Can You Hear the School Bells Ringing? | Corona, CA

Summer is officially coming to a close and it’s time to start preparing for a new school year. We get our supplies ready in our brand-new backpack and set our bedtimes back in order to get enough sleep. But it can be a scary time for our little students – with the new classes and schedules to get used to. Let’s help our tiny scholar’s off on the right foot with these back-to-school tips:

Meet the new teacher. For kids, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is their new teacher. Take advantage of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — take advantage of the opportunity. If your child’s teacher sends a welcome letter, be sure to read the letter together.

Tour the school. Open house is a great way to get your child familiar with the new areas they will be using on a daily basis. Together you can meet their teacher, find their desk, or explore the playground.

Connect with friends. A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. Refresh these relationships before school starts by scheduling a play date or a school carpool.

Tool up. While keeping the class supply list 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.

Ease into the routine. Avoid first day of school mayhem by practicing your routine a few days in advance. Routines help children feel comfortable and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

If you would like to learn more about back-to-school preparations, 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.

Reasons Kids May Not Mention Bullying | Corona, CA

No one wants to be bullied. Growing up is hard enough as it is. Unfortunately, many times you don’t get the choice. It is estimated that an average of 160,000 students around the country stay home daily out of fear of being bullied each day. And more often than not, parents are unaware that the bullying is taking place. But why? Here are the top five reasons your child may not be mentioning that they are getting bullied:

Tattle tales. We are taught as children that no one likes a tattle tale. However, it is vitally important that children learn the difference between tattling about unimportant things and telling someone when bullying is taking place.

Retaliation. While the adult may be able to address the issue with the child doing the bullying at the time, but they aren’t always going to be around. There is nothing scarier than having a bully retaliate.

Liar, liar. Some children are skittish to tell an adult for fear of not being believed. Some will even believe that maybe they did something to bring the bullying on themselves.

No help. A majority of children believe that telling an adult does nothing to stop the bullying. Sadly, research tends to support this thought. Often kids are told to “toughen up”, or “that it is just a part of growing up”.

Shame. When children are bullied, they often feel ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings alone can keep them from reporting issues, because they don’t want people to know that they were being bullied.

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

Start the Year off with Simple Acts of Kindness | Corona, CA

The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean our kind acts need to be. In fact, on your list of resolutions, why not add simple acts of kindness? 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, making a simple act of kindness that much more important now. 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:

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

This year, let’s us all come together and contribute all sorts of simple acts of care and kindness. Bringing in a little bit of proverbial sunshine to someone’s life should be something everyone wants to do. Imagine the world if we did?

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

Recharge Your Winter Battery | Corona, CA

When winter break finally arrives, you have definitely earned some rest! However, the school year isn’t over. But relaxation and a plan of action to tackle the remainder of the school year are at the top of your to do list during your winter break. Recharging while structuring the remainder of your school year is a great way to hit the ground running in 2018 and upon arrival back at school. Here are 7 ways you can take some time to recharge over the holiday:

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

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.

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

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.

Take naps. Take every opportunity to catch up on your rest during vacation.

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.

Create an action plan. Once you’ve defined your 2018 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.

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

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.