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Posts Tagged ‘Bully Prevention’

10 Random Acts of Social Media Kindness to Do With Your Kids

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Teach them how to wield the internet for good.

With the mere words “social media” striking fear in most parents’ hearts, it’s easy to get mired in the dark side of the internet: bullying and trolling and wasting time … oh my! We can’t keep our children off social media forever, however, so why not show them how to use the powerful communication tool to make people actually feel good about themselves? An act of kindness often leads to gratitude—and even scientists agree there are many benefits of that, including greater happiness, stronger relationships and an improved ability to deal with adversity. And what better time to start spreading online kindness and gratitude than National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17? To help you kick it off, here are 10 social media ideas you can easily do with your kids.

1. Leave a positive comment. There is no shortage of toxic remarks from faceless strangers, emboldened by their anonymity, left on social media posts. Combat that negativity and lift somebody’s spirits—whether it’s a family member, friend or a boy who happens to enjoy posting makeup tutorials—by taking the time to offer a heartfelt compliment.

2. Create an upbeat post. Social media is a popular place to commiserate about everyday frustrations. While that can be therapeutic, the sheer volume of frustrations we come across can also become tiresome. Inject some positivity by brainstorming a post that inspires hope, happiness and/or a giggle, whether it’s a quote or an original drawing, and creating it with your child to share with your followers.

3. Send an e-card. This might seem old school, sure, but most e-card sites (such as JibJab and Hallmark) also allow you to send a card via Facebook—a sweet way to let somebody know you’re thinking of them.

4. Write a glowing review. Maybe your family enjoyed a fantastic meal at that new Italian place down the street. Or the local dry cleaner went above and beyond to have your favorite dress ready by the next day. Posting a complimentary review on Yelp or Facebook can go a long way in bolstering small businesses. You can even ask your kids what their favorite local hangout is and write a complimentary review together.

5. Donate toys and clothes. Although it can be hard to pry old stuffies and shirts that have been long outgrown from the hands of little ones, work together to set aside some items to donate and post them on a neighborhood Facebook page and/or a page that supports local foster families (a quick search by city usually reveals them, if available). As a certain famous organizing expert would say, give them to somebody for whom they’ll spark joy!

6. Start a pay-it-forward chain. Perform a random act of kindness offline—such as putting coins in an expired parking meter or leaving coupons in front of corresponding products at a store—and post about it, encouraging others to pay it forward and share how they did so in your comments. Hopefully, they’ll encourage their social media communities to follow suit. And boom! Pay-it-forward chain: activated.

7. Support a cause. Talk with your kids about the importance of supporting charities and nonprofits, which are increasingly relying on social media for donations, and select a worthwhile cause that’s near and dear to your hearts to help by sharing their mission and/or donating. Perhaps go a step further and hold a lemonade sale—which you and the kids can advertise to neighbors on social media—and donate the proceeds to that charity online. We’d raise a cup of lemonade to that!

8. Express how much your teacher rocks. You don’t have to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week to shout your love from the rooftops. Encourage your kid to drop a sweet comment about his/her teacher on the school’s Instagram account or sing the teacher’s praises in an e-mail to the principal. Because every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day.

9. Share a blog post. If you’re a fan of a lesser-known blogger, raise their visibility by sharing your favorite blog post. It can be hard for bloggers to gain traction in a World Wide Web overflowing with animal videos and car rants, and you’d be doing them a solid by helping them break through the clutter. Try to pick a post you can discuss with your kids, if possible, and explain why you enjoy it—potentially igniting a dialogue about what kinds of online content make them happy (and try not to roll your eyes if they enthusiastically launch into why they can’t get enough of watching kids open Kinder Eggs on YouTube).

10. Thank a service member. Search for #veteran on Instagram, and you’ll find many public profiles of brave men and women who’ve served in the military. Let them know how much you value their sacrifice and selfless service to our country with a simple, appreciative note.

 

This article was written by Candy Kirby from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

The Goddard School Builds Confidence to Prevent Bullying

The Goddard Schools share the power of playful learning with community

Throughout 2011, bullying has been on the rise at all levels of education. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the nation’s leading preschool, The Goddard School®, is reaching out with a renewed vigor to help families discover the benefits of playful learning in early childhood education and how it can help prevent bullying. With their proprietary FLEX™ Learning Program, designed to build children’s self-confidence through play, The Goddard School hopes to break the cycle of bullying and halt a national trend.

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According to Dr. Kyle Pruett, child psychiatrist, published author and advisor to The Goddard School, the success and enjoyment that preschool children experience through playful learning contributes to the development of self-confidence. Confidence, along with strong parenting and learning to interact in a social group, are important factors in helping children manage bullying.

“Confidence comes from competence, and there’s no better way for a child to discover competence than through play-based learning,” said Pruett. “When children learn through play, they become independent thinkers capable of solving problems themselves instead of seeking help from parents or teachers. That’s a huge self-confidence booster.”

“The children in our schools are the leaders of tomorrow,” added Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc., parent company of The Goddard School. “Our teachers nurture each child’s self-confidence and foster their lifelong love of learning by incorporating teacher-planned and child-directed learning activities into each day. When children enjoy learning, they gain not only knowledge of the task or concept but a sense of personal accomplishment that prepares them for a successful journey through life.”

“Goddard Schools across the nation are hosting the Goddard Community Games on February 11, and all of the families are invited,” added Adair.  “There will be a variety of activities for children and their parents, and the focus will be on learning about playing well with others and accepting each other’s differences.”

Visit The Goddard School online at www.goddardschool.com/games.

The Goddard School Helps Build Confidence to Defeat Bullying

Preschool chain invites families to discover how playful learning nurtures skills to help prevent bullying

Throughout 2010, bullying has been on the rise at all levels of education. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the nation’s leading preschool franchise, The Goddard School, is reaching out with a renewed vigor to help families discover the benefits of playful learning at an early age and how it can prevent bullying. With their proprietary FLEX™ Learning Program, designed to build children’s self- confidence through play, The Goddard School hopes to break the cycle of bullying and halt a national trend.

According to Dr. Kyle Pruett, a child psychiatrist, published author, and advisor to The Goddard School, the success and enjoyment that preschool children experience through playful learning can help develop self-confidence. Confidence, along with strong parenting and learning to interact in a social group, is an important factor in helping children stand up to bullies.

“Confidence comes from competence, and there’s no better way for a child to discover competence than through play-based learning,” said Pruett. “When children learn through play, they become independent thinkers capable of solving problems themselves instead of seeking help from parents or teachers. That’s a huge self-confidence booster.”

Playful learning has been at the heart of The Goddard School’s core curriculum from the beginning. This approach to learning, which helps introduce children to new skills in a playful and engaging way, is supported by a growing body of research from Play for Tomorrow, the consortium behind the respected playful learning movement.

“We make learning enjoyable and we build in lots of opportunity for each child to experience the satisfaction of success,” said Joe Schumacher, CEO of Goddard Systems, Inc., franchisor of The Goddard School. “A key benefit of this approach to learning is its emphasis on building self-esteem and confidence as children try, and succeed at, new challenges. A confident child is much less likely to develop into a bully or to accept bullying from another child.”

To jumpstart this initiative, The Goddard School will be hosting the Goddard Community Games event February 5 in communities across the nation. The focus will be on fun and enrichment, but also teach children about playing well with others and accepting each other’s differences. The event will also give families across the nation an opportunity to join with their children in playful learning programs selected from The Goddard School’s enrichment curriculum, including Sign Language, Yoga, Nutrition and “Rock ‘n’ Tot” pre-dance and creative movement.

“In our preschools, playful learning activities not only equip children with specific skills and knowledge, but also teach them about friendship, compassion, cooperation and kindness,” said Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “In fact, as a part of this special day of fun and learning, the children will be involved in a ‘Good Deed’ – an outreach program that will benefit the local community. As we foster a sense of accomplishment and purpose in each child, we build a foundation of self-confidence that we believe is the best defense against bullying.”

To learn more about bully prevention in preschool and beyond or The Goddard School, visit http://www.goddardschool.com/games.

Learning to Play Together: A Parents’ Guide to Bully Prevention in Preschool and Beyond

In addition to their ABCs and 123s, preschool children are learning and developing life skills that will shape who they grow into as adults.  One of these building blocks is learning to play well with others and accept each other¹s differences.  Learning this at such a young age is critical, especially since, according to some research, bullying has become more common among two to six year olds.

Preschool-age children will often engage in unfriendly interactions with other children.  It’s the nature of growing up and it’s important to be able to identify the difference between this type of exchange and bullying.

According to Sue Adair, Director of Education at The Goddard School, “Usually, in a bullying situation, the child doing the bullying is intentionally trying to hurt or upset the other child.  A minor social spat is a normal occurrence in childhood play – ­one child grabs a toy from another and the other child cries.  This behavior is not intentional and situations like this actually help children learn to forgive and share.”

“At The Goddard School, we use The Goddard Guide to Getting Along to help instill the importance of courtesy and respect in our Preschoolers through activities, songs and guided dramatic play,” states Adair. “Since children at this age are still learning how to play together, is it an important time to teach them about friendship, compassion, cooperation and kindness.  Along with these traits, we believe the best way to prevent bullying is to build children¹s confidence.  Confident children tend to avoid being bullied and also avoid becoming bullies themselves.”

Tips for Developing Healthy Confidence in Children

  • Set the example. Ron Shuali, Founder of Shua Life Skills and author of Building the 21st Century Child: An Instruction Manual, stresses, “Teachers, parents and childcare providers should be aware of their own behavior all of the time.  Adults serve as ‘models’ for children who respect them and may wish to emulate them.”  Your child will pick up on whatever feelings you convey about yourself ­ whether good or bad.  Try to always speak positively about yourself and your child will follow.
  • Praise and encourage. No matter what your little one does, whether it’s a scribbled mess or a perfect reproduction of the Mona Lisa, be sure to praise them for their effort.  Every bit of praise and encouragement you can give is another boost to their self-confidence.
  • Develop a skill. If your child expresses interest in a particular hobby, help them master it by signing them up for classes or lessons.  As they develop this skill on their own, they will become more enthusiastic about learning and trying new things and feel better about themselves overall.
  • Trust. As your child grows, try entrusting them with age-appropriate responsibilities around the house.  Allowing your child to take on their own responsibilities will help foster their independence and allow your child to feel more confident in making their own choices and decisions.
  • Listen. What your child has to say is just as important to them as what you have to say is to you.  Remember this when your little one is trying to express their thoughts, dreams and fears.  Listen attentively and offer your own advice or guidance should they need it.