Is My Child Being Bullied?

Is My Child Being Bullied?

When kids are bullied, there can be a wide range of negative consequences. Bullied children may develop behavioral issues of their own and in turn, start to bully other children or take it out on themselves in one way or another. As a parent, this is something that you should be aware of, but first, you need to ask yourself this:

What is Bullying?

According to StopBullying.gov, bullying is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” They continue to state that the behavior either is repeated or has the potential to be repeated.

However, while bullying is defined as occurring between school-aged children here, the behavior can continue into adulthood and the workplace and for that reason, it’s imperative that everyone plays a part in ending bullying at all ages and levels.

What do they mean by an imbalance of power? Often that power is sheer physical strength. The bully may be physically larger or stronger than the person who is the target. This is the stereotype where the bigger (usually dumber) kid in movies such as A Christmas Story, threaten the smaller kid unless they give up their lunch money.

Yet size and strength aren’t the only ways kids can bully one another. One of the most common forms of bullying today is “cyber-bullying,” or harassing someone online. The imbalance of power in this type of situation is about distributing information – often misinformation – that would embarrass the kid being bullied. In the old days, this bullying was done by cliques at school and in person, but today it can be managed away from other kids via texts and social media.

3 Types of Bullying

  1. Verbal bullying: when one person says (or writes) things about another. This could be as simple as teasing and name-calling or it could be comments that are far more severe, such as something sexual in nature or blatant threats.
  2. Social bullying: harming another person’s reputation or relationships. This can include excluding someone, gossiping and spreading rumors with the intent to purposefully embarrass someone.
  3. Physical Bullying: harming another’s body or possessions. This is the traditional schoolyard fare where someone actually strikes or kicks another. It also includes any other unwelcome physical contact including tripping another, spitting on someone, and taking or breaking their possessions.

How Do We Stop Bullying?

First of all, it’s important to have zero tolerance for behavior that resembles any of these three. It isn’t just kids being kids, but putting an end to this problem isn’t as simple as an automatic school suspension of the kids causing the problems. That has actually proven ineffective.

You also need to keep in mind that both bullies and their victims — including bystanders — suffer when the behavior is allowed to continue. By showing that bullying is unacceptable, adults and other kids can actually stop the behavior.

You need to teach your kids to be respectful of all the people involved when dealing with bullying behavior. It’s easy for an adult to demonstrate bullying behavior by demanding answers from children or making threats. Remember, as an adult, you’re in a position of power.

Tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS) to remember what it feels like to be bullied. It’ll help guide you to separate the children and treat each as an individual. You can gather information and get to the truth, but don’t make snap judgments or expect kids to tell you the entire story while they’re standing in front of the person terrorizing them or even their own friends.

What Do I Tell My Child Who Has Been Bullied?

Always reassure your children. Let them know it’s not their fault. Also let them know that you’ll work with them to stop the bullying behavior. Encourage your children to talk to you about what’s happening and how they feel about it.

Also teach your children to tap into their IGS. Their IGS can help them to better understand others — even someone who might be making their lives miserable. Often kids who bully others are doing it because they themselves are being bullied. They might be suffering from some stress at home or they might be new and are trying to fit in. This doesn’t make it right, but it can help your son or daughter to understand that the behavior is more about the troublemaker than about your children.

Finally, help your children learn what to do to take care of themselves if they’re bullied again. This doesn’t mean teaching them how to fight back either verbally or physically. Instead, let them know there are safe places to go and adults they can turn to. Roleplay with them – use different responses such as how to leave the scene and how to get help as well as support from a friend or an adult.

Adults and kids must work together to support one another and prevent bullying. People need to learn to respect other people who are different from them. No one has to be exactly like any other human being — that would be an unrealistic goal, but people can learn to be kind to one another and honor their differences. When everyone learns to do this, not only will you see an end to bullying behavior in your children, but in adults as well.

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.

Raising Lucky Kids

fortune keyIt seems like some people are born lucky while others constantly have a dark cloud swirling overhead. How does a parent help ensure that their children have that lucky star? Luck is largely a result of one’s attitude and fortunately, that’s something that you can change.

Tom Brokaw is an example of a person who’s led a charmed life, but that’s not to say that his life has been without challenges.

In August of 2013, he was diagnosed with cancer, but at 75 years old, he’s had so many ups than downs that even his friends refer to his luck as “Brokaw’s lucky star.”

Being born in the right family at the right time is a big help when it comes to finding success in life, but luck goes beyond your circumstances. Brokaw offers tips that you can use to improve your luck and raise your own kids under their own lucky stars.

Mistakes

Everyone makes them. Lucky people learn from their mistakes and sometimes being lucky means recognizing the mistake early on so you can minimize the consequences. Other times, being lucky means getting a message from someone you care about and heeding it. And then there’s the matter of just learning a lesson from the mistake itself. In that sense, there are no mistakes because you might have needed that hiccup in order to learn something that’ll lead to your later success.

As a parent, you may want to keep your kids from making mistakes when in turn, that may be your biggest mistake yet. When you love your kids with their mistakes and all, they feel safer and are better equipped to live their lives to the fullest.

Opportunity

Brokaw admits that some of his luck came because he took advantage of opportunities when they arose. By listening to his Internal Guidance System (IGS), he was able to take on new challenges with confidence even when he didn’t think he wanted to make a move. This brought him to be in Berlin at the fall of the Berlin Wall, which was a high point in his career.

Teach your kids to tap into their IGS so they can recognize great opportunities. When you go with the Universal flow, you’re more likely to have an abundance of luck. As the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

Attitude

By keeping a positive attitude, you can create your own luck. You’re open to opportunities and experiences when you face the day looking up rather than down. Feeling confident that you can handle any situation allows for many adventures.

Raise your kids to try a variety of things. Show them to take some risks – start small and build their confidence while they tap into their IGS to steer them towards what they want and away from what they don’t want. This builds up their positive attitude “muscle.”

Pay attention as you teach your kids to make their own luck. Let go of the idea of perfection — people aren’t perfect. Let yourself make mistakes every now and then, but learn from them. Notice the opportunities that come your way and keep your own attitude up. While you’re raising lucky kids, you may just notice your own lucky star shining brightly in the sky as well.

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.

Sharing Your Kids Over the Holidays

Most people’s lives don’t resemble movies, especially when it comes to the holidays. Even for those who have happy memories of their family gathering together for the holidays, the reality these days is different from anything Hollywood writes.
kids following santa
No longer are families consolidated in a single area of the country.

You’re more apt to be traveling across the country for a visit to your parents’ house than you are to trek across town.

You and your generation aren’t the first generation to experience this, but it’s likely even more commonplace today than when you were growing up.

Traveling adds to the stress than many people already feel about the holidays. Whether you’re staying with friends, family, or at a hotel, you’re away from the comforts of home.

On top of all of this, you have to learn how to share your kids.

For some families, sharing kids is a part of the regular routine. Kids may spend the week with Mom and weekends with Dad, or they live with Dad for most of the year and visit Mom on alternate vacations. Obviously, this kind of sharing continues over the holidays, but it’s not the only “kid sharing” you might be faced with.

Even in families with both parents living together, it’s important to share your kids with your extended family and you have to share your kids with their friends too. When your children get older, you have to share them with boyfriends, girlfriends, and even in-laws. Suddenly, “your” family looks very different and trying to plan your holidays has gotten more complicated.

While you may still dream of a holiday worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting, many people will happily settle if we don’t reenact movies like Home Alone or Bad Santa.
Of course, you should still envision the family holiday that you want. Just keep in mind that you cannot create in anyone else’s universe and their vision of the perfect vacation may be quite different from yours.

What is the best way to handle sharing the kids, no matter the age or circumstances? By talking it over with everyone involved, including the kids themselves.

You can each talk about how you’re feeling and what you’re most looking forward to this holiday. What if your college student has his heart set on going to Cabo with his buddies or your daughter-in-law wants to host the family dinner for the first time? Or maybe your youngster wants to stay with his mom this holiday because he has a special tournament he would have to miss if he spent it at your place?

Since it’s not possible for anyone to be in two different places at the same time, you may have to use some creativity and flexibility. If you focus on the feelings you want to have as opposed to the exact experiences, then you truly can have it all. After all, nothing stays the same, including your family. Your traditions may just need to be able to evolve a bit so you have years of happy holidays ahead.

For more, please visit http://www.SharonBallantine.com.

Turning Disappointment into Success

As a parent, it’s always hard to see your children suffer through a major disappointment. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could wave a magic wand so they never have to experience hurt or rejection? On some level, of course, but realistically speaking, this isn’t possible. failure sign in palm

Not only that, it’s not even healthy or helpful.

Instead of waving away these disappointments, you should instead help your kids see how they can turn disappointment into success.

Yes, you can actually use disappoint as a way to get what you want.

Disappointments can come in lots of shapes and sizes. Perhaps your son didn’t make the varsity sports team he had his heart set on. Maybe your daughter didn’t get into the college that was her first choice.

Whether it’s a loss in athletics, academics, your budding politician didn’t get elected class president, or your musician didn’t make the band, this is part of life. These losses are felt deeply, so don’t minimize them or try to sweep them under the rug or fix the problems with an ice cream cone. Give your children time to mourn.

How long do you let them mourn? That depends. Try to check in with your Internal Guidance System to see what feels right to you based on the situation. In most cases, you will get a good clue if you keep your heart open and pay attention to your kids. Sometimes it will be literally over in a few minutes. Other hurts might take longer.

Once you feel that your son or daughter is ready to process this disappointment in a different way, you can start to help them tap into his or her own IGS.

Help your children focus on the experiences that they wanted. What does that want feel like? What exactly about it were they imagining? By tapping into their Internal Guidance Systems, they can decide if what they wanted was about having a level of prestige, if it was because their friends are doing whatever this is, or maybe because they just thought someone might like them better.

Once he they know what feels good to them and what they wanted to experience, they can use their IGS to explore other ways they could experience the desired feelings.

If your son wanted the experience of being on a team with his buddies, can he build another type of team? Or can he be a supporting member without actually playing? If it was about his athletic ability, can he redouble his efforts with a goal of making the team next year? Or would he like to shift his focus to a different sport or a team outside of school?

Now, he has shifted his energy away from his disappointment or feeling like a failure. Instead, he is focusing on the positive feeling that he wanted to experience. He’s thinking about ways he can still capture that feeling. By moving his energy from the negative to the positive, he is actually allowing for these experiences to come to him.

In the moment there was hurt, disappointment, or maybe even anger. By tapping into their IGS, your children are able to use that disappointment to help fine tune what they definitely want. Shifting their energy enables them to attract what they want, so your children can learn to turn any disappointment to success!

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.

You Can Have Anything You Desire in the Universe

I recently heard this story and think it’s a wonderful metaphor for your Internal Guidance System and applying the Law of Attraction in your life. woman with shopping bags

A woman was walking downtown one day when she spotted a new store and decided to check it out. She couldn’t tell what sort of shop it was and she asked the clerk what they sold there.

“Anything you desire,” he answered.

At first glance, she saw nothing she wanted and felt discouraged.

Knowing her wallet was practically empty, the lady wondered out loud if there was anything that she truly desired in the store that she could actually afford.

The clerk then told her that everything in the store was free.

Upon closer examination, she could now see what was available to her.

There were jars full of luck, packages filled with hope, baskets brimming with satisfaction, boxes bursting with wisdom, and bags bulging with joy.

Summoning her courage, the woman placed her order, speaking with conviction. “I would like to have a glass of belief, a locket of love, and parcel of peace of mind. And plenty of gratitude and forgiveness, please.”

Immediately, she was handed a package, so small it easily fit in her hand.
Surprised she asked, “How is it possible that I asked for so much and yet it all fits into such a tiny parcel?”

Smiling, the clerk answered, “In this store, we don’t sell fruits; we sell the seeds.”

Whether you have plenty of money or are currently tapped out financially, the Universe will still provide what you truly desire. There may be many opportunities right in front of you, but like the lady in the story, you won’t even see that they are there until you believe you can have them.

In most stores, you choose between various material items. You can certainly ask the Universe for objects as well as a new job, an improved financial situation, or a wonderful new love in your life.

No matter what you ask for, you should not expect to walk out with your arms filled with boxes in this store. It isn’t that you won’t get the things you’ve ordered; you just won’t find them waiting and gift wrapped, right at the checkout counter.

The store represents all opportunities and choices available to you. You can have anything you want. It is up to you to decide what that is. The items that fill the store’s shelves will be different depending on who perceives them. If you listen to your Internal Guidance System, you will know exactly what will bring you the most joy and fulfillment. That is what you should order from the clerk.

Applying the Law of Attraction in your life is like tending to the seeds the clerk has handed you. By planting the seeds and giving them the attention they need, you know that you will get the results you desire. Getting what you want in life starts with selecting the right seeds.

For more, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.