September Is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month | Corona, CA

Now that we are smack-dab in the middle of back-to-school season, it is important that parents are sensitive to our children as they report the day’s events. Keeping an eye on their daily attitudes will help catch any signs of depression or adverse effects from fights with friends or bullying.

It is a fact: one in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Sadly, children are cruel when it comes to physical differences, so unfortunately, a child suffering from obesity is likely to suffer from bullying. It is important to teach your child not to let words affect them, but it is also important as parents to prevent unhealthy lifestyle choices for our tiny humans. Thankfully, childhood obesity can be prevented. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for kids to eat healthier and get more active.

How can National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month make a difference? We can all use this month to raise awareness about the obesity epidemic and show people how they can take steps toward a solution. Celebrate this health awareness month with these tips:

  • Make small changes as a family, like keeping fresh fruit or going on a family walk after dinner.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make schools a healthier environment for every child by providing healthy food options, daily physical activities and lessons about bully prevention.

If you would like to learn more about National Childhood Obesity Month, 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.

August Marks Family Fun Month

Each and every year, Family Fun Month is celebrated throughout the entire month of August. It’s the perfect opportunity for many families to enjoy each other company, while engaging in fun-filled activities.

Fortunately, summer is a perfect time of the year where you can partake in several fun activities with your entire family. Family Fun Month is a wonderful time to take advantage of enjoying your families company, while bonding over whatever activity you all choose to partake in. To help you out, I’ve compiled a list so you can get an idea of what sort of fun you can have with your family this summer!

  1. Order pizza and watch a movie in your backyard.
  2. Take a trip to the beach and collect sea shells.
  3. Take a day trip to the zoo to learn about the animals.
  4. Go on a camping trip to a new and exciting place.
  5.  Learn about stargazing and then try to identify as many constellations as you can.
  6. Pretend to be pirates for a day. Dress up, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
  7. Throw a backyard luau with family and friends.
  8. Have a themed karaoke night.
  9. Cook a delicious meal together.
  10. Bake cookies to make ice cream sandwiches.
  11. Have a little picnic at your local state park.
  12. Take a family bike ride.
  13. Go hiking in your local national forest.
  14. Have a water balloon fight.
  15. Take a family vacation to somewhere new.
  16. Have a talent show night.
  17. Take a fishing trip.
  18. Enjoy a backyard campfire and tell ghost stories.
  19. Build a fort in your backyard.
  20. Volunteer at an animal shelter or nature center.

There’s plenty of ways to enjoy Family Fun Month, so don’t let this summer slip by without spending some fun filled quality time with your family. You can create a bucket list out of a few of these ideas, and even add a few of your very own as well. Make this one of the most memorable summers, so your children remember it their entire lifetime!

We here at Simple Acts of Care and Kindness want both you and your entire family to make the most of your summer! To learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness, contact us at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about the S.A.C.K. foundation. 

What To Do If Your Child is Being Bullied

It’s extremely important that you talk to your children about bullying. Explain to your child what bullying is and tell him or her that it is never okay to be a bully. Not only can bullying make a child’s daily life very difficult, but it can also affect them down the road in life.

If your child is being bullied, there are a few things you as a parent can do about the situation, starting with telling him or her that it is not their fault. If your child approached you about the bullying go on to praise him or her and assure your child that you will help.  The following includes what action you should take if you child is being bullied:

Provide them with comfort and advice. Unfortunately, we can’t put a stop to bullying as immediately as we would like, but we can provide our children with tips for avoiding such harassment. If your child is being cyber bullied, you can walk them through the steps of privacy settings or discuss staying off the internet for a while to avoid the bully. Teach your child how to stay calm when responding to the bully, as reacting may encourage the bully more. Some experts have said to remove the bully’s incentives. For example, if your child’s lunch money is being stolen, try packing them a lunch instead. There is no shame is taking the high road. You should remind your children that if your advice does happen to fail, they are in no way at fault or responsible for being bullied.

Contact your child’s school. After talking with your child about the bullying situation, you should contact your child’s school. Though your child may be able to keep things to themselves, adult intervention is a necessary step in bringing the bullying to an end. Be sure to discuss the situation with your child’s teacher or principal, and make it clear that you want immediate efforts taken on their end. Also, make sure to familiarize yourself with your school’s bullying code and any relevant state laws. If you feel that your child may potentially be in danger, you may also want to contact local legal authorities. Before you approach anyone, make sure that you know the bully’s name and the specific instances when the bullying occurred.

You, as a parent, should listen calmly and carefully if your child does approach you about being bullied, meaning you shouldn’t overreact. Yelling or crying may intimidate your child, and possibly stop them from communicating in the future. There’s no doubt it’s an emotional experience discovering that your child is being bullied, however your child’s comfort should come first.

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.

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 regarding bullying.

Take Action against Bullying Today | SACK of Corona, CA

teasing/bullyingBullying can stop but it won’t magically happen. According to research, if parents or caregivers gave their undivided attention to their children for at least 15 minutes, remarkable things can happen. Also, research has shown that children really do look up to their parents, but you shouldn’t need research to already know that.

Bullying can affect everyone around you. Whether you’re the target, a witness, or the person bullying, it’s something that creates fear, which affects your peers, your school, and sometimes the entire community. When we fail to identify and stop bulling as it occurs, we are essentially promoting violence. We are letting the bully get away with his/her actions, and making the victim feel they are not worth protecting. Be sure not to dismiss any acts of bullying, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take action against bullying and to keep our schools safe.

What Can I Do To Take Action Again Bullying?

  • Take the First Step- Get started by assessing your schools prevention and intervention efforts concerning student behavior, including violence and substance use. You may be able to help your school build upon them, while also integrating bullying prevention strategies.
  • Evaluate Bullying in Your School- Conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where is happens and how students and adults interfere. This way you can also determine whether or not your efforts are working.
  • Engage Parents and Youth- It’s important for everyone in your community to work together to send a unified message out against bullying. You can launch a campaign to make sure that the objectives are known by the school, parents and entire community.
  • Make Policies and Rules- You could create a code of conduct, school-wide rules and a bullying reporting system. This can help organize a climate in where bullying is not acceptable.
  • Build a Safe Environment- Aim to establish a school of acceptance, tolerance and most of all respect. You can use staff meetings, assemblies, class meetings, PTA meetings, newsletters to the families and even the schools website to help establish a safe and positive school environment.
  • Educate School Staff and Students- Integrate bullying prevention material into the school curriculum and activities. Also, train the teachers and staff the schools rules and policies. This will give them the skills to intervene persistently and appropriately.

For more information regarding bullying prevention, call us at 866-459-7225 or visit our website at www.simpleacts.org learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (SACK).

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