When It’s Time for a Parent to Step in | Corona, CA

No one wants their child to be bullied. Unfortunately, we are in a world that is full of bullies. Until we come to a point where bullies no longer exist, we need to do our parts at home. To protect them from potential bullying, sit your child down and ensure them that they can come to you if they ever feel like they’re being bullied. In fact, while you’re at it, make sure they know it is never good to be a bully either. Not only can bullying make a child’s daily life very difficult, but it can also affect them down the road in life. If you find that your child is being bullied, there are a few things you as a parent can do about the situation:

Provide them with comfort and advice. Knowledge is power and this is no different. Provide your child with tips for avoiding such harassment. You, as a parent, should listen calmly and carefully if your child does approach you about being bullied, meaning you shouldn’t overreact. Take your child seriously and avoid laughing the situation off, or again, they may cut communication in the future. Your goal should be to show your child you care and understand the challenges of being bullied. Assure that you will stop the bully together as a team.

Contact your child’s school. If you find that your child is being bullied at school, contact the teacher and/or principal. Adult intervention is a necessary step in bringing the bullying to an end. Before you approach anyone, make sure that you know the bully’s name and the specific instances when the bullying occurred.

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.

Family Dynamics: Sibling Rivalry | Corona, CA

Unless you are an only child, you have to deal with siblings. They could be the same sex, they could be opposite, you could have a mixture of both. But no matter what the equation, siblings enrich a family’s dynamic in some of the best ways. It also spurs a little something we call sibling rivalry.

Let’s be honest – even the closest of sibling will fight. It’s gone on since the beginning of time and will likely never stop. Friendly competition is a good thing. Challenging each other helps us grow. But there is a difference between sibling rivalry, and bullying.

But ordinary skirmishes over the remote or a certain toy are one thing. But constant physical and verbal abuse is another. A study involving children and adolescents around the country found that those who were attacked, threatened or intimidated by a sibling had increased levels of depression, anger and anxiety. And now that we are all stuck together in a house due to COVID-19, it is important to analyze these behaviors and make changes as soon as possible.

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.

Overall, a third of the children in the study reported being victimized by a sibling, and their scores were higher on measures of anxiety, depression and anger. During this time, let’s take a moment to enjoy our time together and make improvements to solidify your family bonds.

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.

Stop the Bullying Between Children | Corona, CA

We are in a very scary time and the last thing we want is to perpetuate violence or bullying. But how? When it comes to students, it is important for us, as adults, to intervene immediately. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the problem, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. If you don’t intervene, children won’t either.

Intervene. Observing children’s actions, words, body language, and facial expressions will help you determine if bullying is occurring. Even if it’s not, aggressive behaviors need to be stopped.

Separate and diffuse. Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room.

Respond firmly but appropriately. Remain calm but stern. Convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Allow yourself time to consider the incident and obtain any clarifying information – then decide the best course of action.

Don’t leave it to the children.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict; it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stay put. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

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.

It’s Got to Stop Somewhere | Corona, CA

We all would like to live in a world where bullying doesn’t exist, but these days it feels like it is getting worse than ever. Everywhere you look, someone is bullying someone for something and at times it feels like it’s never going to end. And it needs to begin within ourselves. But where do we even begin to make the changes that will spread to our neighbors? Here are a few simple rules to keep in mind for you and your family. It all begins at home – let’s teach our children how to be better.

Can you recognize a bully? Recognizing when bullying is taking place is an important step in finding solutions. By understanding the reason and roots of the problem, you and yours will begin to form an idea of how to spot bullying, like teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault.

When you see or hear about bullying taking place, remember that your reactions provide a framework for how the little ones involved will respond to and understand the situation. Children need to see adults being powerful and respectful in reacting to problems – stay calm, respectful, and persistent.

Positive peer to peer relationship skills help to put a stop to bullying. Teach children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation, like stepping out of a line or changing seats. 

Lastly, keep yourself informed as to what your child’s school and school district have a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and that they educate their staff on how to stop bullying and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying.

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

It’s Time We Stop Cyberbullying | Corona, CA

As parents, we all want our children to be safe and sound, even when we aren’t around to watch them. Unfortunately, the world has really taken an aggressive turn for the worse with our access to the internet. The more we become closer, the easier it is for those with ill intentions to find us. And with social media, we have a new form of bullying to be concerned about – cyberbullying.

Because social media is now the way of the world, we need to be aware of any changes to our children’s demeanor, in case it takes a turn for the worse. And because it is online, it’s difficult to run away from the bully. 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. It’s a shame that these tools can also be used to hurt other people.

  • 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.

For a short video/film on cyberbullying, click here.

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.

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

The ABCs of a Bully | Corona, CA

When it comes to bullies, there is a general personality type we can look for. But how does it begin? After all, babies aren’t born bullies – it is a reaction to the environment they are surrounded by. Children who bully use their power to hurt others, and are often hot-tempered, inflexible, rebellious, and often lack empathy. Let’s trace this behavior back to the beginning…

It may seem young, but in preschool years, bullies often use direct verbal bullying and physical power to control material objects or territory because they may not have the skills necessary to interact in socially appropriate ways.

In the elementary school years, bullies are more inclined to use threats and physical force to make victims do things that they do not want to do. During this time period, some children may begin to use indirect bullying to exclude peers from their social circle and activities.

In the middle and high school years, it is all about fitting in so bullies rely on direct verbal and physical bullying. Rumor-spreading and social exclusion through the use of the Internet or cell phone are also the latest trend. Boys rely on bullying for physical dominance, girls to enhance their social status.

Bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – key necessities to having healthy relationships, and as they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out
  • Crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Depression
  • Suicides

If bullies can change these patterns of behavior before they become habitual and entrenched, will be less likely to suffer with these devastating and long-term effects.

If you would like to learn more about personality traits of bullies, 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.

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.

Is There a Difference Between a Bully and a Mean Person? | Corona, CA

It seems like these days, everyone feels the need to express everything they think and feel at any given moment. Not only in a good way, but more often than not, in a mean one. This has caused a wave of bullying between students that is tough to ignore. From TV to movies, it seems like everywhere you look someone is talking about bullying. But after some thinking, you have to ask yourself – is everyone that has something mean to say a bully? Is it possible to just be mean?

We all can probably think of someone who has been mean to us. We can probably even think of someone that we’ve been mean to. It doesn’t necessarily categorize anyone as a bully. There are rude people, and we need to learn how to deal with them accordingly. Bullying relies on unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance which includes actions like making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

No matter what the reason is, bullying can have long-term side effects and problems for the victim. Bullying is more than just being mean; it’s hurtful and cruel. The brutal words and actions can create an impact on the heart and general behavior. If you notice that your child has begun to change their overall demeanor to a sadder, more closed off version of themselves, talk to them. They may be hesitant to open up but knowing you’re there when they do will help tremendously.

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

How Hollywood Has Shed a Light on Bullying | Corona, CA

In this climate, bullying seems to be on the forefront of everyone’s minds. From playground cruelty to the online rumor mill, we’re hearing more about bullying than ever, but are we getting better at helping kids and teens cope? Let’s take a look at how Hollywood has shown us various forms of bullying.

Mean Girls

Cady has been home-schooled for her first 16 years, so when she enters a public school for the first time, the movie introduces her (and us) to the complicated interactions of adolescent girls. She initially bonds with two social outcasts, who devise a plan for Cady to infiltrate the Plastics, a trio of popular girls led by the vindictive Regina.

Mean Girls brings shades of gray to the typical bully/victim paradigm. Everyone here is a player in an endless cycle of bullying and being bullied. When Cady succumbs to the pettiness and vanity of the Plastics, the movie shows how intoxicating popularity can be, and how easy it is to switch from victim to bully, and back again.

Dazed and Confused

Bullying is an institutionalized ritual that one Texas town implicitly endorses in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age film. It’s the last day of school in 1976, and upperclassmen are hazing the incoming freshmen as they leave junior high.

Dazed and Confused reflects ’70s culture, when this sort of teasing and initiation was seen as a natural part of growing up. To escape hazing, the logic goes, would be to miss a key character-building experience in one’s adolescence. Small acts of rebellion or revenge are permitted, but opting out of this ritual is never seriously considered: After the initial hazing, many kids begin to bond and form friendships with those who have just tormented them.

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