My passion for the last 20 years has been to help young children learn how to interact with each other so bullying doesn’t happen. Bullying is such an epidemic now that we must find a way to stop it. But first we must understand the bullying cycle. It’s already been established by research that has shown that the cycle begins with rudeness or incivility. I’m sure you have all witnessed or experienced road rage. Or perhaps you’ve been enjoying a nice dinner in a restaurant where someone’s kids are screaming and running around while their parents are oblivious to their behavior. Or maybe you’ve been at a child’s sporting event where parents are behaving rudely, embarrassing their own kids, at a game that is supposed to be fun.
Rudeness Leads to Bullying
We may not think much of the incidents above when taken individually, but each contributes to the fact that most people [over 90%] consider rudeness a serious problem in the US. This rudeness or incivility often leads to bullying. This underlying lack of respect and consideration for others is the catalyst for sparking the bullying. The problem we are seeing now is that bullying can easily escalate into violence. Most of recent school shootings have been carried out by kids who were bullied. After the Parkland shootings in February of last year, I saw two reports relating bullying to the cause of the shootings. The first said that 2/3 of school shootings were caused by kids who had been bullied. The second stated that 75% of school shootings are perpetrated by bullied students. Later, I saw a report stating that over 90% of school shootings were carried out by kids who had been bullied.
Ending the Bullying Crisis
We are at a crisis point now where we have to deal with ending the bullying cycle. The good news is that we can start at the beginning of the cycle, the rudeness or incivility, which is the easiest part to address. Recent research has found that social skills, or social competence training, or social-emotional learning, at young ages, are the missing link in bullying prevention. This is good, old-fashioned manners; treating others kindly and with respect.
Cool Kind Kid has a Solution
Cool Kind Kid is social skills training for young children. We proactively give kids the tools they need to learn how to make friends, and to treat peers with kindness, acceptance, compassion and caring, with respect and empathy for all.
Here’s a fun Word Scramble you can do with your kids or students. There are 4 statements, each defining a word associated with manners or social skills. Each statement has one or two words that you can scramble. Kids have to unscramble the words to find what the definition is about.
1. If I learn MANNERS I’ll know the right things to say and do. [Scramble MANNERS]
2. The GOLDEN RULE helps me learn to treat others the way I want to be treated. [Scramble GOLDEN RULE]
3. I want to be POLITE and KIND so I’ll have many friends. [Scramble POLITE – KIND]
4. BULLYING isn’t cool! [Scramble BULLYING]