Going Back to School and Making Friends | Corona, CA

Welcome to another school year! For some, it is returning to the same school with the same friends. For others, this may be a very scary time as they are starting in a new place without anyone familiar. Here are some helpful tips to think about when it comes to making friends and having a great school year:

Smile. Smiles make you seem friendly and make others feel special.

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

Say hello. Greet classmates you haven’t talked to before – hello is the first step toward making a new friend. Make a goal to talk to one new person a week.

Forget stereotypes. Don’t stereotype schoolmates by the groups they belong to and don’t limit yourself to your current group.

Be involved. Extracurricular activities are opportunities to meet others who like the same things you do.

Be better. You don’t have to be the same as you were last year. The older you become, the more life experience you have, the better your social skills become.

Ask for advice. If you’re having trouble making friends or keeping friends, turn to people you respect to talk about your difficulties.

Be a good friend. Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

Be trustworthy. Keep your friends’ secrets and confidences, no matter how tempting telling others might be.

Be truthful. Lying might feel easier, but the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse.

Speak up. If you see someone bring bullied or called names, stand up for the victim.

Apologize. If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, say you’re sorry.

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

Mississippi 10-Year-Old Writes Anti-Bullying Book | Corona, CA

By Associated Press | Aug. 27, 2022, at 1:01 a.m. By BLAKE ALSUP, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal TUPELO, Miss. (AP) —

William Faulkner was 29 years old.

Richard Wright was 30.

John Grisham, Eudora Welty and Greg Iles were all around age 33.

But Atiya Henley was just 10 years old when she published her first book.

Atiya will enter the fifth grade at West Clay Elementary this school year, but unlike most — if not all — of her classmates, she’s already a published author.

Published in February, Atiya’s short book, “The Mean Girls: A Bunch of Bullies,” carries an anti-bullying message.

Atiya’s mother, Amy Deanes, founded West Point-based Superior Publishing in 2020. The small publishing house currently distributes the work of 13 authors; among them, Atiya’s book has been the publisher’s best seller.

According to Deanes, her daughter has always been interested in writing stories. In fact, she wrote a book titled “Black Joe” before writing “The Mean Girls.”

The idea to write this specific book came about during a conversation with her mom. Atiya was playing a game, and Deanes suggested that she create her own game or write a book that other people can experience.

Although the book isn’t based on a situation she’s personally experienced or witnessed at school, she’s seen news reports on the effects of bullying. Atiya said she wanted to do something to help make people aware of bullying in an effort to help stop it.

“I’m very passionate of others’ feelings, and I don’t like when someone gets mistreated or left out,” Atiya said.

The 34-page book took her about a month to write. Her mother both edited and illustrated it.

Atiya and her eight classmates made up the entire fourth grade class at West Clay Elementary during the 2021-22 school year. Her whole class was involved in making the book, posing as characters in photo illustrations.

“We have a very small class, so basically all of them are best friends,” Atiya said.

The school’s principal, teachers and students were overjoyed to have an active part in the book’s creation and have supported it after release as Atiya has traveled to other schools and churches promoting it.

With a head start on what could be a productive career, Atiya is already planning future publications. She plans to publish the first book she penned, “Black Joe,” in the near future, and is currently working on a sequel to “The Mean Girls” subtitled “The Silent Bullies.”

The fifth grader has no intentions of putting down her proverbial pen. As an adult, she hopes to be an author and a real estate agent.

At just 10 years old, she’s already halfway there.

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

A Catchy Tune with an Anti-Bullying Message | Corona, CA

An anti-bullying song is one of the tracks on the new album “Hazel Eyes” by local Hawaiian band Kolohe Kai. The song was used as part of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week campaign earlier this year.

Lead singer Roman De Peralta wrote the track “I Think You’re Beautiful,” and describes it as an uplifting song with an empowering message. The Conversation sat down with De Peralta to discuss the inspiration behind the music.

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

Is It Sibling Rivalry or Bullying? | Corona, CA

When we welcome another child into the family, we expect that there will be a bit of jealousy and trying to become the favorite is going to be the goal to achieve. For most families, it turns into what we know as sibling rivalry; for others, it can take a different turn.

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.

But ordinary skirmishes over the remote or joystick are one thing. But 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 underreported because families are reluctant to acknowledge them, dismissing slaps and punches as horseplay and bullying as kids just being kids.

It can erode a child’s sense of identity and lower their self-esteem, which can inevitably lead to anxiety, depression and anger.

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

Enjoy Your Summer with Family Activities! | Corona, CA

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! We have officially made it to the kick-off of summer. And with that comes the constant nagging from the little ones about being bored. Now that we are back to having fun in public again, the options are never-ending. The time is now to plan some great family activities for the kiddos to look forward to as the season progresses. Make it a family vote and let the fun begin!

Camping. Stargazing at night will be a fun activity to do at night over some s’mores. If you don’t have easy access to a campground, do it in the backyard!

Sandcastles on the beach. Wherever you are in Southern California, you’re beach adjacent. It’s time for a family sandcastle contest!

Zoo. Many zoos have special activities planned for little ones, so make sure to look up what’s happening ahead of time to maximize your fun learning about animals.

Gardening. There is no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off with beautiful flowers or delicious vegetables. Add some art by painting rocks to decorate your new garden!

Park playgrounds. A very cost-effective outing is your local park. Pack up a bit of lunch and spend the afternoon outside.

Theme parks. Theme parks are a perfect way to spend a summer day since there’s usually something for everyone.

Outdoor concerts. There are so many great outdoor events happening this summer, no matter where you’re from. Try to make it to at least one this season for a bit of culture.

Family bike rides. Learning to ride a bike is a milestone in most kids’ lives and a skill that they will never truly forget. Add some exercise to your schedule with a fun bike ride.

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

Random Acts of Kindness Day Should Be Year-Round | Corona, CA

Have you ever had someone randomly do something nice for you? Have you ever done something nice for someone out of the blue? It’s one of those simple ways you can brighten not only someone else’s day, but your day as well. There’s just something about making someone happy that can make your insides feel nice.

February 17th is known as National Act of Kindness Day. Sure, doing something nice for someone can, and should, happen every day of the year. But it’s a holiday that was created in New Zealand by Josh de Jong that has spread across the globe. And for good reason – taking a moment to think about someone else is something the world needs, especially after the rough time we’ve all had dealing with the pandemic and its aftereffects. In fact, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation celebrates a whole week (February 13 – 19, 2022) because they believe in kindness and dedicated themselves to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

So, what are you going to do to celebrate this very kind holiday? The effort can be as simple as a smile to a stranger – smiles go a long way for someone that is feeling blue. It isn’t a monetary thing; the point is to give someone the “warm and cozies” by your unexpected gesture. If you want to jazz up your good deed ideas, here’s a quick list:

  • Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
  • Leave a kind note for someone.
  • Share words of encouragement.
  • Drop off some groceries at the local food pantry.
  • Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not to talk to in a while.

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

How to Avoid the Haters | Corona, CA

We’ve all heard the term before, especially online. “Hater” is a new word used to describe a bully. They use hurtful and negative comments to not only bring someone down but make themselves feel better about themselves. It can be online, in your personal life or affecting something or someone you love. If online, they are often anonymous. Keyboard warriors, if you will. But a bully can be virtually anyone. Like bullying, hater behavior is something that a person does – it is not who they are, and it can be changed.

But why do they do it? Haters often pick on people whom they perceive as being different from themselves. When inflicting these hurtful words, they understand that they are upsetting, can trigger feelings of anger, hurt, and confusion, and cause the person being criticized to question their self-worth and behavior.

Because it is often experienced online, it can be difficult to deal with a hater. Social media platforms are trying to monitor this, but it is almost an impossible task. In fact, there are a few ways you can avoid the haters in your everyday life. But there are some tips to consider if you’ve found you have a hater on your hands:

  • Ignore it and walk away without reacting or responding.
  • Block anyone online who are making negative or hateful comments on your posts or account, take screenshots and report them.
  • Be kind and respectful – killing them with kindness is a great way to not let it affect you emotionally.
  • Stick with supporters because there is strength in numbers.
  • Remind yourself that comments from a hater are a reflection of them, not you.
  • Understand criticism can be a sign of pain.
  • Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Keep being you.

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

Recovery from Bullying Is a Lifelong Process | Corona, CA

Posted June 28, 2016 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

If you are the victim of bullying, please find someone to talk to about it. If you are in school, try to find a trusted teacher or school counselor. There are a variety of online support groups as well. Journal about it. Make art projects and try to connect to your feelings. The biggest thing is not to abandon yourself in the process. You also get to speak up and say “No!” to the bully and do what you can to remain at a safe distance. Please get support and know that you matter and that you’re not alone. Additional resources can be found here.

If you are a survivor of bullying, the same advice applies. Speak out about it. Revisit what happened and really acknowledge how you felt and also how you may have internalized what happened and beat yourself up for it. Be kind and gentle with yourself and notice any residual consequences. How do you handle groups of people now? What happens when you begin to feel left out of a group? Notice the immediate self-talk and/or reaction to run, argue with someone else, and/or dissociate.

If you are or were an onlooker, take note of your feelings. Are (or were) you scared to confront the bully? Were you worried you’d be next? What can you do to repair with the victim? Can you be brave and tell the bully that the behavior is not kind, or can you make a stand by saying out loud that you don’t find it acceptable and physically walk-away? Are there other things you can do to support anti-bullying initiatives (at school or in your community)? Can you write about it and begin talking to safe people about how you feel when witnessing bullying?

If you are (or were) the bully, what can you do to empathize with the person you are bullying (or have bullied)? What are you getting from bullying someone? Can you journal about it and try to really feel what the other person feels? Can you talk to someone safe about the thrill you may get when harming someone? Is it possible you can do things to stop bullying and help support anti-bullying activities? Is there a way you can repair with the person you have bullied? Can you speak out the next time you witness a person bullying another person?

If you are a school administrator or teacher, there are numerous bullying programs available at this time with tangible things you can do. Also, try to pay attention to your own internal reactions to bullying. Do you find yourself inadvertently engaging in microaggressions and unconscious prejudices that reinforce bully and victim statuses? Do you also have a support group and a place where everyone can talk about it with each other? Does your school engage in a culture of openness and flexibility or is it succumbing to old, entrenched bullying patterns? What can you do to speak out in little ways each day to support inclusion, empathy, and equality for all?

We are social creatures and we need each other for survival. That means we need the victims, the onlookers, and even the bullies. We don’t need an enemy to keep us together. Instead, we can focus on growth and ask ourselves what our own individual experiences are teaching us about ourselves. We can also find peace by trusting the greater ethereal forces that unite all of life. We are part of a greater whole.

Mother of Family Therapy Virginia Satir stated, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

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

My son has been bullying an overweight kid — and I feel like a failure | Corona, CA

By Andrew Court | November 22, 2021 – 2:09pm Updated

A distraught mom has taken to TikTok saying she feels like a failure after learning her 7-year-old son is a bully. The mom, named Beth, posted an emotional video to the social media site last week detailing the moment she learned her boy had attacked an overweight peer while onboard a school bus.

“I feel like a failure,” Beth wrote beneath the clip, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.

“My son came home telling me another parent threatened him for ‘accidentally’ knocking his son’s glasses off his face,” she explained. “I believed every word that came out of his mouth.” Beth decided to speak with the school bus driver after her son told her that the incident occurred onboard the vehicle — and she was stunned by what she found out next.

“The driver explained to me how this child is heavyset and he can’t get off the bus quickly. He told me how my child was shoving this boy down the aisle because he wasn’t ‘fast enough,’” the mom stated. “My child ripped the boy’s glasses off his face and threw them to the back of the bus.”

Beth said she was left “heartbroken” after learning of the incident — and it really hit home, as she herself had been bullied about her weight when she was a child.

“I do not condone this behavior and it is NOT tolerated,” the mom said, as she sobbed on-screen.

“I don’t know where to go from here. I’m obviously doing something wrong,” she emotional parent confessed.

Beth explained that she was making her son apologize to the boy and inviting him over to her house so the pair could play together.

She then shared a second video, directly addressing the bullied child, which was set to the song “You Are Enough” by Sleeping At Last.

“I’ve spent hours thinking about how my son degraded you and it makes me sick,” Beth wrote. “I will do better.”

The mom was inundated with comments beneath her videos, with many praising her for taking action.

“The fact that you aren’t letting this slide means you’re doing a great job,” one viewer wrote.

“You’re an amazing mama. I can’t tell you how RARE what you did is. You investigated and are helping your son make a better choice,” another added.

Beth later updated her followers, saying that her son’s playdate with the bullied boy went well. “They have a lot in common and get along great,” she stated.

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

Wear Orange for Unity Day! | Corona, CA

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time of year that we take pause to realize that bullying comes in many forms and is extremely hurtful, but we should all be willing to do something to prevent it from happening.

This year, Unity Day falls on October 20th and is one event that has been recognized in the U.S. since 2011 and is celebrated with individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wearing or sharing the color orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent students being bullied. And what a great cause to get behind! After all the chaos that we’ve had to endure the past couple of years, it is important to look after each other in the most positive way possible.

I know what you may be thinking, why the color orange? Because October is an autumn month that includes Halloween, and Halloween’s mascot is the pumpkin, orange is the perfect warm color to represent that inviting feeling we are trying to convey to others. Not only that, but orange is a bright color that is associated with safety and visibility, and that is exactly the point we are trying to make – we need to radiate empathy and warmth towards others each and every day.

In the past, there have been many examples of groups and businesses participating. In 2013, the iconic Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, MN wore an orange toga and lit up the night sky with an orange glow. TLC of the Discovery Channel made their logo orange for the day. Others have tied orange ribbons to a fence or around a tree, offered an orange item for sale with proceeds to the National Bullying Prevention Center, or created a unity mural.

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