Thirteen Reasons Why We Need Good Friends | Corona, CA

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have at least heard of the newest Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”. The basic synopsis is this: a high school student commits suicide, but before she does, she makes 13 cassette tapes with the reasons that led her up to committing the act. It is up to those she left behind to figure out that everything could’ve been prevented had they just been a good friend to her. Kind of makes you ask yourself – am I a good friend?

But what exactly makes one a good friend? If you really want to know, ask yourself what it is that you look for in your friends. Do you reciprocate those same actions to them? Here is a quick list of traits people look for when finding themselves a friend…how many do you do?

Honesty is the best policy. Trust is important in any relationship, but especially in friendships. After all, if you can’t trust your friends’ opinions, who do you turn to when you need them? Same goes for you. If your friends ask for an opinion, give them an honest one.

A friend ‘til the end. After trust is earned, loyalty is expected. If you hear someone is talking about your friend, stand up for them. Always remember the golden rule!

A shoulder to lean on. One of the most important aspects of friendship is support. Listen to them and give good advice. Being there for one another is the best defense against any kind of bullying.

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

Are You a Bully? | Corona, CA

BystanderWhen we think about the typical bully, we think of the big, tough kid on the playground who pushes everyone around. Sure, but those aren’t the only types of bullies. The cheerleader, the class clown, even the quiet kid can be a bully. Bullies can be any size, age, gender or grade.

So, what does it mean to be a bully? When someone uses words or actions to hurt someone who has a hard time defending themselves. Sometimes kids who bully think that it’s cool, but what is cool about hurting someone? Name calling, tripping someone, laughing at them, leaving them out, ignoring them on purpose – how can hurting someone possibly be “no big deal?” If kids think about why they are bullying, they can then deal with those reasons and change their behavior. Not only will they feel better about themselves, but others will think so too.

Do you think you are a bully? Do you think you know someone who is? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may want to rethink the way you treat others:

  • Do you hurt other kids on purpose?
  • Do you like to tease kids about how they look or act?
  • Are kids afraid of you?
  • Do you hit, threaten, or leave kids out?
  • Do you take or ruin other kids’ stuff?
  • Do you enjoy it when you upset other kids?
  • Do you blame others for your problems?
  • Do you say mean things about others, either in person or on social media?

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.

4 Simple Solutions We All Can Do To Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

Kids in classBeginning to foster a culture of caring, respect, and awareness starts with a few simple steps that make the biggest change:

1. Increase Your Own Awareness

Realizing when bullying is taking place is a necessary first step in finding solutions. By understanding the scope and roots of the problem, you will get an idea of how to start proactively working to address bullying, including teasing, name-calling, shunning, and physical intimidation or assault. Does your school, sports club, or youth group create a culture of respect, caring, and safety for everyone? Are children appropriately supervised during recess periods, lunch and before and after school?  Do educators have adequate support and training for addressing bullying?

2. Respond Forceful and Respectfully

If you see bullying take place or hear about it, remember that your reactions provide a context for how the kids involved will respond to and interpret the situation. Kids need to see adults being powerful and respectful in responding to problems. If parents or teachers get upset and overreact, kids are more likely to get upset and might even avoid telling adults about future problems. Staying calm, respectful, and persistent will make you more effective in talking to administrators, educators youth group leaders, or parents about their response to a bullying problem. Not everybody reacts in a helpful way when first approached so be prepared to persist.

3. Teach Your Kids Protective Skills

Positive peer relationship skills help to prevent and stop bullying. Tell your children that they have the confidence and power to walk away from any situation. Making safe choices like stepping out of a line or changing seats is sometimes all that is needed to make a bullying problem stop. Ensure that your child is persistent in getting help and is prepared to continue to ask for help even if an adult does not respond immediately.

4. Become Involved

Know what other parents and adults in your community are doing to stop bullying. Insist that your child’s school has a mandatory district-wide anti-bullying policy and educates their staff on diffusing and recognizing all forms and types of youth bullying. Write to your county- and state-level officials telling them of the seriousness of bullying and demand they make it a top priority in their campaigns.

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.

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. 

5 Reasons You Should Be Kind

It certainly seems that we live in an unkind world. I mean, just turn on the news or take a look at your social media feed. I often ponder if there are so many bad, depressing stories, why do media and social media choose to focus on them? Either way, you should still want to encourage yourself and other to focus on the positive aspects of life.

You can choose being kind and caring in an unkind world. There are many things, people and circumstances that can try to tear you down, shake you and break you. However, it’s your choice not to let them. You have the power to keep positive and move forward. Don’t allow others to prevent you from spreading kindness. There are many reasons for you to be kind, some of which include the following:

Being kind improves happiness. Not only does being kind make others happier, it can lead to inner happiness as well. There was a study that asked volunteers to preform five acts of kindness every day for 10 weeks. After the 10 weeks were up, they found that the volunteers were 25% happier than a control group. You don’t need to change someone’s entire life to be kind. Small acts of kindness are just as meaningful for the one receiving them. You can pay someone a compliment, hold a door open for someone or help a friend with a task.

Kind people are healthier and live longer. Research has long shown that people with positive emotions and attitudes may live longer and healthier lives. Several studies suggest that acts of kindness and the emotions they produce, such as happiness and contentment, may reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve sleep. Research has also revealed that the hormone oxytocin, which is a hormone that is released when your bond, plays a powerful role throughout the entire cardiovascular system. Kindness and bonding go hand in hand.

Kindness is quite contagious. Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of being kind is that you’re making others feel good. By making other people feel good, you’ll inspire them to want to “pay it forward”. When you perform an act of kindness, people around you typically take notice and your kind actions create a ripple effect.

Kindness doesn’t cost money. Being kind is something we can all engage in, anytime and anywhere. Being kind is a choice you make and it doesn’t cost a cent. Unfortunately, not all people realize it, but every second of your life, you have the choice be kind to others.

Kindness makes a difference in the world. People are usually kind to one another in attempt to make someone’s day better, and I assure the act of kindness does indeed make a difference. For example, caring and nurturing environments in schools makes children and youth more likely to excel. The same applies to work environments.

Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from performing random acts of kindness. Kindness has a positive effect on all areas of our lives. At the end of the day, kindness always prevails.

If you would like to help spread kindness throughout your community, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness.

 

4 Ways to Encourage Kindness in Kids

Nearly every single parent has probably said, “play nice, please” or “be kind to your bother”.  And I’m sure that most parents would agree that they want to raise kind and caring children. But is being kind something that can be taught?

Yes, however, most of the teaching is by example.

It’s our job to be great role models to better mold a kinder generation, as kindness isn’t taught, but rather learned. Verbally telling someone to be a kind and caring can only go so far, and with children words typically go in one ear and out the other.

The following list includes four ways to encourage kindness in kids:

  1. Walk the walk. Children understand the concept of kindness through daily interaction with their families. The way speak to others and your children even when tired are how they learn how to treat other people. So be sure to be the person you’d like you’d like your child to be.
  2. Talk the talk. Encourage your child with kind language. It’s been said that learning empathy and language go hand-in-hand. Kindness is essentially having the ability to take another person’s perspective and then altering your language and actions accordingly. When talking to children of a young age, make sure to speak positively and know how to word things in such a way that don’t demean another person.
  3. Reward big acts of kindness. It’s important to take notice of the “uncommon acts of kindness”, such as when your child builds a lemonade stand for a good cause or they go out of their way to help another person. However, you shouldn’t reward your children every day for everyday helpfulness, like taking out the trash or playing nice. That everyday kindness should be expected of them.
  4. Take them outside their comfort zone to teach empathy. If children haven’t learned compassion and generosity by the time they are 18, it’s very unlikely that they’ll learn kindness in a lecture hall. Young people should interact with people of all backgrounds, to learn how to “put the shoe on the other foot.” Take them out of their comfort zone to encourage personal growth for empathy.

Kindness should never be taken for granted. Teach your children how others should be treated. As the saying goes “treat others how you want to be treated”. If you would like to help spread kindness throughout your schools, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness (S.A.C.K.) at 866-459-7225 today. Or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about the S.A.C.K. foundation. 

What You Need To Know About Cyberbullying

Cyber BullyingWe’re in a day and age where the internet and technology has changed the way we socialize, and for the most part, these changes have been positive. However, there is dark side to the internet and social media forums that is in desperate need for our attention.

Unfortunately, social media can turn into an unsafe place when you turn to them for decompressing. In today’s world, social media can has turned into a place for bullying, commonly know as cyberbullying.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology; this could be a hateful text message, an insulting comment on social media, or an embarrassing photo or video. However, computer and mobile devices themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying, the person behind them are.

Sadly, this sort of bullying is happening more often than not. With easy access to social media and mobile devices, and the ability to stay anonymous has made it possible for cyberbullies to attack at all hours of the day.

How Cyberbullying is Different:

Those who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Furthermore, children who are being cyberbullied have a hard time escaping it.

  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. It can happen at any hour day or night, and can reach someone when they are alone.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and shared quickly with a very large audience. It can also be quite difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the original source.
  • Permanently deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts and photos is nearly impossible to do after they have been sent or posted.

Effects of Cyberbullying:

As mentioned earlier, cell phones and computers are not to blame for cyber bullying. Social media sites and cell phones can be used for positive engagement, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment purposes.  But sadly these tools can also be used to hurt one another. Whether you’re being bullied in person or cyberbullied, the effects are typically similar. Both real-world bullying and cyberbullying can have serious emotional consequences for both kids and teens.

Kids and teens who are cyberbullied are more likely to:

  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Skip out on school
  • Suffer from depression
  • To be unwilling to attend school
  • Receive poor grades
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Have more health issues.

Both kids and teens are often reluctant to report bullying, even to their parents. That being said, it’s extremely important for parents to keep an eye on their children and their behavior.

For more information regarding bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org to learn more about Simple Acts of Care and Kindness and our mission!

10 Simple Acts of Care and Kindness | SACK of Corona, CA

Have you ever had a day where one person’s simple act of care and kindness made your entire day? It could have been a simple smile in passing to a kind person holding the door open for you. There are several simple acts of care and kindness that could make someone’s entire day turn around, even after having a terrible start.

In this day and age bullying is occurring more often than not in schools, making a simple act of kindness that much more important now. No matter what shape or form bullying comes in, it can make people feel hurt, depressed and alone. It’s up to us as individuals to help show others kindness and positivity prevails in any situation. Here are 10 simple acts of care and kindness that could possibly turn someone’s frown upside down:

  1. If people around are gossiping about another, chime in with something nice to say about them.
  2. Smile at someone, just because. Smiles are contagious!
  3. Try to make sure everyone in a group conversation feels included.
  4. Write a little positive note to a friend.
  5. Talk and make the new kid at school feel welcome.
  6. If someone is being bullied, stand up for them.
  7. Give your seat up to someone on the bus.
  8. Make two lunches and give away one.
  9. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at lunch.
  10. Be kind to everyone, even if they are bullying you. “Kill them with kindness.”

Everyone one deserves with be treated kindly, so don’t wait another second to turn someone’s day around with a simple act of kindness. Think about what simple acts of kindness would make you smile and share those ideas with others. Let’s us all come together and contribute all sorts of simple acts of care and kindness.

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

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.