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Spring Cleaning Survival Kit Giveaway + One Simple Step to Bully-Proof Your Child

It’s tax day (meh) so I figured it would be a great time to buck up everyone’s spirits by providing five lucky winners with a Spring Cleaning Survival Kit.

Five fabulous readers will win copies of both my eBooks: Freezy Peasy – Freezer Cooking Made Easy and Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life: The Quick Start Guide as well as an amazingly detailed 2013 Daily Planner PDF Printable with Personalized Cover from my friend Jen at I Heart Organizing. (You guys remember this? We did a giveaway of the planner a few months ago and had over 1,000 entries so I contacted Jen and asked if we could bring it back!)

In exchange for the chance to finally instill some order in your life – I will be requiring something in return (don’t worry, it’ll be painless)…

From stranger danger to college admissions, we face a lot of fears as parents. But probably one of the most poignant is whether or not our children will ever encounter bullying.  As the mom of a 2 and 4 year old, the idea of anyone hurting my kids is intolerable.  It makes me want to bundle them up into the warm confines of our home and never let them out.

 how to bully-proof your kids

image source

 

But, of course, that’s not possible (or rational).  So what’s a parent to do?  What’s the #1 thing every parent can do to bully-proof their children (or – equally important – to ensure their child never bullies another child)?

BE PROACTIVE!

So what do you say, are you ready to become more proactive with me? Don’t forget - I’m willing to provide prizes!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is sign the “Words Hurt: Put An End to Bullying” pledge below and then use the rafflecopter below that to let me know you did so.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Signed the pledge and entered the rafflecopter?  Great, now it’s time to get even more proactive.

The media spotlight has shone brightly on bullying in the last couple of years and the best thing to come of that is that there’s now quite a bit of good information out there.  We know a lot about what prompts bullying, how bullies pick their victims, and how parents can arm their kids against bullies.

Start talking to your kids now about bullying so they know what it is and how to deal with it.  Below you’ll find a short list of things to go over with them.  For a lot more resources, you can also visit the site these tips came from: www.stopbullying.gov.

  1. Help Kids Understand Bullying

    Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others.

  2. What to Do If You’re Bullied

    There are things you can do if you are being bullied:

    • Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
    • If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
  3. Stand Up for Others

    When you see bullying, there are safe things you can do to make it stop.

    • Talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult you trust. Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help.
    • Be kind to the kid being bullied. Show them that you care by trying to include them. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk to them at school, or invite them to do something. Just hanging out with them will help them know they aren’t alone.

So that’s what I’ve got for you guys, what do you have for me?  What are you doing at home to help prevent bullying?

*Thanks to TakePart.com for sponsoring today’s discussion

 

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole Torstvet April 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

My daughter is 2 so at home we have been reading lots of books about self esteem. Our very favorite is Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon. We also discuss about mean kids and what they can do to be nice.My daughter herself has already been bullied and I’m trying to make sure she is able to respond well and not give into peer pressure.

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 16, 2013 at 1:01 am

Love the book recommendation Nicole – thanks so much!

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christine w. April 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Entered! We have made speaking kindly to each other and to everyone we know top priority, including firmly but nicely stating our own desires, dislikes, and disappointments.

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Jackie April 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I prefer to keep my kids out of school. I am a former public school teacher and feel there is just too much bullying going on. You can be as proactive as you want and schools are buying anti bullying curriculum…the bullying continues. It comes down to the families and parents. We can’t count on the masses to keep our children safe. My kids are in groups and activities that I know the other children and families. They are happy, well adjusted kids that have plenty of that word…socialization. I’d much rather have things this way that submit them to the masses.

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Elizabeth April 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I agree with doing what we can to keep our children safe, but I don’t think hiding from the issue by keeping your kids out of school is the answer. I can imagine (hope) you are still having discussions on the topic, as eventually they will leave your nest and forced to encounter the real world. It’s sad and unfortunate that bullies exist at all ages, and knowing how to deal with these difficult people is a critical skill everyone should possess.

No parent wants to see their child bullied, nor SHOULD any parent be ok with their child being the bully. Sadly there are many parents who don’t teach their children that this is not acceptable, and a reason why a lot of it continues to exist.

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Jackie April 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Initially our reasons for homeschooling were not about bullying. We are also not “hiding from the issue”. My kids get plenty of opportunity to interract with friends and classmates in co-ops…my older boys are Boy Scouts and have volunteered at Boy Scout camps for weekends and my oldest was a Counselor in Training (CIT) for a month away from home.

So no, my kiddos are not in a bubble. Far from it. They are great kids involved with activities in the community including Scouts, sports, music, church, dance, classes…we are very busy.

Public school is broken; I taught school for many years and I’m sad to say that it is an environment that is not conducive to learning. Furthermore, it creates a community of kids who learn from each other rather than from mentors. I have seen so much hen pecking and bullying. I will say that as a former teacher I have never worked with a harder working group of professionals but there is so much beyond the teachers and administrator’s control.

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Amanda May 27, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I totally agree with you Jackie.

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Andrea A April 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I believe it’s important to teach our kids what bullying is, and teach them not to be a bully! No parent wants to think that their child is the one being mean and hurting others, but the fact is that each bully is some person’s child. It is just as important to make sure that you are teaching them not bully, as well as how to respond to bullying.

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

I completely agree Andrea!

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Michelle April 25, 2013 at 12:38 am

I agree Andrea. Kids need to understand what bullying is.

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Andrea Robbins April 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I can relate first hand. My daughter is in a new school and she is thriving there. Her old school was a nightmare. No one took any action. The administration was bullied by the parents. Kids imitate what they see.

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Andrea Robbins April 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I signed the petition too, and shared it :)

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

Thank you!!

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Elle hall April 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Entree. N will be sharing with all. Xo

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 16, 2013 at 1:02 am

Thank you!!

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Trish April 16, 2013 at 1:16 am

Hi there, Thank you for this giveaway and for sharing this message. Thank you for the website as a resource. I am having some trouble finding the location of the pledge? Thanks!

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mandi April 16, 2013 at 1:18 am

Most of what we have tried at home is to raise our three sons to be leaders in their own way…to not be a by stander or witness only if there is any way they can intervene in a safe and helpful way. We use the golden rule a lot to illustrate why it’s not okay to stand by and not defend, get someone to safety, help the victim do things that she might not be able to do herself. And respect is very important and it’s paramount that the victim wants help and in which way; so, we must ask with kindness if assistance is needed.
Good people, that is what we pray for, that our sons will be good, leaders of love and light and we will be able to raise good people who aren’t afraid to get involved,

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Jennifer April 16, 2013 at 1:30 am

I could be missing it, but I couldn’t find the link to the petition. I ended up google-ing it, and entering that way. But, in case the link really was missing, I thought you’d want to know – might get more entries (though, I hope I win!)

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 16, 2013 at 3:56 am

Hi Jennifer,

The widget was apparently down but is back up again (now showing twice but I guess that’s better than not at all.) Thanks for the the heads up!

Steph

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christy April 16, 2013 at 2:12 am

I try to teach my kids to stand up for their friends who are getting picked on. 67% of bullies back down when confronted. I think that if our kids all stood up for each other the bullies wouldn’t have spectators and support that keeps them feeling powerful. Our society has gotten to the point where we all mind our own business and never judge others to the extreme that we are not quick to identify what is wrong and feel guilty doing something about it.

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Melissa B April 17, 2013 at 1:28 am

This website features a whiteboard animation & an article (aimed at teenagers) on how to “beat a bully without you fists”. It is wonderfully done! My younger kids really enjoy it.

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Melissa B April 17, 2013 at 1:29 am
Tee April 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I LOVE seeing this posted! I’m a JW & I have an almost 6 year old who’s been bullied for years. She loves using the bible to help her cope :)

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Amy Ferguson April 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

My heart breaks when I even think about anyone bullying my children or anyone else. It is senseless and cowardly. I signed the pledge because I think we, as parents, can help stop the bullying epidemic by raising our own kids to know how to treat others how they want to be treated–with love and compassion. Thanks for the post!

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Heather Freeman April 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

My 6-year-old son has been being bullied on the bus. The other kid gets on the bus after him, and sits next to him so he can’t move away. I took him off the bus for a few days and told his school so they could document it and talk to the bully and his bus driver. Turns out that as soon as my son wasn’t in reach the bully turned his attention to another kid. Two documented strikes was enough to get him kicked off the bus.

We’ve been talking about this with Aiden (my son) and have come up with three distinct steps:
1. Ask the bully to stop, clearly and loudly
2. Move away
2a. If moving away isn’t possible (likeon the bus) then scream as loud as you can.
3. Tell grownups.

I told him that bullies get their power from not being seen, and once everyone knows what’s happening their poweris gone. (Not strictly or completely true, I know, but should do well enough for now.

What I feel worst about is that Aiden had been complaining for months about this kid and I never picked up how serious it was (hitting, physical threats, etc.) Once Aiden started telling us specifics (this kid threatened to kill hi. With a ninja star and throw him through the windshield!) I was able to act quickly and thankfully was very well supported by the people at his school.

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Lynnea April 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm

As a parent, who was bullied as a child, I am going to do everything I can to help my children not experience what I went through. My mom did everything she could to help me. We spoke to principals, teachers, parents, nothing stopped it. Eventually I did end up switching schools to end my misery. What I can tell you from my experience is that while all of these suggestions are wonderful, and I agree that your child should try to avoid the bullies and use their words to help end a conflict, ultimately your child needs to stand up for themselves. Only when I started standing up for myself and not allowing the bullying did things change. Please know I am not suggesting violence. I would never condone fighting, but let your children know there is nothing wrong with protecting yourself or letting others know you will not allow them to treat you badly. If your child is suffering from bullying sometimes getting them involved in karate or another activity that will teach them confidence is a great idea. And if nothing else it will give them a safe place to go away from the bullies where they can make new and better friends. Personally I loved my church youth group and church camp. That was my safe place. Just do everything to make sure your child knows you will support them and protect them no matter what. Even if they get in trouble for “fighting” while they were protecting themself. It’s far better to serve a detention than to be abused day in and day out while the adults in the building who are supposed to be protecting them do nothing.

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Mari Jo Thompson April 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Signed and read a ton
on bullied kids.

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Mary April 20, 2013 at 12:05 am

Signed the pledge. I have 4 children, 3 boys. My oldest son was picked on a lot. It was a struggle. He was one of those kids that was very easy to pick on because he overreacted to everything. It was learning on all our parts. And some days it was not easy. Luckily he has some good self-esteem. Sometimes I think it bothered me more than it did him. He is a fairly resilient kid. I agree with the pledge. It can not be tolerated ever. At the end of the day I would not want to be the mother of the bully, that would be more painful and my heart goes out to those moms.

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Steph (MPMK Founder) April 20, 2013 at 1:03 am

That’s such a compassionate point of view Mary – especially for one whose own son has been bullied. Thanks so much for sharing.

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Kathryn April 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm

A topic near to my heart. Signed and signed up.

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Jennifer April 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Signed. We are teaching to love everyone for themselves.

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Deanne Simonson April 25, 2013 at 12:11 am

I have signed the pledge. Thank you!!

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Sharla April 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

If only this information would have been around several years ago. A friend’s son had a terrible time at school due to bullying. I will also be sharing the information and of course, I signed the pledge.

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Maria April 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

We have a mini mission statement in our home that I painted on three separate canvasses: “Love, Compassion, Peace” . It was my husband’s and my goal to raise, above all else, compassionate children. So, we condensed our beliefs into three words. Peace cannot exist without compassion and compassion cannot exist without love – so they are put in that order. Love your children, be compassionate toward them and the end result will be peace. On many occasions, my children have helped the ‘Adam’ of their class. My hope is that they will never be the Adam, but there definitely has been times when one or more of them have been picked on. Your letter was beautiful! Sharing all over the place!!

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Julianne Pauley (@JNPMomof4) April 25, 2013 at 9:20 am

happy to sign. I have 4 kids and we’ve had so many problems on the bus! It got better only when the driver gave them all assigned seats. That alone made a huge difference and I wish they had done it sooner. The kids are more accountable and have a chance to get to know the other kids better.

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Jessica April 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

Singing the list!

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Viridiana April 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I have signed the pledge. Thank you!!!!

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Anouk April 27, 2013 at 4:46 am

All the way from the Netherlands pledging against bullying! For my 2 year old son and all other children all over the world. Love your blog! As a single mom with ADD and a gifted son, structure and organization is key to making it work and enjoying it at the same time! Thanks for your inspiration :)

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Merinda Chamberlin April 28, 2013 at 3:57 am

I signed the petition too, and shared it

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