Stick’s and stone’s may break your bones, but words will never hurt you. I can’t tell you how many times this phrase was repeated to me growing up, especially through my adolescent years. No matter how many times I heard it, it never made sense to me. Because lets face it words can hurt, a lot. Words can be far more hurtful then a scratch or a punch. Over time physical pain heals and is easily forgotten. But the psychological effects of hurtful words have the ability to haunt you for years.
As we approach another school year I want to reach as many parents, teachers, and school aged children as possible. I want parents to know how to recognize bullying, stop bullying, and help their children move past being bullied. I want teachers to be more aware and sensitive to the effects of bullying and to keep their eyes and ears open. I want every school aged child to understand what bullying is and how they can prevent, help, and eliminate bullying by using their voices. Often times, parents and teachers have no clue a child is being bullied because children often don’t tell anyone.
As your kids return to school make sure you educate yourself, your children and their teachers about your desire to be involved in their lives in and out of school. I suggest becoming as educated as possible on the different resources and supports there are within your own community as well as on a national level. One government funded website called Stop Bullying is a great resources for parents and teachers.
I encourage you to talk to your children and you’re their teachers. The more open you are with your children about their well being the more likely they are to come to you if they are being bullied. If we stand up and say no, together we can stop bullying.
With cell phones, cable and the internet, people find less and less time to go out and associate with their neighbors in any kind of meaningful way. This creates misunderstandings, fear and sometimes ill feelings that don’t need to be there. Find time to walk out the door with the specific purpose of interacting with your neighbors. Get to know them. Even if you don’t know them, or feel they are not very nice, bake them some cookies, a pie or a loaf of bread, write them a short note – anything – and take it to them.
More than ever today, we need friends and hopeful positive feelings in our neighborhoods. We need to stop living in fear of each other, start taking care of each other and get to know each other. Some of my closest, most cherished friends began as misunderstood, pre-judged enemies!
It seems that summers are getting hotter and hotter and busier and busier! With everything we have to do during the year, it flies by with lightening speed! Just as we survive the holidays, anniversaries and birthdays – summer hits! Here are just a few suggestions to make your summer easier:
Drink plenty of water. There are so many options for fluid intake today. Water remains the number one best way to hydrate your body. It is important to teach your children to drink water – especially small children so they will grow into healthy water drinking teens and adults later. Simply drinking water makes you think clearer, helps with weight loss and keeps you hydrated.
Begin every day with an attitude of gratitude! Being thankful creates a positive atitude…..which creates happiness…..which creates positive forward motion!
Sit down and create a summer schedule for your children. If you don’t, you will spend the majority of your day being worried, frustrated and angry and your children will become resentful – all of which will create stress for you and your household.
Make a list for your children of projects you want them to accomplish during their time off. Make sure they understand what is acceptable and what is not.
Make a list of friends that will be acceptable for your children to hang out with or have over. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. No matter what happens or doesn’t happen – don’t forget to have some FAMILY FUN! It doesn’t have to cost money, you just have to be with your family .
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! Violence, crime, a failing economy, stRESS, STRESS, STRESS!! It’s everywhere! What can we do so that our level of stress does not break us, or our families apart? A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! You heard right, a positive attitude! Sure, it won’t fix anything immediately and sometimes it won’t fix the immediate stressor ever! So why have one? HAPPINESS! Because we all want to be happy – no matter what. When you are faced with uncertainty, challenge or pain whether physical, emotional or both, it doesn’t mean you have to be spiritually depressed to the point you can’t function! Or worse, you exaggerate the situation you’re in by making everyone around you miserable by constantly rehearsing all the bad things that have happened and constantly rehearsing the, ‘why I can’ts’ instead of the, ‘how I cans.’
Positive forward motion requires positive forward thinking. Simply put, all action begins with a thought. Therefore, if you spend all of your valuable time thinking about negative outcomes, THAT is exactly what you are going to get – a negative outcome. I don’t mean to downplay what you might be going through at the moment. I am suggesting, however, that you will do your best work, come up with your best game plan if you are approaching whatever situation you are in with a positive attitude! True happiness given any situation is a choice. It begins with your attitude. Sometimes we have to close our eyes and see things how they can be, rather than how they really are to gain enough positive energy to get through it.
Exercise! It is the one thing we can do everyday that will undeniably bring happiness, make us feel good and add years to our lives. Yet everyone goes through the overwhelming urge to lay down on the couch, sit in the most comfortable chair in the room and give in to the urge to do nothing! Try this…find a picture of yourself that makes you feel good about yourself – no matter how old it is. Hang that picture on your bathroom mirror. Write GO FOR A WALK across the bottom of the picture. Set your phone alarm to wake you up one hour earlier in the mornings. I promise that after programming yourself to systematically get up one hour earlier every morning, look at that picture and read those words everyday – you WILL get moving! Try it!