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Month: October 2016

Welcome To Our House: Community

Welcome To Our House: Community

There’s a lot going on in the month of October. It is finally beginning to feel like fall, school is in full swing, and everything is pumpkin spiced. The start of October also kicks off National Bullying Prevention month which we would like to shine more light on. Each week, we’ll cover a new area of Bullying Prevention and how you and your family can share in helping us #StopTheBullying. Check out the first posts here.

 

“It takes a village to raise a child.” How many times have we heard this or seen it on a poster?

As parents, sure, we can all use a hand sometimes. Whether it’s carpooling when you just can’t get out of work on time or calling the babysitter when you have a million errands to run, we can all use a helping hand. As it turns out though, that assistance from a neighbor could be helping your child develop into a more successful adult.

Search Institute research shows that children who spend time around adults who model positive and responsible behavior grow up to exhibit those behaviors themselves. The more you do to prevent bullying in your community, the more your child and the children in your community will do the same.

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Here are some ways to get your community more involved in taking a stand against bullying:

  1. Start a kindness week. A project called Dude, Be Nice works with schools and communities to spread positivity. Try an at-home version of their “Dude, Be Nice week”.
    • Monday—Leave words of kindness and encouragement in different places. Write them on a sticky note and stick it on a paper towel dispenser or on a stranger’s windshield.
    • Tuesday—Invite a family in your neighborhood over for dinner to get to know them better.
    • Wednesday—Identify someone who may be underappreciated in your community and encourage others to write thank you notes to them. It could be a crossing guard, a teacher, a school bus driver, anyone!
    • Thursday—Attend a school organization, club, or sport that is not usually heavily attended and show your support. Cheer loudly, make posters, and bring your friends!
    • Friday—Recognize someone who is consistently nice and kind to others and let them know how much you admire them!
  2. Invite a special speaker to your next PTA meeting. Barbara Coloroso recently spoke at a town hall meeting in Alamo Heights and has a great talk on “the bullies, the bullied and the not-so-innocent bystander”.
  3. Create an anti-bullying board for your next neighborhood night out. Each person traces and signs their handprint to represent their commitment against bullying. Check out this one from Forsyth Elementary!
  4. As always, if you see something, say something. One of the best ways to spread change in your community is to speak up when you see something or if your child tells you about something happening to them or to a peer at school. A movement begins with one person!
Welcome To Our House: Support

Welcome To Our House: Support

There’s a lot going on in the month of October. It is finally beginning to feel like fall, school is in full swing, and everything is pumpkin spiced. The start of October also kicks off National Bullying Prevention month which we would like to shine more light on. Each week, we’ll cover a new area of Bullying Prevention and how you and your family can share in helping us #StopTheBullying.

 

When you buy a house, you always check the foundation; that’s just common sense. Then, you’ll check out the inner support system and framing. The foundation will keep the house level, but the framing will prevent the house from crashing in on itself, right?

Much like homes have a support system, so do we. We surround ourselves and our families with friends, relatives, and community members.  When it comes to bullying prevention, you can’t force anyone into action, but you can be a force of positive peer influence! Try a few of these things….

  1. Respect the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others. A study from the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University found that, instead of teaching “perspective-taking”, kids learn true empathy by learning how to understand, value, and respect the opinions of others, even if they don’t agree. Simple actions like waiting until the other person is finished talking before you start, actively listening to others, and discussing rather than arguing are all great ways to role model for your kids.
  2. Make the most of teachable moments. As a parent, you are surrounded with moments to teach your child. When you lose your cool (as we all do), teach the importance of an apology; no matter how small the matter may seem. When someone looks like they could use a hand, discuss being helpful and kind; even if the other person says ‘no, thank you’. Use everyday occurrences to role model for and teach your child important social skills.
  3. Say something when you see something. The best way to role model and prevent bullying? To be an upstander! If you see or hear, bullying, gossip or intentional exclusion, speak up. Show your children and those around you how to stand up for others and that bullying is not tolerated.
  4. Talk to your children about good behavior and being kind. Having a continuous conversation about kindness stresses the importance to kids. Ask your child to tell you one nice thing they did that day for another person. Talk about what to do when they don’t like or agree with someone and how to handle various situations. Brainstorm random acts of kindness to spread while you’re running errands together like paying for the coffee of the person behind you, leaving anonymous sticky notes with kind messages on them on a bathroom mirror, or placing coupons you aren’t going to use next to that product in the grocery store.
Welcome To Our House: Foundations

Welcome To Our House: Foundations

There’s a lot going on in the month of October. It is finally beginning to feel like fall, school is in full swing, and everything is pumpkin spiced. The start of October also kicks off National Bullying Prevention month which we would like to shine more light on. Each week, we’ll cover a new area of Bullying Prevention and how you and your family can share in helping us #StopTheBullying. Let’s jump in!

 

Think of the most beautiful house you’ve ever seen. Maybe the curb appeal is what stole your attention, maybe the floor plan is spectacular, or maybe it just feels like the home of your dreams. How well is your dream house going to stand with a cracked foundation though?

Bullying prevention falls the same way. We can say and do all of the right things, but if we are not fully committed to taking action, our programs and efforts are built on a shaky foundation. Here are some ways to begin to prevent bullying, starting with yourself.

  1. Pay attention to your inner dialogue. How much of what you say to yourself is something you would say to another person or your children? We can be our toughest critics, but being nice to ourselves makes being nice to others easier. When you start to bully yourself…ask these questions.
    • What emotions am I feeling right now?
    • Why is this troubling me?
    • What can I do right now to make this situation better?
  1. Take a deep breath. At times, you just need a break. Take the time to be aware of how your body feels when you’re stressed or happy or upset. When you begin to notice certain feelings or sensations, change your body position. Change your posture, take a quick stretch, or take 5 minutes to get some fresh air. Change your physical state to change your psychological state.
  1. Start each day on a positive note! There’s a reason we love watching videos of morning affirmations, they make us smile and feel good! Try listing 5 things you like about yourself in the morning. These don’t have to be tangible things, just 5 things you like about what makes you, you. Need an idea? This daddy/daughter duo has some great examples!