Thursday, May 30, 2013

Learn from Mistakes

Learn from Mistakes
If you find yourself to be feeling down, identify why and try to correct it. Instead of getting upset because of what someone said, try learning from it and not taking it personally. If you had trouble doing something you are usually very good at, try identifying why you had trouble, learn from it, and become better for next time.

By Marc Leeb (Peaceful Purple Staffer)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Be Proud of Who You Are

Be Proud of Who You Are
If you love to do something, don’t let anyone stop you from doing it. You shouldn’t be ashamed of what you do or who you are. And honestly, who cares what they think about you? If it’s a stranger who says something like that, who cares what a random person you don’t know thinks of you? If it’s a friend who says something like that, they probably aren’t a real friend.

By Marc Leeb (Peaceful Purple Staffer)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Self Esteem Tip by Marc Leeb

Create a long-term goal for yourself that is just out of reach of what you think you can do. For example, try aiming for a certain grade in school, a certain level of productivity, or a certain number of repetitions in an exercise. Setting your sights high keeps you motivated and confident. And who knows, you might exceed your wildest expectations!

Friday, May 17, 2013

On The Coast: Mother And Son Reveal Toll Of Bullying

By Bryan Russo
May 10,2013

It's an age-old problem: bullying. Ask most anyone, and he or she will remember being taunted by a bully on the playground or in a school bus. Over the years, our definitions of bullying have evolved, and the issue has gotten more attention as new forms of harassment, such as cyber bullying, have entered the lexicon.

But that doesn't mean bullies are always called out for their behavior. One mom who lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore — we'll call her "Rachel" — says her sons have been repeatedly bullied, and that teachers don't always know how to handle this problem.

"I have been dealing a lot with issues at school, with children saying things or spreading rumors about my children, and it's been hard for me to deal with, and it's actually taken a toll on our family," says Rachel. "My children sometimes don't want to go to school because of it."

Rachel says her older son has been coping with bullying for several years.

"It started when he was in the fifth grade with somebody just telling him that nobody likes him... I believe it started when one child didn't like that my son was a best friend of one of his friends, and he started telling kids that nobody likes him," she says. "Unfortunately that spread through the bus, and my son's peers in the neighborhood started to believe that. And if we fast-forward to now, I found out that that kid that first began bothering my son, has bothered many kids and has never been disciplined for it."

Rachel's son, who asked to use the pseudonym "Bobby," says he watched his brother deal with bullying before he himself confronted similar problems in school.

"He started to withdraw from the family," says Bobby. "He started to become more like, alone... We still hung out, but he didn't like to go outside as much."

Bobby says he was first bullied in the third grade.

"I had this really good friend, and I made him my friend near the beginning of the year," he says. "Then near the middle of the year this kid came along, and he had, like, a whole group of people with him. And whenever I tried to hang out with them, they're like, 'No, we're part of this club and you can't join.'

"So they wouldn't let me play with him, so he just stopped hanging out with me as much, and we stopped going over to each other's houses, and then we stopped talking during school."

Bobby says bullying can "really take a toll on a person."

"It can make people lose friends, and make them feel terrible about themselves," he says.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Most Important Book Ever Published on School Bullying

Bully Nation makes it crystal clear why we must end our anti-bully crusade.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why it is hard to monitor bullying at schools — report

By Valerie Strauss

Prevention of Bullying CoverA new report that reviewed years of research says that it is hard to accurately monitor levels of bullying in schools because there is still no consensus on exactly what it is and that educators and scholars “should not limit themselves to the traditional definition” as they seek ways to combat it.
The report, called “Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges and Universities” and just released by the American Educational Research Association at its 2013 meeting in San Francisco, is the work of a blue-ribbon task force that was charged with finding short- and long-term recommendations for institutions to address bullying of young people.
The report is divided into briefs which look at research on specific areas, including:
*Looking Beyond the Traditional Definition of Bullying
*Bullying as a Pervasive Problem
*Bullying and Peer Victimization Among Vulnerable Populations
*Gender-Related Bullying and Harassment: A Growing Trend
*Legal Rights Related to Bullying and Discriminatory Harassment
*Improving School Climate: A Critical Tool in Combating Bullying
The report starts off with the definition issue, saying:

Bullying is a highly varied form of aggression where there is systematic use and abuse of power. Bullying can include physical aggression such as hitting and shoving, and verbal aggression, such as name-calling (Espelage, 2012; Vaillancourtet al., 2008). It can also include social or relational forms of bullying in which a victim is excluded by peers or subjected to humiliation. Bullying can occur face-to-face or through digital media such as text messages, social media, and websites. There are mild, moderate, and severe levels of bullying.

Traditional definitions have seen bullying defined as:
*Unwanted, intentional, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance that is often repeated over time (Olweus, 1993).

*Actions of verbal and physical aggression that range in severity from making threats and spreading rumors to isolating or excluding others, to physical attacks causing injury. The formal definition of bullying includes all behaviors that fit the stated criteria. Therefore, even severe acts involving weapon use, gang activity, or crimes could fit the formal definition of bullying if they involve a power imbalance. Some researchers include these behaviors and some do not.
But researchers have largely not used the traditional definitions and the broad application of their work is open to question.
*Some researchers provide students with the traditional definition and then assess prevalence in small (not representative) samples. This practice ignores research showing that the use of a definition influences prevalence rates, and it does not consider findings that youth identify bullying with these components (Vaillancourt et al., 2008).

*National epidemiological studies provide a definition and simply ask students if they have been bullied or if they have bullied another student within a specific time frame provided. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) assessed two items of lifetime victimization (bullied on school property and bullied electronically; see Similarly, Nansel, Overpeck, Pilla, Ruan, Simons-Morton, and Scheidt (2001) assessed victimization or perpetration at school or away from school since last term/semester with a total of four items.

*Other researchers simply provide youth with a list of behavioral descriptors of aggressive behaviors (e.g., name-calling, hitting, excluding), assess frequency within a specific time frame, and sum these experiences. Higher scores on these victimization and perpetration scales are considered a marker of severity, and the scales are used to study predictors of the phenomena, but no direct assessment of intentionality or power differential is assessed (Espelage, Holt, & Henkel, 2003; Espelage, Basile, & Hamburger, 2012; Espelage, Green, & Polanin, 2012).

*Researchers typically assume intentionality, equate frequency reflecting the actions of many students with repetition from the same bully, and rarely assess the power imbalance directly (for an exception, see Rodkin, Espelage, & Hanish, in press). Some have argued that repetition is an index of severity but does not define bullying (Rodkin et al., in press).
The brief on bullying definitions concludes by saying:
Some bullying behaviors may overlap with aggression that meets the legal definition of harassment, assault, or school crime, but not all incidents of harassment or assault are bullying. Without the components of intentionality, repetition, and power combined in the behavior of the same person, bullying victimization is the same as school victimization.

Bullying is part of the larger phenomenon of violence in schools and communities. Educators and scholars should not limit themselves to the traditional definition. Since it is not fully clear to what extent victimization and bullying overlap, the public and researchers should assess both  victimization and bullying behaviors. Further, the examination of victimization should involve interactions among all community members, including youth, teachers, school staff, parents,and so forth. As a result of differences in definition, there is no consensus on the incidence of bullying or on trends over time. There is a need for researchers to agree upon how best to define and measure bullying and to reach consensus on comparable use. Research that distinguishes more carefully among types of bullying and levels of severity would make it possible to monitor levels of bullying and evaluate intervention efforts in a more standardized manner.

One section of the report says that bullying in K-12 is different than in college because
Higher education institutions have a diverse set of employee contracts, for part-time and full-time faculty, professional staff, nonprofessional staff, administrators, and student employees (graduate assistants, for example). The presence of varying types of employees alongside tuition-paying students results in unique power dynamics, which, in turn, lead to complexity regarding who is defined as victim or perpetrator; for example, students may bully or harass faculty despite faculty’s relative power in the institutional hierarchy. Colleges and universities also have unique structural aspects, such as tenure, that play a role in how bullying occurs.
Gender-based bullying is noted as a growing trend. It is defined as
… any unwanted behavior that enforces traditional, heterosexual gender norms. Its related to, and can overlap with, bullying. Forms of gendered harassment include sexual harassment; homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic harassment; and harassment for gender-nonconformity…

The report also says that one key tool to curbing bullying in schools is improving the school climate, an issue that adults and students in a school building often see differently. School climate surveys show that adults “often report that school safety is a mild or moderate problem, while students often report that it is a severe problem.”
Research-based ways to improve school climate include:
*Develop a shared vision among educational leaders and the entire school community about what kind of school they want their school to be.
*Assess the school’s strengths and needs in a comprehensive, reliable, and valid manner.
*Teach prosocial skills in regular classes, advisory classes, and other small-group experiences with opportunities for practice.
*Engage in prevention efforts that range from on-the-spot teaching with students who engage in teasing or bullying behavior to formal school-wide programs.
*Support partnerships among parents, educators, and mental health professionals who seek to interrupt the bully-victim-bystander cycle and encourage bystanders to be upstanders who do not allow bullying to continue.

"Band Against Bullying" Press Conference

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

'Star Wars Kid' Blasts Bullies, Jedi Knights Defend Him

By Chris Taylor
It was the lightsaber practice heard 'round the world, and one of the earliest viral videos online. It spawned a dozen parodies. But for one teenager, it meant years of hell. Now he's finally speaking out.
Ghyslain Raza, a ninth grader in Quebec, tried out some moves with a golf ball retriever in his high school's TV studio. He recorded the result. It was gawky and uncoordinated; it was, after all, just something he was trying out for a Star Wars skit at a school gala.
"I was goofing around," Raza told Canada's Macleans magazine in his first and only interview, 10 years later. "Most 14-year-old boys would do something similar in that situation, maybe more gracefully."
Unbeknownst to him, some classmates found the tape and posted it online via the file-sharing service Kazaa. It's hard to estimate how many people saw the result, universally known as "Star Wars kid." The YouTube video shows more than 27 million views, but this was May 2003: The video predated YouTube's founding by nearly two years.
After the New York Times picked up the story of the video's success, Raza's world collapsed. "That was the turning point," he said. "Reporters were knocking at my door, calling so often that we had to unplug the phone. I figured if I started to give interviews, I would only make things worse."

Parodies and Cyberbullies


The parodies kept coming. They hit TV on Family Guy and Arrested Development. In 2006, there was "drunken Jedi," which added special effects to give Raza a real lightsaber; it got 12 million views. He was later shown fighting Yoda (4 million views) and Agent Smith from The Matrix (2 million views).
At school, Raza suffered endless mockery. He lost his friends. Students would exaggerate his moves from the video and climb on to tabletops to insult him. "It soon became impossible for me to attend class," he told Macleans. But worse, far worse, were the comments he read about himself online. One commenter called him "a pox on humanity." Others suggested he commit suicide.
"On the Internet, there are no limits," Raza says. "It was poison." Though he never considered suicide, "I couldn't help but feel worthless ... it was a very dark period for me."
Raza did his exams in a high school affiliated with a local hospital, sparking rumors that he'd been sent to the psychiatric ward. His family hired a lawyer that sued the kids who uploaded the video, seeking damages of $160,000; the settlement, however, didn't even cover the Raza family's costs. Meanwhile, Ghyslain got a private tutor. Finally, he was able to return to a regular high school for senior year.
Today, aged 25, Raza has made peace with his past. He's a law graduate from McGill University and the president of a local conservation society. Why did he decide to come forward now? Because of recent high-profile cyberbullying cases where the victims were driven to suicide.
His message for kids who are in the same position he was in: "You'll survive. You're not alone. You are surrounded by people who love you. You have to overcome your shame and get help."

'He Showed Us the Way'


Meanwhile, the activity Raza was goofing around with has become a business in its own right. Every week in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, a group called the Golden Gate Knights meets to practice lightsaber choreography. The intense, three-hour sessions are serious stuff, something like a mixture of fencing and yoga.
As far as these Jedi knights are concerned, Raza never had anything to be ashamed of. "Despite his hardships, Ghyslain Raza helped blaze a trail for other Star Wars fans," says Alain Bloch, who leads the San Francisco class. "We weren't laughing at him as much as we were laughing at ourselves. We have all picked up a broomstick and waved it around like a lightsaber.
"That's why his video become so popular: It was funny and awkward but ultimately we connected to him. That made us feel more comfortable with our own awkwardness and dreams of being a Jedi."

Link to article

Refuse to be a Victim

Refuse to be a Victim

Oftentimes, the most effective way of dealing with someone who is bullying you is to show that you refuse to be a victim. Don't just take it, make it clear that you refuse to comply. Bullies like to target people who they think are weak because these people are easy to bully. But you aren't weak! Stand up against the bully! Nothing discourages a bully like a target who doesn't respond or even fights back.

By Marc Leeb

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying

By Hans Villarica

When talk of teen bullying comes up, younger adolescents are often left out. TV shows like Glee and advocacy projects like It Gets Better focus on the plight of bullied kids in high school — not middle school. But that misses the reality that tweens can be just as mean as teens.
Consider the numbers: An estimated half of sixth-graders are bullied in a week, and roughly four in five students report being verbally harassed in middle school. Further, in a survey by UCLA researchers, more than 70% of teens acknowledged being bullied online at least once a year. Indeed, the rate of bullying peaks when kids are 10 to 13 years old — and that’s when its effects are arguably at their worst as well.
“Relational aggression early on can be especially damaging since it tends to stick,” says Ryan E. Adams, a peer victimization expert. “Early adolescence is when you get your reputation.”
Adams’ work focuses on relational aggression, bullying that takes the form of rumor-spreading and name-calling, rather than physical blows. It involves purposeful exclusion of victimized kids and gossiping about them. Imagine tween versions of Heathers, Clueless or Mean Girls (no generation is spared). It’s not physical aggression, but it arguably causes more lasting harm.
For a recent study published in the Journal of Early Adolescence, Adams collaborated with Concordia University psychologist William Bukowski and Ph.D. student Nancy Bartlett, to study the mechanics of tween social politics and bullying. The researchers found that some tweens use bullying to gain popularity.
“Generally, kids don’t like kids who are aggressive,” says Adams, the study’s lead author. “But relational aggression seems to be much more complex and has these differential outcomes depending on who’s using it, how it’s being used and who’s being victimized.”
The researchers analyzed the peer ratings of 367 fifth- and sixth-graders for the study. In particular, they looked at how the usually negative relationship between relational aggression and peer liking held up among kids who were socially dominant (the popular kids) and those who were not (those who had ever been victimized by peers). In other words, the researchers wanted to know, when popular kids bully other kids, are the bullies more or less liked by their peers? How about when the victims of bullying express aggression themselves — are they more or less liked?
It turns out, the social standing of the bully and the victim makes a difference. The researchers found that, when a popular student bullies other kids, he or she doesn’t get stigmatized; the student is exempted from what Adams calls “the blowback typically associated with aggression.”
The same cannot be said for the victims of bullies, however. Victims who turn aggressive and bully other kids turn out to be the least liked kids in middle school. Worse, the findings suggest that no one cares when these kids are bullied.
How a kid attacks or reacts matters greatly too. An aggressive victim who’s not proficient in schoolyard politics may react to being bullied in over-the-top ways that cut further at his social standing. And when he bullies other kids himself, it’s usually not in the winsome ways of the popular kid, who knows how to get away with bad behavior. The most popular tween shrewdly uses laughter, for instance, so he doesn’t come across as too mean when gossiping.
“If parents and teachers assume that peers always have negative perceptions of those who behave aggressively, [then] the present study shows that this assumption is not necessarily accurate,” says Kathryn LaFontana, an expert in peer relationships.
So what can parents and teachers do? To begin with, they should recognize what victimization is. “A lot of times with principals, teachers and even parents, they think, ‘Oh, these are just kids being kids,’” Adams says. “But much of the aggression is much more subtle. And by ignoring them, you’re reinforcing them.”
Adams says, when he used to train teachers, he would often suggest that they think of the most difficult kid they have to deal with in class. Most likely, he says, other kids don’t like that kid as well and he ends up getting the worst of it.
“They’re not likable so it might be easier for teachers to look the other way,” he says. “But reaching out to them and understanding that there’s a lot more behind that negative behavior you don’t like might help.”
And what about the popular bullies — how should they be punished? This is where things get murkier for psychologist Patricia Hawley.
“What if aggression fosters personal growth such as self-esteem and wins high regard from the social group at the same time? The fact of the matter is that effective adults use relational aggression all the time,” Hawley says. “We reward them with respect and higher salaries.”
For Adams, things aren’t so gray. He notes that, fortunately, relational aggression becomes less and less accepted after the tween years. Still, he worries that being aggressive may be confounded with being assertive, and this may send a message that there are benefits to bullying.
“There may be success at work, but there are also other issues like ‘Do you feel good?’ ‘Are you anxious?’ and ‘Do you have friends?’” he says, adding, “Is relational aggression something you have to do to get ahead? I don’t think so.”
So what message would Adams tell victimized kids? Not surprisingly, it’s a familiar one: It gets better.
“These campaigns featuring celebrities give kids somebody that they trust and that they identify with, whether it’s [because they have] the same sexual orientation or they’re doing something they aspire to,” he says, noting that tweens tend to be very egocentric at this point in their lives. “It helps to have somebody say, ‘I made it.’”

Why Kids Bully: Because They're Popular

By Belinda Luscombe

Mean kids, mothers tell their wounded young, behave that way because they have unhappy home lives, or feel inadequate, or don’t have enough friends or because they somehow lack empathy. But a new study suggests some mean kids actually behave that way simply because they can.
Contrary to accepted ruffian-scholarship, the more popular a middle- or high-school kid becomes, the more central to the social network of the school, the more aggressive the behavior he or she engages in. At least, that was the case in North Carolina, where students from 19 middle and high schools were studied for 4.5 years by researchers at the University of California-Davis.
Authors Robert Faris and Diane Felmlee interviewed public-school kids seven times over the course of their study, starting when the students were in grades 6, 7 and 8. They asked the students to name their friends and used the data to create friendship maps. They then asked the kids who was unkind to them and whom they picked on, and mapped out the pathways of aggression. (More on The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying)
What they found was that only one-third of the students engaged in any bullying at all — physical force, taunts or gossip-spreading — but those who were moving up the school popularity chain bullied more as they went higher. Only when kids reached the very top 2% of the school’s social hierarchy or fell into the bottom 2% did their behavior change; these kids were the least aggressive.
“Seemingly normal well-adjusted kids can be aggressive,” says Faris, whose results are published in the new issue of the American Sociological Review. “We found that status increases aggression.”
While the authors are not ruling out psychological or background influences as underlying causes of the bullying, they believe that popularity is at least as important. “It’s one of the few times I can recall in social sciences where race and family background seem to make very little difference,” says Faris. “Those demographic and socioeconomic factors don’t seem to matter as much as where the kids are in the school hierarchy.” (More on A Glimmer of Hope in a Bad-News Survey About Bullying)
Faris also found that the more kids cared about popularity, the more aggressive they were. Ironically, that’s pointless; hostile behavior did not cause rises in status. “The evidence suggests that overall aggression does not increase status,” he says. Then again, it’s not whether it works that’s important. It’s whether the kids believe it works.
Another stereotype the study jabbed at was that males and females bully differently. Boys spread gossip only marginally less often than girls did. And girls were negligibly less physically violent to each other than boys were. Gender-on-gender bullying was more prevalent among girls than boys, but boys were more likely to be hostile toward girls than the other way around.
Gender wasn’t entirely a neutral factor, however. If a girl knew a lot of boys, or a boy knew a lot of girls at a school where there wasn’t much intermingling of the sexes, those kids’ status would go up, presumably because they provided a bridge to contact with potential dates. And, yep, the “gender-bridge” kids, as the study called them, seemed to be more aggressive than others.
If bullying is actually more of a result of hierarchy than of psychology, Faris believes there might be a more effective solution than trying to change the behavior of the bullies. (Break out the Edmund Burke.) “The majority of kids who witness this, either give it tacit approval or outright encouragement,” says Faris. “Those are the ones who give these kids their status. We need to change their minds.”

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sports can play a pivotal role in helping combat bullying

This article was written a few years ago in Sports Illustrated... by Michael Rosenberg

In this week's SI, I wrote an essay about DeSean Jackson of the Eagles. In it, I neglected to mention the enormous human tragedy of the Eagles losing three football games and instead focused on something else: Jackson's crusade against bullying.
Inspired by a Pennsylvania kid named Nadin Khoury, who stood up against bullies, Jackson spent the offseason on his anti-bullying campaign. Jackson believes athletes can make a huge difference when it comes to stopping bullying.
In many ways, it is the ideal cause for a pro athlete -- exactly the right way to use our country's sports-idol worship for the greater good. There are a million great causes, of course. Anybody who raises money to fight a disease or help underprivileged kids is doing a wonderful thing. But athletes are uniquely suited to fight bullying. From elementary school to pick-up games at the Y, they command respect from their peers. They epitomize cool. And if they say bullying is not cool, that resonates.
But it occurs to me that sports can make a huge impact on stopping bullying in another way, too. We just have to view sports differently.
Playing sports is supposed to build self-esteem, keep us mentally and physically healthy and teach us how to work with others. But Leila Steinberg, who works with Jackson on his anti-bullying campaign, said: "The dynamic of cooperation has to come in addition to competition. We've kind of lost that."
"The parents half the time are the worst," Steinberg said. "They don't know how to watch their (kids') games. If we're honest, we live through our kids. I started observing all the parents who don't live through their kids in a healthy way. I started seeing this dynamic ... You see these parents fighting in the stands."
Many parents are so worried about teaching their kids how to win that they never teach them how to lose. I'm not just talking about the infamous parents who measure their kids' muscles at birth, have them lifting weights as an infant and don't let them walk near a Dairy Queen, let alone stop in and have a cone. In fact, I explicitly am not talking about those parents. I think it's too easy to point to them and say, "They're the ones with lousy priorities. They don't get it. I do."
I'm talking about the rest of us. We tell eight-year-olds to focus on one sport year-round. It is commonplace for kids switch high schools to get more playing time. Kids learn that winning is the most important thing, even if nobody says it directly.
And as a result, instead of feeling good about accomplishing whatever they can accomplish, they think sports are just about beating somebody. They don't get the social benefits of playing sports: improved self-esteem and a comfort and understanding of who they are. If more people had that, we would treat people better. We wouldn't bully as much.
What if we told our kids to focus on helping their teammates, not beating their opponents? The on-field objectives would be the same: To excel athletically and try to win. But the reasons for playing would change. Sports would be a much more positive experience.
Steinberg's nonprofit, Alternative Intervention Models, encourages kids through the arts and athletics. Think about how differently we view those endeavors. We don't send kids on traveling art teams. If a 10-year-old draws something surprisingly beautiful, we don't angle to turn him into a millionaire by 25.
We seem to understand that arts are an outlet for creative expression and self-discovery. Sports should be more like that. What if you saw your kid out on the baseball field and viewed him not as a hitter, but as a painter? What if he wasn't trying to be a hero to others, but to himself?
Sports will never be exactly like the arts. Most of our sports are team games, so more people have a vested interest in the result. We can let people down in sports, and we don't cheer at art exhibitions.
"With arts, it is usually self-driven," Steinberg said. "Sports, it's much more acceptable, it's much more social. A lot of times, those that are drawn to the arts for that outlet. It's not done in the community in the same way. The participation is not the same. That's why sports is so much more important in terms of tools you can instill. You have everybody in the family observing."
Still, if sports were more like the arts -- marked more by encouragement than discipline, with a different measurement of success -- we would get so much more out of them. "The potential for reframing how we work with our kids is huge," Steinberg said.
We can start by redefining what it means to win.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Don't compare yourself to someone else...

Don’t compare yourself to someone else. You are only you and only you are you. Confused? Don’t be. No matter how hard you try, you can’t be someone you’re not, and somebody who is not you can’t be you. Comparing yourself to other people leads to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Stop trying to better yourself by being someone else. Be a better you.

by Peaceful Purple Staffer
Marc Leeb 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Exercise regularly...

Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great self-esteem builder because being active makes you feel better and improves your mood. It also increases productivity. Knowing that you are taking care of your own body helps you feel better about yourself. And who knows, you might find something new that you are really good at!

Written by Marc Leeb

Monday, May 6, 2013

A good way to boost self-esteem...

A good way to boost self-esteem is to be confident in yourself. Personal hygiene, although it may not seem like it would make a big difference, is a great confidence booster. Consider one of Old Spice’s recent slogans, “Believe In Your Smellf.” Who doesn’t feel more confident when they smell nice or have a pretty, clean set of teeth to show the world?

Written by Peaceful Purple Staffer
Marc Leeb

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Researchers: Stop using the word 'bullying' in school

By Greg Toppo
USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO – Schools that want to do a better job fighting bullying ought to start with one key step, a group of researchers said Tuesday: Stop using the term "bullying."
Because it's "being used for everything from rolling eyes to 'not wanting to be your friend' to sexual assault, the word 'bullying' has really obscured our ability to focus on what's happening" to children, said Dorothy Espelage of the University of Illinois.

Educators have been "spinning our wheels for decades" in a bid to treat bullying, but they're often hampered by policies that require mistreatment to be repetitive, for example, part of the classic definition of bullying. That focus also obscures whether specific acts are happening more or less, she said.
Espelage co-led a group of researchers that worked for a year to produce a new primer on bullying, released here on Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, the USA's largest education research organization. The association commissioned the research last year in the wake of several high-profile bullying cases and school shootings.

Espelage has served as an expert witness in legal cases in which a child committed suicide after being bullied. In several cases, she said, school staff members said in depositions that they were waiting for the alleged bullying behaviors to be repeated so they could treat them as bullying, in accordance with school policies. "In some ways, our obsession with 'What is it?' has stalled us in creating safe schools," she said. "The bottom line is, kids are being victimized – let's move on from that."

A helpful way to look at the problem, she said, is to consider how colleges treat behavior such as hazing or sexual harassment. "To call what's happening with 18-to-22-year-olds 'bullying,' when in fact some of it is criminal behavior … it's a disaster," she said.
Espelage and a colleague, Ron Astor of the University of Southern California, are pushing for schools to use the more simple term "victimization."

Astor acknowledged the irony of the idea: Speaking to a small group of reporters, he said of the booklet they produced, "If this was titled 'Victimization,' you wouldn't be here."

Overprotected children 'more likely to be bullied'

Overprotected children 'more likely to be bullied'

Children who have overprotective parents are more likely to be bullied by their peers, research suggests.
A review of 70 studies looking at 200,000 children suggests parents who "buffer" children from negative experiences make them more vulnerable.
But children who have harsh or negative parents are most likely to be bullied, it finds.
Prof Dieter Wolke said everyone looked at schools, but his study says bullying really starts at home.
The University of Warwick-based psychology professor said he was expecting to find that children with the harshest parents were most likely to become prey to bullies.
But he said he was somewhat surprised to discover that children with overprotective parents were also at an increased risk of bullying.
'Deal with conflict'
He said: "Although parental involvement, support and high supervision decrease the chances of children being involved in bullying, for victims - overprotection increased this risk.

“Parenting that includes clear rules about behaviour while being supportive and emotionally warm is most likely to prevent victimisation” Prof Dieter Wolke University of Warwick

"Children need support but some parents try to buffer their children from all negative experiences. In the process, they prevent their children from learning ways of dealing with bullies and make them more vulnerable."
He added: "It is as if children need to have some distress so that they know how to deal with conflict. If the parents all the time do it for them then the children don't have any coping strategies and are more likely targets."
Bullying was defined as repeated instances over a six-month period, rather than just one-off conflicts in the playground.
He said the research suggested bullies find dominance by targeting the children they find to be the most vulnerable - picking again on the ones who cry or run away after an initial attack.
So the way a child reacts to an initial instance of bullying has repercussions for what the bullies do next. Once they have established who to target they increase their dominance by repeatedly victimising them.
'Clear rules'
The research, which covered a number of European countries and the US, also found that children who were bullied by their siblings were more likely to be victims as well.
Prof Wolke said: "Parenting that includes clear rules about behaviour while being supportive and emotionally warm is most likely to prevent victimisation.
"These parents allow children to have some conflicts with peers to learn how to solve them rather than intervene at the smallest argument."
Overall he found that 32% of children said they had been bullied over the previous six months. Some 10 to 14% went on to be chronic bullying victims.
The study was published in the journal of Child Abuse and Neglect.