How parents can protect children from bullying

How parents can protect children from bullyingAs parents, we support and guide our children through many life lessons and oftentimes think back to our own experiences as a child. I remember my first year of middle school like it was yesterday — I had a pretty significant bicycle accident one month before the first day of school that year, and it left me with scars on my face and shoulder that still remain. Those scars were a perfect target for bullies: Names, laughs, talking behind my back — it all …Continue reading →

Making sure back to school doesn’t mean back to bullying

For some children, the start of school means the beginning of bullying. Thousands of students will return to school only to face intimidation and cruelty at the hands of their peers. For too long, this behavior, which includes not only physical and verbal torment, but also isolation and rejection, has been viewed as just kids’ stuff.

As adults, most of us can remember seeing or even participating in bullying behavior when we were young. Some of us even know what it’s like to be the victim — to be scared, to not want to go to school for fear of torment and abuse. Today, with the advancement of …Continue reading →

Tweeting to end bullying

It seems like every time I open a magazine, newspaper or turn on the TV there’s something about bullying. These bullying discussions recently were taken to a whole new venue – a live chat that I participated in on Twitter.

TwitterLast month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted an hour-long live Twitter chat with a panel of experts and advocates from across the country about bullying prevention. Dick Schafer, manager, program development and evaluation, Children’s Health Education Center, and I had the opportunity to participate as representatives of the American School Health Association. Topics of discussion included facts, …Continue reading →

Putting a stop to bullying

As an e-learning consultant for Children’s Health Education Center, I help teachers, counselors and administrators deliver BlueKids.org health education programs.

No topic is closer to my heart than bullying prevention. As adults, most of us can recall witnessing or even engaging in bullying behavior when we were young. Some of us even know what it’s like to be the victim, to be scared, to not want to go to school for fear of torment and abuse. …Continue reading this post

Why our school uses Bullyfree Basics

As an elementary school counselor at Union Grove Elementary School in western Racine County, I first learned about Bluekids e-learning from a booth at the Wisconsin School Counselor’s Association Conference. The programs caught my eye since I was familiar with the Children’s Health Education Center because I had coordinated a number of field trips for our students to its center in Milwaukee. I was impressed with the field trip programs, so …Continue reading →

A spotted zebra

As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we have many interactions and experiences with children. Hopefully, our time includes more good memories than bad. As parents, we unfortunately had a very bad experience occur with our youngest daughter, Kelly, who was diagnosed with bone cancer and passed away at age 11. During her short life, she was the one who taught us about understanding, respect, compassion and acceptance for others.

 It was not until after her passing that we learned about some of the problems she encountered with classmates and friends in school and after school. Those issues were a …Continue reading →

Milwaukee kids focus on the roots of violence to ‘Stay Alive’

Sixth graders in Milwaukee Public Schools are learning about interpersonal violence in a new way, thanks to Milwaukee firefighters, paramedics and community leaders. Project Ujima, a program of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, is partnering with these community groups to facilitate classroom discussions with young people about violence through a new program, “Staying Alive.”

To date, we’re really proud to say that “Staying Alive” has reached more than 500 students, with the goal of having all MPS sixth graders experience the program within the next two years. The “team” comprised of two firefighters and two Project Ujima staff visits school classrooms and talks to students about the roots of violence, strategies for avoiding violence, anger triggers and how to stay safe. Most effective are simulated activities like utilizing pulse sticks that show the kids their anger. The pulse sticks help students understand their anger triggers an actual physiological response. They also learn ways to calm themselves down when their anger has been triggered, and they can see the difference for themselves as they calm down. Role-playing with students illustrates real life situations in which they may find themselves, and it teaches them how to respond with out resorting to violence. …Continue reading →

Bullying goes high tech

As the youth development coordinator at Children’s Health Education Center, I work with teenagers who, on a regular basis, remind me that I am not as tech savvy as they are.  In fact, I’m not even close. I don’t even deserve to shuffle their iPods.

Changing your status on Facebook or posting a blog on MySpace, while as ubiquitous to teens as pep rallies or skin cream, can present unforeseen dangers. Bullying happens in every school and at every level.  However, unlike other forms of bullying, cyber bullying can prove to be more mean-spirited and dangerous because it is likely under the radar of school officials and parents.

…Continue reading →