comments or actions of someone… tell someone! It is better to let a trusted adult know, than to let the problem continue.
  • Get familiar with what bullying is and what it is not.  If you recognize any of the descriptions, you should stay calm, stay respectful, and tell an adult as soon as possible.
  • If you feel like you are at risk of harming yourself or others get help now!

Someone is bullying me online or via text message

  • Remember, bullying does not only happen at school. It can happen anywhere, including through texting, the internet and social media.
  • Learn more about cyber-bullying and how to respond if it is happening to you.

Sometimes people bully because they are having problems in some way in their lives, and they need help with other difficult things that are happening to them. You can inspire your community to stand up to intolerance and create a diverse environment where everyone is safe, accepted and included.

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

Making Friends in the New School Year | SACK of Corona, Ca

Two young male friends at a playground smiling

Going back to school can spark many emotions. Excitement for a new school year, wondering what the new school year will bring, seeing old friends and finding your way around a new class, schedule, or school. Along with that comes making new friends, a lot of us find it hard to make new friends and it can be a challenge to know ‘what to do’ to meet a new person. Below we’ve pulled 15 Tips on how to make new friends from http://www.thefriendshipblog.com. Read them below!

1) Smile

Smiles make you seem friendly and approachable. They make others feel special.

2) Make eye contact

When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying. People like being respected.

3) Say hello

Greet classmates you haven’t talked to before—even if you’re shy, even if the person seems intimidating, and especially if they’re in different groups than you. Hello is the first step toward making a new friend.

4) Reach out

Make a goal to talk to at least one new person a week. Some of the best friends arise from unexpected places and people.

5) Forget stereotypes

People (including you) are more than the group with whom they hang; they are more than the labels others give them. Don’t stereotype schoolmates by the groups they belong to and don’t limit yourself to your current group (if you are part of one).

6) Be involved

Volunteer at school in or the community. Join clubs or sports that interest you. Extracurricular activities are opportunities to meet others who like the same things you do.

7) Be better

You don’t have to be the same as you were last year. If you were shy, you can push yourself to be more talkative. If you were unfriendly, you can be nicer. The older you become, the more life experience you have, the better your social skills become. Use your maturity for your benefit.

8) Ask for advice

If you’re having trouble making friends or keeping friends, turn to people you respect. Seek out a parent, older sibling, teacher or school counselor to talk about your difficulties. They can give you helpful suggestions to solve your difficulties.

9) Be a good friend

Treat others the way you want them to treat you. Even if someone treats you poorly, try not to use that as a reason to return the negativity.

10) Be a good friend to yourself

Don’t talk more harshly to yourself than you would a friend. Nobody is perfect, even if they look that way on the outside. When you’re unkind to yourself, it shows in how you present yourself to the world. You deserve the kindness you give others.

11) Be trustworthy

Keep your friends’ secrets and confidences, no matter how tempting telling others might be. Gossiping may seem harmless at the time, but it causes hurt feelings and fights, and ends many friendships.

12) Be truthful

Lying might feel less scary, easier, or even better but more often than not, the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse than if you initially told the truth.

13) Speak up

If you hear others talking negatively about a person or group, tell them you feel uncomfortable. If you see someone bring bullied or called names, stand up for the victim. Tell a teacher or someone in authority if the bullying doesn’t stop or if it’s a pattern. Keep telling until someone listens to you.

14) Apologize

If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, a sincere “I’m sorry,” without excuses, is the first step to moving forward.

15) Relax

Nobody does friendship perfectly or knows exactly what to do when it comes to making and keeping friends. Do the best you can. Every new day is an opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.

Remember, always be yourself & enjoy the new school year!

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

Bullying Prevention Tips | SACK of Corona, Ca

ThinkstockPhotos-480003524Are you being bullied? Do you see bullying at your school? There are things you can do to keep yourself and the kids you know safe from bullying.

If You Are Bullied:

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. Stand up for yourself. 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. Say “Whatever” or “You’re right.” 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. Ask friends or adults for help. Report all bullying incidents.

If Someone Else Is Bullied:

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 par in the bullying. Refuse to even watch.

Speak out. Distract the bully by changing the subject or using humor. Talk to the bully later, in private. Stand up for the victim. Tell the bully to stop. Get a group to do this with you.

Give support. Talk to the person being bullied in private. Be a friend to that person. 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(Source: preventchildabuseny.org).

Think about what could help and share your ideas. There is a good chance that adults don’t know all of what happens. Your friends can go with you to talk to a teacher, counselor, coach, or parent and can add what they think.

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

Back to School Tips | SACK of Corona, Ca

Close-up of a smiling little girl

It’s that time of year again, do you hear the school bells ringing? It can be hard to adjust from summer and begin to focus on school again.

Heading back to school comes with a lot of emotions. Excitement, anxiety just to name a few! Some of us cope with returning to school differently than others. Some are hopeful, some are fearful, some are completely unprepared for the new school year to even start!

Below are some tips to help you or your child get back in to the swing of things:

Meet the new teacher(s).
For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — another great opportunity to get to know each other before the year begins.

If personal contact with the teacher isn’t possible, try locating the teacher’s picture on a school website or in a yearbook, so your child can put a name with a face. If your child’s teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter together.

Tour the school.
If your school hosts an open house, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with her environment will help her avoid a nervous stomach on the first day. Together you can meet her teacher, find her desk, or explore the playground.

With an older child, you might ask him to give you a tour of the school. This will help refresh his memory and yours.

Connect with friends.
A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. You might try calling parents from last year’s class and finding out which children are in your child’s class this year. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.

Tool up.
Obtain the class supply list and take a special shopping trip with your child. Having the right tools will help him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges like a cool notebook or a favorite-colored pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by explaining how new supplies might be used. Let him practice using supplies that he’s not used before — such as colored pencils or a protractor — so he will be comfortable using them in class.

Avoid last-minute drilling.
When it’s almost time to stop playing, give a five-minute warning. Giving clear messages to your child is very important.

Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans.
While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum. All kids need some down time before the rigors of school begin. For some kids, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they remember.

Ease into the routine.
Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother(Source: pbs.org).

Every new school year is a opportunity for a fresh start, new friends, and to make it count. You have the potential to make this year one of the best ones yet!

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

Back to School: Take Action Against Bullying! | SACK of Corona, Ca

It’s that time of year, kids are heading back to school and with that comes a lot of relief from parents but our kids could be facing anxieties with heading back, such as being bullied. Seemingly bullying is prevalent wherever you go, work, school, playground, even online. Hopefully we’ll eventually put a stop to it but until that day comes, help your child adjust to back to school by getting informed with these anti-bullying tips.

Research shows that in a classroom of 35 between 4 to 6 children are bullying and/or being bullied. At some point a child will experience some form of bullying and some will experience frequent, long lasting bullying. If you suspect that a child is being bullied, you’re probably right. Children will often deny bullying out of shame or fear.

Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn.

Below are some tips for bullying prevention at school:

Getting Started: Assess school prevention and intervention efforts around student behavior, including substance use and violence. You may be able to build upon them or integrate bullying prevention strategies. Many programs help address the same protective and risk factors that bullying programs do.

Assess Bullying in Your School: Conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether your prevention efforts are working.

Engage Parents and Youth: It is important for everyone in the community to work together to send a unified message against bullying. Launch an awareness campaign to make the objectives known to the school, parents, and community members. Establish a school safety committee or task force to plan, implement, and evaluate your school’s bullying prevention program.

Create Policies and Rules: Create a mission statement, code of conduct, school-wide rules, and a bullying reporting system. These establish a climate in which bullying is not acceptable. Disseminate and communicate widely.

Build a Safe Environment: Establish a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect. Use staff meetings, assemblies, class and parent meetings, newsletters to families, the school website, and the student handbook to establish a positive climate at school. Reinforce positive social interactions and inclusiveness.

Educate Students and School Staff: Build bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities. Train teachers and staff on the school’s rules and policies. Give them the skills to intervene consistently and appropriately(http://www.stopbullying.gov).

Bullying is cruel and can be humiliating, making a child feel alone and helpless. If you suspect your child is a victim of bullying, talk with them first. Explain to them that bullying isn’t a natural part of being in school, and teach them how to be more assertive. Assure them that using resources such as the principal and other adults can be a good thing when bullying gets out of hand. Let them know that they are most likely not only victim of their bully, and that there are probably others who could band together against the bully.

Talking about anti-bullying is a good way to help prevent bullying. Even if your child isn’t involved with bullying, they should be aware of what’s going on and be taught to help when it happens. Even a simple thing such as standing by a victim can be enough to stop a bullying attack. If they see groups stand against them, they lose their power.

Together we can take the power away from bullies.

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