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Teachable Moments - October 2015
A Newsletter for radKIDS' Parents and Families
Welcome to

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Our Parent Newsletter's
Mission and Vision
October is  
National Bullying
Prevention Month
It's a time when communities can unite nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention and a good time to review strategies and safety plans with your children.
What it is, What is not

According to stopbullying.gov, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.


It is important to note that this definition recognizes that there are many other types of aggressive behavior that don't fit the definition of bullying. This does not mean that they are any less serious or require less attention than bullying. Rather, these behaviors require different prevention and response strategies.  


Please compare our radKIDS definition on Bullying Through the Eyes of A Child with the Adult version of StopBullying.gov
and share your thoughts on our Facebook Page or directly to us at Editor@radKIDS.org

radKIDS definition:
"A bully is ANYONE who means to or tries to hurt you or your friends with words, threats or physical actions (pushing, shoving, hitting) whether in person, on the computer (internet) around friends or behind your back.  radKIDS know that No One has the right to hurt them and you can STOP them, and tell because it is not your fault"


If you would like more information on your State's Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies go to Laws & Policies for a click-able map of the US providing easy access to local information.  

October 31 is
Ha llow een
The goal this fall is to keep our Halloween traditions spooky but not scary. An annual review of radKIDS Halloween safety tips will ensure that our very special ghosts, goblins, princesses and pirates won't get tricked!

   PumpkinsHalloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. Parents need to take a moment to remind their children how special they are and how important it is for them to review and remember their radKIDS safety plans and rules as they enjoy their evening of fun because, as all radKIDS know, NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HURT THEM!!!!!


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A Reminder: October is...
National Bullying Prevention Month
More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day from fear of being bullied  

Has your child ever come to you and told you that someone at school is being mean to them? What was your reaction?
The most typical parent responses are Tell your Teacher or Fight Back.

radKIDS know that being bullied is not their fault and, it's not only OK for them to tell a trusted adult (radKIDS rule #3), it is encouraged. While "telling" may sound easy, without the essential groundwork in place, this can be difficult if not impossible for a child unless the foundation has been laid and systems are in place
(Personal Empowerment). 

uilding the Foundation (ground work) that will enable your child to communicate bullying activity before things get out of control.  

Remind your child to activate their radKID plan for bullying: Avoid-Ignore-Move Away-Ask/Tell Them to STOP - Leave (using block, run tell if necessary) and Tell a Trusted Adult.


We know that bullies tend to pick on people who they can get a reaction from; they choose kids who get upset and who take the teasing personally. They also look for kids who won't stand up for themselves, or who they view as someone they can overpower. Telling is an important part of the plan because it lets the child know that there is a team in place and they are not alone. Telling will happen a lot sooner if the

bullied child has a level of comfort and expectation of what is going to happen when they tell. (Rule #3) 


Take time now to let your children know what to expect when they tell you they are being bullied


It's critical to let your child know that being bullied is not their fault.

It's nothing that they have done wrong. It's the bully's fault and the changes need to be made in the bully not in your child.

Remind your child of the differences in Telling vs. Tattling.

Telling is to help and Tattling is to get someone in trouble and that by "Telling" the bully will get the help they need to change whatever is going on inside him/her. Also by Telling you let others know that No one gets to hurt you. 
Let them know that you will listen. 
Then listen t o what he/she has to say and be supportive when he/she is talking.

If you are upset or angry, that it's at the situation, not at him/her.

Because no one has the right to hurt them. Try not to over react. When you react too strongly to what your child is saying, he/she might stop talking because he's afraid he's going to upset you more and he/she needs to be able to count on you for "rational thought."

Finally, Don't ask your child why he's being bullied.

That implies that he/she knows what the bully is thinking. It doesn't matter why. It's not acceptable. Don't try to find a reason for it; there is no good reason or excuse for what's happening. If your child is being bullied, he/she is the victim . Ask instead what the circumstances are and focus on developing a plan with your child that he/she believes has merit and will work and reinforce to them their radKIDS Rule #1-No one gets to hurt them. 


Communication between you and your child during this time is essential and can be an opportunity to build resiliency and a trusted partnership between you both. Together you can make a difference.


Read More... Talking to your Child about Bullying: What Parents Need to Know 

Sibling Rivalry or Bullying
Bullying casts a net from as far as the schoolyard to social media. But bullying is closer than you think-it may be happening under your own roof.
Sibling rivalry can be more dangerous than we thought.

Siblings can be best friends, but they can also be tormentors. In a house with more than one child, brothers and sisters often bully each other. It is often brushed off as "sibling rivalry", but it is a serious issue in the home. Kids are often more bullied by a brother or sister than their peers. Being bullied by a sibling can be even worse than being bullied by a peer. Research reported by NBC News found that 32% of children who reported being tormented by their sibling were at a higher risk for mental-health distress. Bullying in the home has a greater effect than bullying that takes place at school or through social media.
Fights between siblings are common, and therefore is often disregarded. Do not down-play sibling rivalry and always intervene if you children tease and torment one another. Break the cycle by making sure your children have strong relationships with each other and they feel safe at home.

With new tools coming up in social media, sibling rivalry becoming more serious, and rates of kids reporting bullying low, parents need to be aware of their child's behavior.

Read More... Talking to your Child about Bullying: What Parents Need to Know

If you're worried your child is being bullied or is a bully, there are easy ways for you to address the subject. You can begin with "What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?" or "What is lunch time like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?" or "What is it like to ride the school bus?" or "What are you good at? What would do you like best about yourself?" When asking these questions, encourage honesty with him/her and listen carefully.
What about at School?

As we examine the issue of Bullying and Bullying Prevention in our schools and in our communities, we would be remiss if we didn't look at the messages we are sending to our children with school policy and rules within our learning environments. These messages may  sound good but have little or no value in practice and, in the case of Zero Tolerance policies, have in fact produced system-wide failures both in practice and in effectiveness.  


In the article Zero Tolerance, Stephen Daley explains the intricacies of Zero Tolerance polices; what it was meant to do, what it actually does and what Zero Tolerance looks like through the eyes of a child. 


Many children today are not only losing hope they are giving up, when you see that children as young as 9 years old are so hurt that they consider suicide a real option to stop their pain and suffering the answer is clear.


radKIDS believes that Zero Tolerance policies are unjust and contributory to the bullying pandemic we are experiencing today. In fact, in many cases these policies can and do violate a child's right to defend themselves which is supported by law in all 50 states. We advocate strongly for change.   


The choice is ours and so is the responsibility.  

about Zero Tolerance in Schools