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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Day-Dreaming-of-a-Great-Future

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. “

– Thomas Jefferson

~

Let us not worry

About the future.

Let us only do the right thing

Today,

At this moment,

Here and Now.

Let the future take care of Itself.

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forms_of_bullying_mind_map

8 Kidpower Skills We Can Use Right Away

Written by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director


 

Most harm caused by bullying is preventable! This article is from Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe, our bullying solutions book used by many families, schools, and youth organizations to protect and empower their kids.

Unfortunately, bullying is a major problem in many schools and communities. Bullying prevention skills can protect kids from most bullying, increase their confidence, and help them to develop positive peer relationships. Here are some practices you can work on with the young people in your life now.

1. Walking with Awareness, Calm, Respect, and Confidence

People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.

Show your child the difference between being passive, aggressive, and assertive in body language, tone of voice and choice of words. Have your child walk across the floor, coaching her or him to be successful, by saying for example; “That’s great!” “Now take bigger steps”, “Look around you” “Straighten your back.” etc.

2. Leaving in a Powerful, Positive Way

The best self-defense tactic is called “target denial,” which means “don’t be there.” Act out a scenario where maybe your child is walking in the school corridor (or any other place where he or she might bullied). You can pretend to be a bully standing by the wall saying mean things. Ask your child what these mean things might be because what is considered insulting or upsetting is different for different people, times, and places.

Coach your child to veer around the bully in order to move out of reach. Remind your child to leave with awareness, calm and confidence, glancing back to see where the bully is. Let your child practicing saying something neutral in a normal tone of voice like “See you later!” or “Have a nice day!” while calmly and confidently moving away. Point out that stepping out of line or changing seats is often the safest choice.

3. Setting a Boundary

If a bully is following or threatening your child in a situation where she or he cannot just leave, your child needs to be able to set a clear boundary.

Pretend to poke your child in the back (do this very gently; the idea is not to be hurtful). Coach your child to turn, stand up tall, put his or her hands up in front of the body like a fence, palms out and open, and say “Stop!”.

Coach your child to have a calm but clear voice and polite firm words- not whiney and not aggressive. Show how to do it and praise your child for trying -even though she or he does not get it right to begin with. Realize that this might be very hard and triggering for your child (and maybe for you too).

Children need support to learn these skills. The idea is that your child takes charge of his or her space by moving away and, if need be, setting boundaries as soon as a problem is about to start – so that your child doesn’t wait until the bullying is already happening.

4. Using Your Voice

If your child does get into a situation where somebody is trying to push or hit or knuckle her or his head, you could practice by holding your child gently and acting as if you are going to do the action gently. Coach your child to pull away and yell NO! really loudly. Coach him or her to say “STOP! I don’t like that!” Coach your child to look the bully in the eyes and speak in a firm voice with both hands up and in front like a fence. Teach your child to leave and go to an adult for help.

5. Protecting Your Feelings From Name-Calling

Schools, youth groups, and families should create harassment-free zones just as workplaces should. However, you can teach children how to protect themselves from insults. Tell your child that saying something mean back makes the problem bigger, not better.

One way to take the power out of hurting words by is saying them out loud and imagining throwing them away. Doing this physically and out loud at home will help a child to do this in his or her imagination at school.

Help your child practice throwing the mean things that other people are saying into a trash can. Have your child then say something positive out loud to himself or herself to take in. For example, if someone says, “I don’t like you, ” you can throw those words away and say, “I like myself.” If someone says, “You are stupid” you can throw those words away and say, “I’m smart.” If someone says, “I don’t want to play with you” then you can throw those words away and say, “I will find another friend.”

6. Speaking Up for Inclusion

Being left out is a major form of bullying. Exclusion should be clearly against the rules at school. A child can practice persisting in asking to join a game.

Pretend to be a bully who wants to exclude.

Have your child walk up and say, “I want to play.” Coach your child to sound and look positive and friendly, not whiny or aggressive.

Ask your child the reasons that kids give for excluding him or her. Use those reasons so your child can practice persisting. For example, if the reason is, “You’re not good enough,” your child can practice saying “I’ll get better if I practice!” If the reason is, “There are too many already,” your child might practice saying, “There’s always room for one more.” If the reason is, “You cheated last time,” your child might practice saying, “I did not understand the rules. Let’s make sure we agree on the rules this time.”

7. Being Persistent in Getting Help

Children who are being bullied need to be able to tell teachers, parents, and other adults in charge what is happening in the moment clearly and calmly and persistently even if these adults are very distracted or rude – and even if asking for help has not worked before. Learning how to have polite firm words, body language and tone of voice even under pressure and to not give up when asking for help is a life-long skill.

We have found that practice is helpful for both children and adults in learning how to persist and get help when you need it. Here is one you can do with your child.

Pretend to be a teacher or someone else who your child might expect help and support from. Tell your child who you are pretending to be and where you might be at school. Have your child start saying in a clear calm voice, “Excuse me I have a safety problem.”

You pretend to be busy and just ignore your child! Coach him or her to keep going and say: “Excuse me, I really need your help.”

Act irritated and impatient and say, “Yes. what is it now?” and keep being busy.

Coach your child to say something specific like, “The girls over there are calling me names and not letting me play with them. I have told them I don’t like being called names and that I want to play but they won’t listen. ” or “Those boys keep coming up and pushing me. I have tried to stay away from them but they keep coming up to me and won’t leave me alone.” At school, teachers want children to try to solve their problems first. However, adult intervention is needed if this does not work.

You say: “That’s nice!” as if you heard but did not actually listen. This is very common for busy adults.

Coach your child to touch your arm and keep going “Please, to listen to me this is important”. Now you get irritated and say “Can’t you see I’m busy!?”

Tell your child that sometimes adults get angry and don’t understand but not to give up in asking for help and to say the specific problem again: “I do not feel safe here because (state specific problem again) ______________.”

You minimize and say: “What’s the big deal? Just stay away from them.”

Coach your child to persistent and say again, “Having this happen is making me feel bad about going to school. Please, I really need you to listen.”

Now change your demeanor so that your child can see you are listening and understanding and say “Oh! I am sorry I yelled at you and I am glad you are telling me. Tell me more and we will figure out what to do.”

Remind your child that, if the adult still does not listen, it is not his or her fault, but to keep asking until someone does something to fix the problem. Tell your child to please always tell you whenever she or he has a problem with anyone anywhere anytime. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of adults to create safe environments for the children in their lives and to be good role-models for our children by acting as their advocates in powerful respectful ways.

8. Using Physical Self-Defense as a Last Resort

Children need to know when they have the right to hurt someone to stop that person from hurting them. At Kidpower, we teach that fighting is a last resort – when you are about to be harmed and you cannot leave or get help.

However, bullying problems are often not as clear-cut as other personal safety issues. Families have different rules about where they draw the line. Schools will often punish a child who fights back unless parents warn the school in writing ahead of time that, since the school has not protected their children, they will back their children up if they have to fight.

Learning physical self defense helps most children become more confident, even if they never have to use these skills in a real-life situation. Just being more confident helps children to avoid being chosen as a victim most of the time. There are different self defense techniques for bullying than for more dangerous situations — let your child practice a self defense move like kicking someone in the shins, pinching someone’s leg or upper arm, or hitting someone in the chest. You can practice in the air or by holding a sofa cushion. Consider sending your child to a class like Kidpower.

– About the Author

Kidpower Founder Irene van der Zande has been featured as a child safety expert by USA Today, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young PeopleBullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safeand the Kidpower Safety Comics series. Kidpower is a non-profit organization established in 1989 that has protected over two million people of all ages and abilities from bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence locally and around the world. Services include in-person workshops in California and other locations, an extensive free on-line Library, affordable publications, and consulting. Please contact safety@kidpower.org for more information.

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“Cyber bullying” is defined as a young person tormenting, threatening, harassing, or embarrassing another young person using the Internet or other technologies, like cell phones.

The psychological and emotional outcomes of cyber bullying are similar to those of real-life bullying. The difference is, real-life bullying often ends when school ends. For cyber bullying, there is no escape. And, it’s getting worse. Read on to get the facts.

  1. Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once.
  2. 70% of students report seeing frequent bullying online.
  3. Over 80% of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most common medium for cyber bullying.
  4. 68% of teens agree that cyber bullying is a serious problem.
  5. 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.
  6. 90% of teens who have seen social-media bullying say they have ignored it. 84% have seen others tell cyber bullies to stop.
  7. Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
  8. Girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying.
  9. About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once.
  10. About 75% have visited a website bashing another student.
  11. Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.

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Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Parental expectations can have a strong effect on kids’ motivation and self- expectations. While healthy and realistic expectations can encourage kids’ success, unrealistically high expectations can set children up for failure. Such unrealistic expectations can also lead to anxiety and discouragement when a child cannot live up to her parents’ goals. Likewise, low expectations can make it difficult for kids to see and achieve their full potential.

Perpetuating Family Patterns

Unrealistic parental expectations often stem from parents’ own upbringings. Mimi Hudson, M.A., R.C.C. of North Shore Family Services, explains that parents often try to compensate for their own unmet childhood needs by setting expectations for their children, based on their own experiences rather than on their child’s needs. For example, parents who were disappointed with their own academic performance might emphasize high academic achievement in their own children. Overall, parents must be aware of their children’s unique needs and strengths, as well as to exercise self-awareness when establishing expectations.

Self-Concept

Parents’ expectations for their children can affect the way that kids perceive their own abilities and potential. For instance, if parents have different expectations for how girls and boys behave, children will often internalize these behavioral expectations. While these parental beliefs can be positive in some cases, they also have the potential to negatively influence a child’s perception of herself, particularly if the parents’ wishes are not congruent with the child’s.

Self-Discipline

Parental expectations are a cornerstone of discipline in kids. When paired with loving, supportive attitudes, setting clear behavioral and academic expectations for children can help them learn manners, social skills, study skills and other tools they will need to succeed in school and in society. However, for expectations to lead to positive behaviors, parental rules and ideas about proper behavior must be age-appropriate and consider the child’s maturity level and skills. If rules are expectations far exceed a child’s abilities, this may create anxiety or insubordinate behaviors. Thus, parents should consider each child’s unique skills and limitations when establishing expectations.

Academic Success

Parental expectations can have a strong, positive effect on children’s academic success. In a study conducted published by the Harvard Family Research project, Professor William H. Jeynes of California State University at Long Beach found that parental expectations affected children’s academic outcomes more than other types of parental involvement, including attendance of school events and clear rules. Thus, establishing healthy academic expectations and communicating these expectations to kids can be an important key to fostering success in school.

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bad corner

dogggggggggggggggggg

naughtykitty

Boy sticking out his tongue at the camera. Photograph: Inspirestock Inc./Alamy
Behaviour in the first few weeks of school can fix a child’s reputation among teachers, parents and classmates for years, according to research out today. A five-year-old labelled “naughty” after a handful of incidents could find it hard to be seen as “good”, no matter how they tried.

Inability to sit still, disrupting queues or failing to comply with requests, could result in a poor reputation, and teachers sometimes made assumptions based on a child’s family background, said the researchers.

“Reputations can start to solidify within the first term,” said Maggie MacLure, professor of education at Manchester Metropolitan University and co-author of the study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. “Teachers will have decided in a broad way what kind of child this is. Is it a good child? Things that contribute to reputation are often very public. A lot of what happens is in whole class settings – so if children are disciplined others see it happen.”

The result, said MacLure, was that other children and their parents started to view the pupils in a similar way. She said teachers were well-intentioned but “the views form quickly in quite a nebulous way. If children go on to another class, their reputation could transfer with them just because one teacher writes a little note saying ‘This child has difficulty concentrating’ or ‘This child won’t sit still’.”

Siobhan Freegard, founder of the website Netmums, knows of many children who struggled to shake their reputation. “One little boy in my older son’s class found it really hard to sit still and control himself. Then, when they were 10, somebody snapped someone else’s pencil and all the children said he did it. Soon all the parents were talking about it, but it turned out he wasn’t even in the class at the time.” Another boy had earned the label of class clown and still could not shake it at 13.

Freegard said it was particularly tough for “summer babies” born in July and August. They can be a full year younger than others in class and significantly less mature, so are more likely to act up in the first term and earn a poor reputation.

Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said the transition from home to school could be very difficult, and he had also seen pupils develop reputations. “It does happen. Someone is talking in assembly and you immediately look for Sean because it is usually him.” But forging a strong link with a child’s parents could turn pupils from being seen as “troublemakers to being contributors to the class”.

The study finds that adults have a notion of what a “proper” child should be, but learning to behave in a way appropriate for a classroom was tough for four- and five-year-olds. “Being good is not a simple matter,” it concludes. “Children need interpretative skills to decode and comply with requirements such as ‘sitting nicely’. They must be able to compete for teachers’ attention and approval according to the rules and handle disappointment when they do not win… They must learn to perform the emotions and moral qualities valued in the reception class, and accept that other, less ‘appropriate’, emotions may not be equally recognised.”

Some found it more difficult than others to be a “proper” child, and there was little tolerance for varying behaviour, partly because of the pressure to ensure pupils performed academically.

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1918

For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
“Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet.”

We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather’s whip tapped his hat.
“Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day.”
And I said it and bowed where I sat.

Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
“Always offer everyone a ride;
don’t forget that when you get older,”

my grandfather said. So Willy
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?

But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when Willy whistled he answered.
“A fine bird,” my grandfather said,

“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he’s spoken to.
Man or beast, that’s good manners.
Be sure that you both always do.”

When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people’s faces,
but we shouted “Good day! Good day!
Fine day!” at the top of our voices.

When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired, 
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required. 

 

2132_bishop_large
Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) at the time of her death was respected as a “writer’s writer” on account of her technical mastery and exemplary patience and dedication to her craft. Since then her reputation has risen steadily until she has become one of the major figures of 20th century American poetry. 

She was born into a comfortable home in Worcester, Massachusetts, her father being a business executive with a successful family-owned construction firm. However, this security disappeared with the death of her father when Bishop was only 8 months old, and the subsequent mental illness of her mother who was permanently institutionalised in 1916. Though her mother lived in an asylum until 1934, Bishop never saw her again. She was brought up by a succession of relatives, firstly by her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia, under whose care she was largely happy, then by her paternal grandparents back in Worcester and finally by her paternal aunt in whose home Bishop remained for the rest of her education. In 1929 she entered Vassar College where she began writing in earnest and where she met the older and already distinguished poet, Marianne Moore who became the first of several poetic friends and mentors.

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School Kids with Signs

School can be fun, 
School can be boring, 
School bring friends, 
School bring enemies, 
School can bring rules, 
But do you break them.
School brings bullies, 
School brings work, 
School brings cheating, 
School you learn a new thing or two, 
School you try your best, 
School you never give up the test, 
School have teachers you might like or hate, 
School where you meet people new and old.
But education is most important choice of all.
Don’t you agree? 

ZaKyr Davis

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