Bully Prevention at School | Corona, CA

It’s a scary thought, but bullied students are more likely to take a weapon to school, get involved in physical fights, and suffer from anxiety, depression and other health problems, both physical and mental. And research suggests that schools where students report a more severe bullying climate score worse on standardized assessments than schools with a better climate. This is why it is so important for everyone to prevent all types of bullying whenever possible. As a leader of a school, effectively addressing a bullying problem requires a culture change and it’s your duty to take the helm when needed…

Assess the issues. It is necessary to know what the problem is before we try to solve it. Take the time to survey students, staff and parents to find out how much and what type of bullying is going, as well as where and when, to target prevention efforts.

Enforcing a schoolwide code of conduct. Rules teach the right and wrong ways to behave. Having these rules reinforce school values and clearly define unacceptable behavior and consequences. Empower bystanders, teachers and especially students, for help by training them to identify and respond to inappropriate behavior.

Increase adult supervision. Most bullying happens when adults are not present, so make sure an adult is visible and vigilant in hallways, stairwells, cafeterias and locker rooms, as well as on buses and the way to and from school for students who walk.

Conduct bullying prevention activities. School assemblies, communications campaigns or creative arts contests are all fun, spirit-building ways of highlighting school values to bring the community together and reinforce the message that bullying is wrong.

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.

How to Make Friends | Corona, CA

The first day of school is always cause for some nerves. Where will you sit next to, how tough are your classes going to be, the list of worries can be long. But the most nerve-wracking thing is making new friends. Here are some tips to help you out:

Smile. Smiles make you seem friendly and approachable.

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. Hello is the first step toward making a new friend.

Reach out. Make a goal to talk to at least 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. 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 and ask for help.

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 seem like the easier thing to do, but the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse than if you initially told the truth.

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

Apologize. If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, apologize.

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

Why Students May Not Talk About Bullying | Corona, CA

Many of us know a child who has stayed home from school because they were afraid of being bullied – but you may not realize it. An average of 160,000 students around the country stay home daily out of fear of being bullied each day but do not tell an adult. There are 5 universal reasons why this is the case…

Don’t tattle. We have all been taught not to tattle, but it is vitally important that children learn the difference between tattling about unimportant things and telling someone when bullying is taking place.

Don’t make it worse. Children may fear that things could escalate if the issue is addressed.

Won’t be believed. Some children feel that they will not be listened to and that the issue will not be believed if they tell an adult or suggest it was self-inflicted.

Won’t help. A majority of children believe that telling an adult does nothing to stop the bullying. Sadly, research tends to support this thought. If children learn that adults won’t help, then they are not very likely to report the incidents.

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.

The challenges that children face when not telling adults that they are being bullied can be dealt with by having a bully prevention program in place in every school, as well as parents and adults talking to children about bullying and the importance of telling someone in authority when it happens, and treated in a positive light.

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

Just the Facts, Sir: Bullying Edition | Corona, CA

With as much media attention as has been given to the tragic consequences of bullying, one only has to read the comments section of online articles about bullying to really see that many adults still don’t fully comprehend the negative impact that bullying has on so many children every day. And unfortunately, there are many times that parents will be unaware of any bullying their child may be facing in their daily life. It doesn’t even matter where you live or who you are – there are bullies everywhere.

In order to fully grasp just how incredible bullying has gotten in the last few years, let’s take a look at some bullying statistics:

Because of bullying, 160,000 kids in the US stay home from school every day.

83% of bullying incidents receive no intervention and continue to happen.

Bullies are four times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult and often develop suicidal thoughts.

Male bullying more often consists of verbal and physical abuse, whereas female bullies use verbal abuse and social bullying by spreading of rumors.

Only half of educators have received training on how to handle bullying situations.

In a 2007 report it showed that nearly 80% of students who experienced bullying stated that it occurred inside the school grounds.

Verbal assaults amongst children more often target appearances and behaviors rather than race or religious affiliations.

33.1% of middle and high school students surveyed agree or strongly agrees that teachers can stop bullying.  And 2/3 of these students are not confident that they can get help from their teachers.

Approximately one out of ten Internet users aged 10-17 had been the victim of cyber bullying.

If you would like to learn more about bullying statistics, 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.

‘Tis the Season to Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

It’s the holidays – a time to be with our loved ones celebrating our love of one another during this festive time of year. But even the most joyous occasions can be ruined by a bully. Why would anyone want to spoil this magical time of year with bullying? Well, individuals 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.

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. Enjoy this holiday season bully-free.

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

Kindness Is Its Own Reward | Corona, CA

“A student isn’t a container you have to fill, but a torch you have to light up.” – Albert Einstein

If we know anything about tiny humans, it’s that they love to help. Whether it be sharing a snack or helping in the kitchen, if they think they can help, a toddler is first to volunteer. It isn’t because they were raised in any special way; science has proven that young children get a positive boost in their emotions when helping others. As they reach school age and other factors are introduced into their environment, it is important to continue to instill this good quality.

The world feels scarier every day, but it doesn’t have to be. Today is World Kindness Day – so let’s take a moment to do something kind for one another. And while you are at it, inspire a student to do the same. Children learn by example, and being kind feels good. The Golden Rule isn’t just a saying.

Kindness shouldn’t be forced or done only to get something back. The reward is the goodness you feel inside. Don’t teach sharing with a bribe. Like a smile, being kind is contagious.

Encourage students to be kind to one another by offering examples. Discuss ways to be kind. Hang inspirational posters. Be the friendly face your student can count on to brighten their day. Who doesn’t want to be a ray of sunshine?

Lastly, teach gratitude. Saying thank you when someone is kind to you is a kindness in itself. Not only does the giver feel special, but it makes them more inclined to be kind again. Eventually, there won’t be a need for a World Kindness Day. But until then…

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

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.