Aside

Food Choices and Bullying: how are the two related?

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The wonderful thing about the Turning Stone process is that its philosophy is all encompassing; it’s a choice-making philosophy meant to better the lives of human beings no matter what age, gender, race or ethnicity.

 

If we want to make an impact on our youth and shoot to eliminate bullying, we need to first understand for ourselves how choice making can better our lives and the lives of those around us. Let’s put it in terms maybe we all can identify with or relate to…

 

There are a slew of studies and medical reports on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Eating wholesome foods and exercising on a regular basis not only transforms our physical appearance, but it also virtually erases certain diseases and improves mood disorders. Mental clarity, energy and stronger immune responses all have been attributed to living a healthy lifestyle. This being said, why doesn’t everyone choose to live by the codes of healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle?

 

We are all free to make our own choices. It makes us feel in control of our lives. And being in control of our own lives is a basic need all human beings have (this is very important to remember).

 

A person who chooses to have a hamburger and French fries over a salad may be trying to control their feelings over a stressful day and wants to enjoy the taste of a particular meal. On the contrary, the same person may choose to have a salad for dinner that night because they are trying to control the feeling of guilt for the burger and fries they consumed earlier.

 

It’s important to realize and verbalize with our students or children that it is not the choice itself that maintains control over lives. It is the feeling of self-empowerment from making a positive choice, which then leads to a positive self-esteem. A positive self-esteem prevents individuals from harming themselves and others. Voilà! A recipe for a better, more peaceful society with less bullying!

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Politics: Who’s right and who’s wrong?

The race for the White House may be one of the most visible competitions in today’s society. Sure, professional athletics is also highly visible, but there is something to be said about a contest that is predicated on ideas, values and most importantly, results.

It is easy to believe that the candidate who is elected in to office is the “winner,” or the “right person.” But this mindset could be dangerous for our youth who is constantly reminded by society that “winning” is synonymous with “good.” So are “losers” “bad?”

Don’t mean to get carried away with the quotations, but they do carry meaning.

TURNING STONEchoice teaches that winning/losing, right/wrong, good/evil are not so definitive, rather they are a point of view. We need to show our children that winning does not mean you are right, and losing does not mean your wrong.

Winning and losing are two natural results of competition. Right and wrong are an objective opinion and should never be scrutinized; they should be observed and respected. By doing so, we are protecting against a root cause of bullying, harassment, terrorism and violence.

Remember, how you view yourself is your choice!

Mr. Johnson (Sesame Street)Some time ago I had the very uncomfortable experience of being publicly humiliated while having drinks with two friends at a local pub.

I must admit, these men were gorgeous. I know, I’m a guy and I’m not supposed to notice, but as you’re about to understand, that fact was made abundantly clear.

We were sitting and talking, sipping on beer, when the strangest thing happened. Gorgeous women started coming over and giving us their phone numbers.

I am, at this point, using the word “us” incorrectly. Perhaps I should rephrase that.

We were sitting and talking, sipping on beer, when the strangest thing happened. Gorgeous women started coming over and giving “them” their phone numbers. As this way happening, for some odd reason I was reminded of Sesame Street. Why you may ask? Do you remember on Sesame Street when they had that game they always played with Grover?

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An Adult’s Role in Bullying Situations

The following was an excerpt in an email newsletter issued by a local pediatrician:

  • Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the internet.
  • If your child is bullied, help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to look the bully in the eye, stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation, and walk away. Teach your child how to say, in a firm voice, “I don’t like what you are doing”, “Please do not talk to me like that”, or “Why would you say that?” Finally, teach your child when and how to ask for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
 

 

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Since when did bullying become synonymous with children? The media does an excellent job at shedding light on the bullying epidemic in this country, but it always has to do with an issue in school or on the playground.  Why is this?

There’s no doubt that children are sponges; they observe what is going on around them and internalize it as education. Children are constantly surveying what is happening in society and taking note of how others (especially adults) react to circumstances.

 Adults only come into the picture when they are called upon to fix a situation (or so they think, but this is a subject for another blog entry). As the excerpt above indicates, the parent is instructing the child that they should ignore a bullying situation. But what other choice does the child have?

We should be careful on how we instruct our children to face situations. We need to be cautious about dictating solutions without educating about options. More importantly, we need to consider the root of bullying in the first place.

The TURNING STONEchoice program helps adults become aware of why certain behavior issues come to be. As we help guide parents and educators on this philosophy, let’s keep in mind how we treat each other. Let’s keep a close tabs on news and world events (especially issues in the Middle East). And let us contemplate how this ever-present society is shaping our youth.