Feb 222011

stop bullying
Originally uploaded by misscupcake1

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown

Last weekend I attended both the Writer’s Workshops and the “Readers’ Day” at the Amelia Island Book Festival, treating myself to two full classroom days with remarkable and generous authors willing to show up and teach. Always anxious to become more literate in social media, I attended David-Matthew Barnes’ class on that topic.  After falling just a little bit in love with DM’s teaching style I decided to pick up one of his books for young adults.  I chose Mesmerized, a story about a young woman named Serena after her gay brother was murdered.

Interesting how and when people and their ideas show up in our lives…. Tomorrow is Pink Shirt Day — a growing anti-bullying awareness event that started with a single act of kindness.

As an advocate for kids and parents, I’m concerned about violence of any kind. Last year, as a result of contributing a few blog articles I connected with some wonderful family advocates, some of whom are becoming friends.

  • Annie Fox is an author and educator with a passionate yet common sense approach. One of the things I appreciate about her is a statement on her site that says “No one solution to bullying fits all; Anyone who says that is wrong.” I encourage you to take a look.
  • Marjie Knudsen is a Mom and the author of BRAVE: Be Ready and Victory’s Easy about Danny, who struggles with social anxiety. In addition, she’s wonderful connector. I’ve learned about a lot of great resources by following her on Twitter (@MarjieKnudsen).
  • Sam Horn, best known for her work helping others create the perfect pitch…. is also the author of Take the Bully by the Horns.

By its nature bullying isolates victims.  While it is an enormously complex social problem, it’s one that thrives in secrecy and feeds on silence.  I choose to believe that awareness is helps. Whether or not you know someone who is being bullied please reach out… share resources…. raise awareness. Feel free to add any resources you like in the comments.

Nobody can do everything…. but each of us can do something.


Jul 302010

By now, you must have heard about the value of eating dinner as a family. It is a valuable time during which families bond and share. If your dialogue ever gets mundane and you’re looking for a “pick up”, you might choose some of these topics to create new discussions.

1. Pick a current news story that is appropriate for your kids. Ask them what they think about it. What would they do to solve issues or problems, or create better circumstances? Done regularly, you will train your child’s brain on “thinking and problem solving”.

2. Have every member of the family share the best and worst part of their day. Push further to assess for what learning can come of these situations, how to repeat successes or make changes.

3. Ask your kids what they would do with a million dollar cash prize. If they stop at all the materialism, you could ask them how they would use the money for kind acts or philanthropy. Help expand their thinking beyond their own little world.

4. Introduce a word of the day and its meaning. Ask everyone to come up with a (humorous if possible) sentence using the word.

5. Ask them who their least favorite teacher is. Find out why and ask your child how they would do things differently if they were teaching. This will give parents a bird’s eye view into the classroom.

6. Ask your child who they ate lunch with. After you get the names, go deeper and ask your child what they appreciate about the person. Avoid asking what your child would change about another person. The only person your child can change is themselves and the sooner they learn this the easier they can manage their own life and stop fighting useless battles.

7. Ask your child to share interesting points in a book they are reading. Ask them to share why they find it so interesting. Sometimes parents can learn about new interests that impact their child. As new hobbies or interests emerge, parents can find new ways to support their child.

It is important for each person to have uninterrupted time to express themselves. It is also vital to respect each other even if there is disagreement. Parents can reinforce good ideas and challenge perceived weaknesses.

Most importantly, keep it light, have fun, and enjoy your dinner.

Keyuri Joshi (pronounced Kay-yuri Joe-she) is an Atlanta-based Parenting Coach and author of the On The Ball Parent blog. We are lucky to have her!