Archive for Conflict Resolution

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 StopBullying.gov 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.

 

—Mary & Claire

 

**My Remarkable Self is available to give workshops, school/camp assemblies and classes for parents, students, educators and businesses. Please contact us for further information.**

 

© Kids Empowered LLC and My Remarkable Self® 2015

It began with a simple Tweet…

Posted on Communication, Conflict Resolution, Cyberbullying March 4, 2015 by Mary George

It began with a simple tweet from a Father about his daughter’s incredible achievement,

“Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!”

This was tweeted by the Baseball Hall of Famer, Curt Schilling to his daughter Gabby. The tweets that followed from others were some of the most vulgar we have read online. Who would think that this would be an open invitation for some the most vile, rude, mean comments that people could say about another person. At what point did our culture change and people felt that it was okay to post these horrible things about someone else? Where did our moral compass go? Of course these comments were made via Twitter, where cyberbullies can hide behind their screens and words and rarely are there consequences for their actions. We tend to forget that words scar no matter who says them. In his blog, 38 Pitches, Curt Schilling says, “I look at it like this. If someone walked into your house and punched your daughter square in the face, what would your reaction be? You and I probably are thinking the very same thing. How is that different than what happened to my amazing Daughter? Here’s how. Those bruises on your daughters face? They’ll heal over time and go away. My daughter? She was bruised and battered every bit as bad as that punch. Her scars are there forever.”

You can read our blog, think, “wow, that’s horrible,” and assume that your child is aware, not posting mean comments or sending unacceptable photos because he or she is a “good kid.” Have you looked to see what they and their friends are posting and tweeting? Do you REALLY know what your child is doing online? Have you set guidelines? Cyberbullying is everywhere and communication with your child is key. We cannot emphasize this enough. Read our earlier blog, Stop Cyberbullying – Communication is KEY for more information.

Most of us did not grow up in this cyber world and we are not wired in like our children’s generation. We spoke to each other face to face or on the telephone not through texts or posts, and we did not convey our feelings through smiley faces. We understood social cues. Do our children understand them now? Do they have social skills? We also understood that there were consequences for our actions. Something that kids in the online world do not fully realize. Everything that you do and say online is out there forever on your Digital Footprint. It will follow you in school applications, summer internships, and job searches. We cannot urge you enough to talk to your children. Talk about what cyberbullying is and what is acceptable both on and offline. Parenting these situations is vital to our children’s well being. If you do not understand what online platforms they are on, learn about them. No excuses. They are our children and we need to teach them.

For too long there have been very few consequences for these online actions. We applaud Curt Schilling for showing the world that you cannot hide behind a computer. Thank you to those businesses and institutions for firing the people who made these comments. You are making a statement to others to think before they post hurtful comments.

You may not agree with his politics, his sports allegiances, or other things but bottom line he is a Father protecting his family, and no one with any dignity and integrity can argue with that.

 

—Mary & Claire

**My Remarkable Self is available to give informational Cyberbullying Workshops for parents, students, educators and businesses. Please contact us for further information.**