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Quick Tips for Connecting with Your Student or Child

EDUCATORS

1. Punishment is not the solution.

2. Intervention and communication between victim and bully as they are mirror images of each other; all you need to do is show them through kindness and empathy that they are more alike than they are different.

3. Bullies are only reacting from a negative space; find out what makes them so sad.

4. Throw the vocabulary “tolerant and intolerance” out of the window; we must, in this day and age, teach students ownership of one’s uniqueness and acceptance.

5. Teach students to “become active witnesses”. Only by removing themselves from a bullying scene can the momentum be taken away from the tormentor.

 

PARENTS

1. When your children come to you to talk, realize three important things:

  • First, this is your one chance to be the difference in your child's life!
  • Second, do not interrupt them and start talking about "In my day . . ." Your child will tune you out, be disappointed, and will likely storm out of the room. 
  • Third, keep your advice to a minimum and just listen!

 

2. Smartphones are full-fledged computers and can be weapons in the hands of children.

3. Spend time with your children to explore social media together. Take the time to teach basic etiquette. Remember, you are the example, and they likely see your Facebook postings, too!

4. Not every suicide attempt means your child has a mental problem or is battling depression. Sometimes, they are simply reacting to the pressure to respond.

5. If your child withdraws from almost everything, it is likely that he or she is a victim. In case your child is acting out and is often overly aggressive, consider whether he or she is a bully.

 

Gabriella van Rig, author of these “insights,” is the leading voice of the Kindness movement. van Rig works to spread the message that we are all unique and we each have something to offer. She is author of I Can Find My Might, a part self-help, part practical resource for students, parents, and educators on bullying and self-acceptance.