Hello, my name is Barbara Gilmour and I’m the creator of Cool Kind Kid®, fun social skills programs and products to help kids establish healthy relationships and to give them the tools they need to say “NO” to bullying. As many of you may already know, bullying has reached epidemic levels in the US.
- 160,000 students stay home from school each day because of bullying.
- 3 million students are absent each month because they don’t feel safe at school.
- This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones, and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people face today.
If you have a child who has been bullied, you know the negative effects it can have. You also know the frustration involved in getting your child’s school to not only recognize the problem but do something about it. Just as parents are frustrated with the schools’ lack of response, schools are frustrated that parents are not sending their children to school with the social skills tools they need to get along and succeed in school. In the middle of this is our children, who are suffering from the teasing, gossiping, exclusion, and other forms of bullying they experience every day. Kids just want to see the bullying end.
All 50 states now have legislation in place requiring school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, but most of those policies are reactive. Though it’s necessary to deal with bullying incidents as they happen, these reactive solutions aren’t getting to the root cause of the problem. As parents and educators, we need to address the root cause of bullying rather than put band-aids on incidences as they happen. We need to deal with this problem proactively rather than reactively.
Here’s a fun exercise you can do with your kids or students: I always tell kids that if they stay in their rooms 24/7, they don’t need to know any manners or social skills stuff. But if they come out of their rooms they will have to know how to get along with others. At home or in class, ask kids to make a list of all the places they go during a day. Start with getting up, going to the bathroom, getting dressed and leaving their room, seeing family at breakfast [or breakfast at school], seeing a neighbor when they leave the house, walking to school or riding the bus, getting to school, going to lockers, cafeteria, gym class, after school sports, riding or walking home, shopping with mom, getting dinner at fast food place, eating at home, doing homework, going to bed. Then ask then what manners or social skills they think they need in each place to have what you would call ‘good behavior.’ Then offer suggestions for things you think they might want to try doing in each place. I’ve found that kids want to do the right thing in all situations, and they especially want to please the adults in their lives.
If you would like to receive a free copy of this Cool Kind Kid My Day Activity that you can do with your kids, just send us your email via our website email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to send you a copy.