Child Protection Week Kicks Off with Launch of Anti-Bullying Campaign | Corona, CA

Bullying is a worldwide issue. Sometimes it’s nice to see how other countries are working to prevent it.

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published 10h ago

Johannesburg – Basic Education Deputy Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule has urged parents to pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school.

This came as the department launched an anti-bullying campaign.

The Department of Basic Education partnered with sister departments, social partners, and key stakeholders to roll out its school violence and bullying prevention initiative on Friday at Tshepana Primary School in Orange Farm.

Child Protection Week started on Sunday, and will run until June 6 under the theme, Let us protect children during Covid-19 and Beyond.

The intervention against bullying came after 15-year-old Limpopo learner Lufuno Mavhunga committed suicide after the release of a video of her being repeatedly slapped by a fellow learner last month. After the incident, bullying and violence in schools took centre stage in the national conversation on safety in schools.

Speaking at the launch, Mhaule spoke about the importance of parents and guardians playing a role in school activities and being equipped with tools to make a meaningful contribution to the success of their children.

“Sometimes when incidents happen, we indicate that the child did speak but we did not listen and we did not take it seriously. I am saying to the parents, let’s observe the attitude and behaviour of our children,” she said.

Mhaule added that if parents saw their children behaving badly or they did not want to go to school, they must dig deeper in case it was related to bullying.

“Parents must pay attention to the behaviour of their children and speak to them regularly about school,” she said.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Pinky Kekana, cautioned parents about giving their children cellphones too early and the risk they might have to their well-being.

“Your behaviour on social media is very important. There are dos and don’ts. If you know you cannot say something to someone face-to-face, don’t say it on social media,” Kekana told the learners.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Njabulo Nzuza, spoke to the learners about the ID registration services that the department brought to the community.

“It might seem like a very small issue having an identity, an ID number, ID document or even a birth certificate. If you don’t have an ID number, you become what they call invisible, and even after you have passed on in life, not even your great-grandchildren will know you existed,” the deputy minister said.

During the launch, the department revealed a mural at the school, which would serve as a reminder to learners that with every right, as set in the Constitution, came responsibilities.

“We call on all learners to appreciate that their rights are inseparable from the duties and responsibilities towards others,” it said.

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

Anti-Bullying Webcasts | Corona, CA

Being in a pandemic is not only rough on us mentally; but can also begin to take a toll on our relationships. Thankfully, there are lots of resources you can turn to if you feel that you or someone in your life is being affected by bullying. The more information we can gain about how to actively treat a situation, the easier it will be to correct a bad situation before it gets out of hand and causes more issues. Here are just a few webcasts to give you some handy tips:

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be an Upstander

Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Families: Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

We believe that all persons have the right to live life as the persons they are, with their similarities and differences to others, and not live in fear of being bullied.  This webcast shares a little bit about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help family members support the individual with special needs who is a part of their life.

Anti-Bullying Strategies and Supports for Educators:  Supporting Individuals with Special Needs

Did you know that 60% of students with disabilities report being bullied compared with 25% of students without disabilities? This is why we need to focus on how to help the students who are usually the most vulnerable in schools. This webcast shares information about bullying in general, how it applies to individuals with disabilities, and some ideas that can help school staff support the individual with special needs.

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

Making Friends in a New School Age | Corona, CA

Going back to school can spark many emotions. Going back to school during a pandemic can make adjusting take some time. It’s tough having to deal with new schedules and ways of learning, even tougher to figure out how to make new friends. Here are some quick tips:

Smile. Smiles make you seem friendly and approachable. They make others feel special.

Make eye contact. When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying. People like being respected.

Say hello. Greet classmates you haven’t talked to before – hello is the first step toward making a new friend.

Be involved. Extracurricular activities are opportunities to meet others who like the same things you do.

Ask for advice. If you’re having trouble making friends or keeping friends, turn to people you respect for helpful suggestions to solve your difficulties.

Be a good friend. Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

Trust is key. Keep your friends’ secrets and confidences, no matter how tempting telling others might be.

Be truthful. Lying might feel less scary, easier, or even better but more often than not, the truth eventually comes out and makes the situation much worse than if you initially told the truth.

Speak up. If you hear others talking negatively about a person or group, tell them you feel uncomfortable and stand up for the victim.

Apologize. If you hurt someone or mistakenly do something you shouldn’t have, a sincere “I’m sorry,” without excuses, is the first step to moving forward.

Relax. Nobody does friendship perfectly or knows exactly what to do when it comes to making and keeping friends. Take a deep breath and jump right in!

Back-to-School with Coronavirus | Corona, CA

Summer is officially coming to a close and it’s time to start preparing for a new school year. But what kind of school year are we preparing for? With this new way of getting an education, there are going to be lots of changes to look forward to. 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. If you are going to be exposed to in-house classes, there will be lots of changes to the typical classroom experience. Take advantage of any of your school’s open house or back-to-school night. Some teachers welcome phone calls or e-mails — take advantage of the opportunity. Open house is also 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. If there’s a change for a socially distant play date, it could help ease fears about the changes.

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. We have been living inside for a long time now, schedule changes will take a minute to get used to. Balancing in-house and home school sessions will take some time.

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

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.

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.

When Bullying Affects Our Bodies | Corona, CA

During this stressful time in our lives, it is important for us to look after one another more than it ever has been before. Not only is there no school or activities available but staying inside all day can become an issue for families living in close quarters. Bickering and rough housing is bound to happen, but that is completely natural. What isn’t natural is bullying others online or otherwise. Not only is it mean, but it affects the bullied more than one may think. Not only does bullying have a huge emotional impact for those on the receiving end, but it can have a significant adverse effect on health, both in terms of current and future health.

Mentally. Anyone who has ever been bullied knows the stress that it can bring to your life. This anxiety also leads to insomnia and disturbed sleep, which not only impacts on how we perform, but how we feel. Your mood becomes depressed, including a loss of confidence and reduced self-esteem.

Physically. Feelings of fear increases its production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which trigger a number of changes within the body. General muscle pain and headaches is commonly experienced by those who are bullied. Abdominal pain, nausea and altered bowel habits are also commonly reported by people who have experienced bullying, as some bullied will have radical weight changes. Studies also show that when stressful situations are more prevalent, colds, flu, sore throats and chest infections are more likely to occur, as our white blood cells are not adequately prepared to fight the bacteria and viruses that cause these before they take hold.

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

Keeping Everyone in a Routine | Corona, CA

If you’re like the majority of us, the days of you and your family were planned out and jam-packed with activities. Sports, PTA meetings, hitting the gym we always had somewhere to go and something to do. These days, however, our activities have taken a back seat to self-quarantines. But this is a time to have a sense of normalcy, so our daily routines should remain as normal possible. Here are some tips:

Give yourself time. How many times are we tempted to hit the snooze button over and over? Working from home isn’t time to lounge around in bed. Use that time to get up, make a cup of coffee or catch the morning news before the kids are awake.

Prep the night before. Take a moment the night before to help your kids set out clothes for the next day and their schoolwork ready. Meal prep to keep routines in place. These little things won’t take you long during the evening but can make a huge difference to your mornings.

Write it down. It’s always easier to stay organized when you know what you need to do. Create an age-appropriate chores/responsibilities checklist for the refrigerator to ensure everything you need gets done.

Set daily goals. Now that we have the time, make goal setting a family affair. Have family talks about what they want to accomplish that day, and help them set realistic, enjoyable goals.

Stay calm. Finally, don’t sweat it if things don’t do exactly as planned. It’s an uncertain time, but there is no need to overreact to the changes. Keeping calm will also help your little ones to cope with things easier.

If you would like to learn more about coping mechanisms, 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.

Bullies Hurt Themselves too | Corona, CA

These days, it is easier to find bullies than heroes. But it shouldn’t be the way and we should focus 2020 on becoming a more tenderhearted society. Because bullying doesn’t just affect the victim, it affects everyone involved, including the bully. I know it may be tough to make sense of all of that, but if you think about it, it really isn’t tough to see. If you are a happy person, you have no reason no bully anyone. No, bullies are generally hurting themselves at the same time. 

Think about it – each time a bully hurt someone, they become more and more removed emotionally from the suffering and pain of their victims and begin to justify their actions to themselves by believing their victims deserve to be bullied. Eventually, they believe that the only way to get what they want from others is to be that bully. As a result, bullies fail to develop the social skills necessary for sharing, reciprocating, empathizing, and negotiating – the very things that form the basis for lasting friendships.

But that’s not all. There is a lasting affect that results if a child bully doesn’t change their ways. As they mature into adulthood, children who have bullied others often show higher rates of:

  • Aggression
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Carrying weapons to school
  • Dropping out of high school
  • Convictions for crime
  • Difficulty controlling their emotions
  • Traffic violations
  • Convictions for drunk driving
  • Depression
  • Suicides

Some adults who have been bullied as children may be more likely to allow their own children to bully others, thus raising a new generation of bullies. So, if you know a bully, take the time to reach out and understand why they feel the need to bully.

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.