Dealing with Bullying!

Bullying Stops Here Image

Any of us can recount stories about bullies from our own experiences in school.  While we may not have been a victim, we may have been a bystander or even a perpetrator.  We can vividly tell stories about the elementary school student that was targeted because they were not popular or the child that was constantly harassed at recess.  There are numerous reasons why students may bully others.  This works under the premise that experiencing bullying is not just a “rite of passage” and there are skills you can equip your children with to help them thrive.  Parents must remember anyone can be a bully.  Bullying in schools is a source of public outrage in media outlets.  While your child’s school or school district may have various programs to address bullying and institute peer mediation, positive choice making and social skills to curb bullying, as a parent there are numerous things you can do to equip your child.  Here is an inspiring story on athletes stepping up to take a stand 

While no one has the right to be bullied, help with the understanding that some children are more susceptible to being a victim then others.  Those who are isolated or seek excessive attention by pestering or overcompensating for insecurity may be more likely to be bullied.  There is no rationale for bullying being tolerated in schools. However, understanding your children’s tendencies will help you help them navigate through school and provide them with the tools to be successful in their adult life, where bullying doesn’t necessarily end.

To learn more or visit TURNING STONEchoice we would love to here from you!

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No Place For Bullying in School Sports!

Character Picture Sports

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – Coach John Wooden

What are your thoughts on how your school district is handling intimidation, harassment and bullying in regards to school sports and sporting events?

There has been highly negative public reaction to several recent news stories. From Ray Rice to Adrian Peterson to Greg Hardy to Jonathan Dwyer we hear about a culture where aggressive behavior isn’t just contained on the field. It also takes place at home in the form of domestic violence and child abuse, and at school with taunting and hazing.

Now it has occurred here in New Jersey at Sayreville War Memorial High School.  Sayreville has cancelled the remainder of its football season because of allegations of abuse, intimidation and bullying.  All of us want our children to have positive school experiences, and we encourage them to get involved in clubs and sports. We recognize that these involvements can provide our children with a well-rounded education. Sports are supposed to be a way to build character and a sense of teamwork. Harassment and bullying should not be accepted or tolerated at any level.  It’s important that coaches send this clear message, and a message of acceptability and tolerance of each other, to the players before the season begins, as well as during and after the season.

To read more about this topic follow the New York Times and NJ.com articles on Sayreville for acting swiftly to curb bullying.

What do you think of Sayreville’s response?

What can be done about the backlash towards the freshman students that were assaulted?

The Recess Queen

recess_queenThis book is a favorite! Powerful insights into playground bullying, school violence, and poor self-esteem.  This book offers wonderful life lessons while weaving through character development traits like responsibility, integrity, courage and leadership.  The Recess Queen is a great teaching tool for guidance counselors, teachers or parents.  This book is a sure hit!

~ TURNING STONEchoice

Would You Allow Your Child to be Verbally and Emotionally abused?

Yelling Dad

No!  No, you would not!  But then, again, maybe you would.  Think about the sideline dynamics during children’s sporting events and the way some coaches choose to communicate and to motivate their teams.  The yelling, the screaming, the cursing, the drama–and I’m just talking about the parents not just coaches.

A professional coach once said these words to me:  “We don’t yell our kid’s name and scream at them while they are learning to color.  Why do we feel it is acceptable while they are learning to play a sport?  Can you imagine [in a sports-fan-like, crazy voice],  ‘No, no, not the blue one!  Get the red one and STAY in the lines!’”

Yet, we do accept behaviors from coaches and parents that pertain to sports that, plainly, are unacceptable anywhere else, then we turn around with condemnation when we learn of abusive behavior on the collegiate and professional level.  Recall former Rutgers Basketball coach Mike Rice?  I just watched again the video footage of his behavior, letting loose on a player, verbally and physically abusing him up and down the court.  His rampage is forever accessible in cyberspace.  Or how about former MLB player, Mitch Williams, banished from multiple sporting events in which his children participated, for yelling at coaches, screaming at referees, and yelling a vulgar slur at a ten-year old boy, all while coaching his son’s baseball team (also on video).

This type of behavior has not just suddenly appeared.  There is license given here, and we, parents, are issuing it freely with our silence or participation.

Former NBA player, John Amaechi, said it best, “What I think is stark here is how we can be surprised, at this point, by this [Rice].  You can walk on any sideline almost anywhere in America . . . on any given weekend and see similar behaviors.”  I concur, Mr. Amaechi, but I respectfully ask, “Why?”

Why do you think this type of behavior is accepted on the sidelines of our children’s sporting events?  Please leave your comments in the box below.

For more information about TURNING STONEchoice and the process, visit www.turningstonechoice.com.

Sammy@TSC

NFL Investigation – Reviewing the fumble w/ Martin & Incognito

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I’m glued to Sports Center to figure out what makes a 300+ pound NFL lineman (Martin) cry, “Bully!” I believe it goes beyond the actions of another 300+ pound professional football player (Incognito) and that the NFL is on the cusp of addressing the culture of intimidation in the workplace. I’m sure, on the books, the NFL has established its code-of-conduct for workplace behavior, but when we talk “culture,” we address more of what is acceptable among the players, themselves. What is the “understanding” between rookies and veterans? If an extended history of long-suffering macho-ism is the tone from high school all the way to the pros then it will take more than written policy to break down the cultural norms. Norms that dictate that hazing is to be accepted, intimidation is to be tolerated, financial coercion is allowed, and players with less-than- combat- soldier attitudes need to conform. The facts are just beginning to slowly surface, and speculation is just that. The “fumble” in this review would point to an epic failure in communication with everyone accountable for his part. Failure from management to communicate effectively what a positive environment looks like, sounds like, feels like, a failure from veteran players to communicate and create a legacy of trust without the rookie trials of fire. If you made it to the pros then you have already proved yourself and have to continue to prove yourself on the field. And, sadly, if Martin had communicated immediately and consistently to others on how he would like to be treated, spoken to and encouraged, perhaps the dynamic between he and the team would look very different. The NFL investigation will undoubtedly churn some additional controversies to deliberate when it comes to not just individuals but the overall history of the NFL workplace environment. Having recently improved the safety of the players on the field, the League will now have to turn its attention to equal protection off the field.

~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

Relevant Book for student-athletes to consider reading is Angst by Christopher Avery. Follow link for review at http://www.amazon.com/Angst-Christopher-Avery/dp/0984002200/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385140013&sr=8-1&keywords=angst+christopher+avery

Dear Senia – A Note to a Brave Girl

self-esteem

Schools and communities across the nation are participating in Anti-Bullying programs this month providing a plethora of tips and techniques on how to handle situations. With respect to all those efforts, I wanted to move beyond providing information and take action. I want to share Senia’s story and reach out to her because she and kids just like her are worth it. Her story will never be on 20/20 or headlined in today or tomorrow’s paper. We are usually hand fed only the worst cases, like the recent and tragic suicide of a 12 year old girl. But, Senia’s story is extremely relevant.  Her story represents the millions of children who listen to daily cruel comments chipping away at their precious beings, and struggle to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. This month consider one child you know who could use an encouraging word to be brave, bold and already beautiful.  You can follow the link below to Senia’s post.

 

Dear Senia,

We do not know each other, but I just wanted to let you know how brave I believe you are to share your bullying and peer pressure story. It takes courage to let people know how you feel and what you believe.  You never know how your story may impact someone else who thinks they are going through the same thing, but alone. It takes self-respect to make the empowering decision to be who you are and move through the pressure to act a certain way.  I hope you continue to think of ways to help others work through peer pressure and prevent bullying. Your ideas were very solid and perhaps you may even want to pursue those ideas for your school or community.  Continue to embrace the unique and fabulous person that you are!
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice

http://simplysenia.com/2013/10/15/senias-school-paper-on-bullying/
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com

Jail Time for Victims of Bullying

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Yes, you read the title correctly. No error on my part. A recent study has presented evidence for adults who have been bullied during their childhood and teen years. There seems to be a strong correlation between this dual experience and being convicted of crimes. This study followed 7300 people for 14 years, and long story short. There are a significant higher percentage of people spending time in jail that have been victims during childhood and teen years versus those who have not or have had single bullying experiences.
This study definitely had me scratching my head. It is not a far stretch to image the bully doing time, even if it may be stereotypical. But, how do the victims end up incarcerated? One possible explanation would be the type of coping techniques victims are choosing to use to handle the abuse. The study found women were much more likely to use alcohol and drugs, and to be arrested and convicted for illegal use.
This study presents even more evidence that childhood bullying has a direct link to quality of life not just at the moment of abuse but long term damage. It is yet, another reason to continue to advocate for programs that empower children. Programs like Turning STONEchoice equip children with the tools to build self-esteem, confidence, and cultivate a positive path for a child’s life.
Please follow link below for specific study details.
http://web.mail.comcast.net/zimbra/mail?app=mail#2
For more information on TURNING STONEchoice and its process, visit http://www.turningstonechoice.com
~Sammy @TURNING STONEchoice