Monthly archives: October 2015

Bullying vs Teasing – Do YOU know the difference?

Posted on Communication, Conflict Resolution, General October 26, 2015 by Mary George

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and school children all over the country are being talked to about this incredibly important topic. As I spoke with my children about their understanding and take aways of what bullying and cyberbullying is, I saw that they were gaining an understanding of it but were unable to distinguish the difference between teasing and true bullying as I am sure most of adults cannot either. If I said to you right now, “Give me a definition and example of basic day to day bullying,” could you do it? It is a very important distinction to understand these days as the word bully is thrown around in far too many situations where it is not appropriate and with serious consequences. 

So what is bullying? The definition given by states:

 – An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

 – Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

 – Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. 

The types of Bullying that occur:

 – VERBAL -use of words, statements and name calling to belittle, demean and hurt another person.  Gaining power and control over target.

 –  SOCIAL/RELATIONAL -sneaky and insidious types of bullying that often goes unnoticed by parents and educators  – sometimes referred to as emotional bullying.  Often within social groups and predominantly amongst girls between 5-8th grades.



 – PHYSICAL -Physical entails hitting, kicking, punching, spitting or tripping another child.


The difference between bullying and teasing gets very mixed because teasing, while many times is not meant to hurt another person, it can. Teasing is generally “to make fun of somebody.” This happens at school, between an adult and a child and between siblings. Teasing is meant to be a game in which harm is not intended unlike bullying where harm is intended to a weaker person. Teasing can come across as funny or playful by the person teasing but can be taken as hurtful by the person experiencing it. Teasing can be overcome by a person having a strong sense of self. Having a good relationship with your child in which you are able to talk about problems that they are having helps to develop their resilience and their understanding of how to handle situations.

As you are talking to your child about what they are learning about bullying this month, help them to understand that it is never okay for someone else to make them feel bad. Remind them of the amazing talents, abilities and positive attributes they each have which makes them special. Help guide them as to what to do when they feel they are teased or bullied. Empower your child.



The Power of Our Girls

Posted on General, Self-Esteem October 6, 2015 by Mary George

Last week Glamour magazine’s #TheGirlProject joined forces with Michelle Obama and her #LetGirlsLearn initiative, actress, HIV/Aids activist Charlize Theron, Sophia Bush and others for ‘The Power of the Educated Girl’ at the Apollo Theater in New York City. Speaking to over 1,000 school age girls as well as streaming live around the world, Sophia Bush opened with words to inspire, “There are over 62 million girls around the world who want an education—and can’t get it. Today we’re going to talk about what we can do to change all of that. Everyone in this room can do something to help—we really want you to think about that—every single one of you is powerful enough to help change the world.”  

First Lady Michelle Obama continued,  “There are 62 million girls around the world who would give anything to be in your position. I don’t care if you are in one of the most underserved communities in the country. There is a girl that would love to be in your place. You all have to own this piece of education. If you care about those girls, then the first thing you have to do is care about your education so you grow up empowered to be able to work on this issue when you’re our age.” She encouraged girls saying, “If I worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute at your age, I wouldn’t be married to the president of the United States. I want to encourage all of us, as young women, as older women, we have to raise our own bars. You will not be successful when you’re around people who drag you down — not just the boys, but it’s also your peer group. You have to fill your bucket with positive energy, and if you have people. . . bringing you down and not lifting you up, whether that’s your boo or your best friend, you have to learn to push these people to the side.”
The First Lady encouraged the 1,000+ young women in the audience to take to social media, snap a selfie, and write in the caption: “What I learned in school is _______” accompanied by the hashtag #62million. She also reminded us that change for the better doesn’t always happen overnight. “Use your voices, use your platforms—roll up your sleeves, find creative ways to reach out to the millions of girls all over the world looking to you to be their role models.”

Our girls have the opportunity to positively change the world, let’s help them by lifting them up and teaching them that they are intelligent, powerful and that they have a voice.