Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade we never expect to sit.” (Nelson Henderson)
In her book BE A GOOD IN THE WORLD, Brenda Knight offers 365 inspiring yet practical ways you can become the change you want to see in the world. Here are just three:
1) Develop more patience. When someone is rude, act with understanding instead of anger. We learn the most from difficult people. And by keeping your blood pressure and stress levels low, you’ll help your own health as well.
2) Don’t be judgmental. Be kind just because you can. It’s easy to judge others for their actions. We sometimes get so caught up in our own busy-ness that we forget others are busy too; they have rough days just like us, and they benefit from our kindnesses just as we do from theirs.
3) Go out of your way to smile at strangers, say good morning, say thank you, give a compliment, and listen attentively to someone who needs your ear. Do it because you can, because it feels great, because it makes someone else feel good. Don’t worry about a subsequent thank you; let thank you be a perk, rather than an expectation.
Tips, Tools & Solutions for Recognizing and Stopping Bullying in Social Media and Online (Excerpted from Affordable Colleges Online -see link below)
College cyberbullying can make simply leaving the dorm a nightmare. Understanding what it is and what drives bullies to do what they do can go a long way toward helping students figure out how to curtail the problem.
Most people know cyberbullying when they experience it, mainly because of how it makes them feel. But it can be tough to put the action into words. But make no mistake: Cyberbullying is just as devastating to the victims as traditional bullying is.
But sometimes cyberbullying is more subtle than personal attacks, and students might not realize they have been pulled into the web until they are dealing with serious issues related to it. In addition to saying mean or cruel things to someone online, cyberbullying also takes these other common forms:
— Hacking into someone’s account to pose as them and post embarrassing things
— Tricking someone into revealing personal information
— Creating websites or accounts that are designed to make fun of someone else
(Google name of site if the link does not open immediately.)
Facebook Bullying Prevention Hub
This comprehensive section of Facebook explains a great deal about online bullying and how to prevent it, including ways to report and block on Facebook.
FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
Bullying that includes serious threats should be dealt with appropriately, including a report to the FBI center for Internet crime reporting.
Information about Cyberbullying Laws
This constantly updated site offers information on what can be expected from laws in each state, as well as how those laws might help with reporting, blocking or otherwise stopping the bullies.
Instagram: Report Bullying
Offensive or inappropriate behavior on Instagram can result in the user being blocked. This is how to report the problem.
How to Report Cyberbullying
This comprehensive guide to approaching cyberbullying is offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Report Cyberbullying: List of Sites and Apps
Almost any app or social media site is listed here, along with information on how to report issues with cyberbullying there.
Twitter: Reporting Abusive Behavior
Those who are being abused or threatened through twitter can take these steps to ensure that the problem stops as soon as possible.
(See full article at: http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/cyberbullying-awareness/)
(See resources for younger children at www.blanchedudley.com)
The American Academy of Pediatrics calls cyberbullying the “most common online risk for all teens.” Parents need to know the facts about cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about or to another person.
Types of Bullying Online:
Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances.
Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group.
Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others.
Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages.
Cyberstalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats.
Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs.
Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online.
Cyberthreats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies.
Combatting the Cyberbullying Menace:
(See next blog entry: Part 2 of Online Bullying)
When our kids log onto the Internet, they enter a huge neighborhood with all kinds of potential experiences – good and bad – just a click away. For parents and other adults who want to make the most of the Internet (safely) for young children and teens, here are a few tips, some paraphrased from Barbara Coloroso’s The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander:
1. Don’t allow children to roam the streets, back alleys, and freeways of the Internet unsupervised.
2. Get all the up-to-date information you can on how to guide them. Browse your local bookstore or library. Talk to educators and other parents. Explore the Internet for resources. Talk to your kids about their Internet culture.
3. Learn the language and culture of these new neighborhoods. Ask your teen for help. Below are a few examples of acronyms. For more, see http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php.
HHOJ: Ha, ha, only joking.
LOL: Laughing out loud.
BRB: Be right back.
POS: Parent over shoulder.
YRDM: You are dead meat.
MF: My friend.
F2F: Face to face.
It’s important to know and keep up with the lingo your kids are using. Talk to them about it.
Below are some of the recommendations that I gleaned from experts in bullying prevention programs. The first set is geared toward children ages 4 to 9 years old and is discussed in more detail in my picture book, Siggy and the Bullies. The second set of options is excerpted largely from cyberbully411.org and focuses on online harassment. This information is probably most suitable for kids ages 10 and older. Please share with a young person you know.
• Stand up for yourself. Tell the bully to stop.
• Ask a grown-up you trust for help.
• Leave any place where you don’t feel safe. Tell an adult why.
• Make a new friend.
• Walk with a group of friends. Don’t stay alone.
• Remember that you are loved. Spend time with people you like and who like you.
Being Bullied Online?
If you are being cyberbullied, there are things you can do to stop it:
• Ignore the person. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to ignore the person and go on about your business.
• Log-off if the harassment is bothering you.
• Block or delete the person. If it is happening on Instant Messaging or some other place online that requires a ‘buddy list’, you can block certain users based upon their username, or delete them if they are in your buddy list. You can also block emails that are being received from specific email addresses.
• Change your information. If someone has hacked into your profile, change your password. If someone repeatedly sends you messages (like, ‘add me to your buddy list’ over and over), consider changing your username or email address.
• If there is a profile that was created about you without you knowing, contact the company who runs the site to have the profile or language taken off.
• If you are upset about what is being said, talk to someone you trust. Don’t feel like you’re alone. If you feel scared or overwhelmed, maybe even trapped, it’s definitely time to talk to an adult. Tell your parents or seek out other authorities like a minister, teacher, coach, school counselor, a youth group leader, or other adult family member such as an aunt or uncle.
Remember that God loves you. We love you—and you are never alone!
For more tips, check out WORDS WOUND by Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja.
I feel really privileged to join WURD in a live radio interview from the Philadelphia Library for the blind and physically disabled this Wednesday (July 30) at 11:05 A.M. We’ll talk about positive self-esteem and how my new book, SIGGY’S PARADE, encourages all kids to celebrate themselves in all their uniqueness. Hope you can listen in!
FYI – The MOJO Show airs on 900AM WURD in Philadelphia, online at www.900amwurd.com. My segment will air at 11:05 AM.
Written for all kids and parents–not just our special needs children–Siggy’s Parade is a lively and loving celebration of self, diversity, and inclusiveness. I hope to make this colorful little book available young children across the country as a fun reminder of the dignity and worth of all individuals.
“Siggy is a mockingbird with only one wing, but he has learned to march instead of fly and celebrate his unique self. Even though the mean blue jay twins, Vickie and Ickie, tease Siggy for being unable to fly, he’s too busy helping his friends appreciate their own differences to notice.
On National ‘I Like Me!’ Day, Siggy stages a parade for all of his friends to celebrate their unique disabilities too! He recruits Ruthie the Raccoon, who uses a shiny wheelchair, Tall Paul, a bear who is taller and skinnier than his brothers, and Penelope Pig, who wears hearing aides in her giant pink ears. With Siggy’s help, they, and other special needs friends, each learn to be proud of themselves for who they are and what makes them diverse.
The message in this inspiring tale is one of acceptance and understanding. Useful tips and suggestions for parents and kids at the end of the book help children learn ways to embrace their own unique selves.” (Age Range: 4 – 7 years)
BE A FRIEND, NOT A BULLY
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
SIMPLE AND REWARDING EXERCISE FOR KIDS OR ADULTS
List the names of as many friends as you can whose names begin with the letters below. If you can’t fill all the blanks, ask someone you like to help you think of more names. Have fun trying to think of friends–old and new!
Select three friends who might need to hear a kind word or receive a show of support. Do something nice for each of the three, or say something kind to offer encouragement.
(My little friend and goddaughter in the photo needed cheering up when her pet rabbit fell ill. Thankfully, her rabbit recovered within a few days.)