Category Archives: bullying

Look at your feet to beat back to school stress

Back to school can be a stressful time for kids that are bullied. I have put together some ideas to help you reduce your stress and move forward.

A Tip to beat back to school stress

Look at your feet to beat stress (that means get active)

Most people agree that if you are feeling stress, you need to get moving. One guy told me that anytime he feels stress, he looks at his feet. He means he reminds himself he needs to get moving. He goes on a quick walk or jog, or he gets up and starts doing anything that comes to mind. He just gets moving.

Inner, personal thoughts cause stress. I believe in taking control of inner thoughts as much as possible. That may sound crazy to you, but did you know we can actually take control of our own thoughts? Any time you start feeling stressed out about going back to school, just repeat a line in your head like this one:

In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way,
I am comfortable and happy at this very moment.

The words easy / relaxed / positive / comfortable / happy will start to subconsciously tell your brain to be this way. This is not a new idea, but it can have a very powerful effect, especially if you memorize the two lines and just say them over and over in your mind, any time your mind is stressing you out.

If you want to give this idea a try, you can do an on-line search for mantras. That is the name for a phrase you repeat over and over in your mind to take control of your thought process.

Don’t get bogged down though, because a lot of information about mantras is spiritual or in other languages. Mantras don’t need to be confusing or complicated. Just put some words together that make you feel good like I’ve suggested above. Stay away from words like tension or stress or bully. In other words don’t make a mantra like “I won’t be stressed and I will block out tension. I will not allow people to bully me”. The problem with that mantra is that the brain will hear the words stress / tension & bully and it won’t have a positive effect.

Usually stress comes from negative thoughts in your mind. If you can replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts, you can start to take charge of your thought process and leave a lot of your stress behind.

Of course, some stress is completely normal. If you didn’t stress out a little about certain things, you might not achieve much. Some people say certain kinds of stress are good because it gets us moving and we take action.

Too much stress is when things get dicey. Health problems can start, like upset stomach or headaches or rashes. They say the list is endless. Rather than thinking about stress, why not think about relaxed living.

Of course, these ideas are my personal opinions, but I have found the suggestions can really make a difference and actually reduce stress quite a bit. If you found them helpful, please leave me a quick reply.

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who speaks and presents anti-bullying assemblies in schools  http://www.standupnow.ca

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Learn How Self-Regulation and Bullying are Directly Related

Mississauga Living Arts CentreI am returning from an excellent conference on self-regulation by Stuart Shankar and Jane Bertrand of York University in Toronto, held at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre and sponsored by the Peel Region District School Board. This was the twenty-fourth annual school psychology conference which the PSB has sponsored.
Self-regulation is closely related to the topic of bullying. Self-regulation is about stress and about identifying stressors so you can do something about them. Replace them or change something so that you are no longer stressed. Dr. Shankar emphasized that self-regulation is NOT self-control; it is what makes self-control possible.

Question: How does a child get self-regulated?
Answer: A child gets self-regulated by being regulated.

As teachers, we want our children to be calm so they will be focused and alert. Dr. Shankar really helped me to understand how stressors can affect children and youth negatively and as a result they can have a tough time learning or even functioning in a classroom.
Shankar and Bertrand presented the Five Domains of Self-Regulation. They are: 1/ Arousal Regulation (Physiological)
2/ Emotion
3/ Cognitive
4/ Social
5/ Pro-social

The above five self-regulation domains are all related. One level affects another. People are hyper or hypo sensitive to many things such as bright lighting, visual stimulation or auditory distractions. Auditory distractions are the single greatest stressor so it is important to consider ambient noise, chair clatter and bells or buzzers. These can all have a negative effect on students and their ability to cope in the classroom or their ability to learn effectively.

One segment of the presentation dealt with the teen brain. In teenage years, the brain is driven into cycles of restlessness and exhaustion and in most cases teens are not able to identify their own state of arousal. In other words, they may not realize they are tired or be able to recognize some of their other body states.
Here are the 6 Stages of Arousal as described by Dr. Shankar:
1/ Asleep 2/ Drowsy 3/ Hypo-alert 4/ Calmly focused & alert 5/ Hyper-alert 6/ Flooded
If a teen is constantly being stimulated (for example with TV or video games or skateboarding etc.), then they may be headed for difficulties unless they have a good level of awareness of their own bodies. Teens are natural risk-takers because of the state of the teenage brain, but we need to understand that planful risk-taking is much less likely to get a teen into trouble. Shankar says we need to teach teens their six levels of awareness so they can learn self-regulation.

Jane Bertrand taught us seven keys to a self-regulated classroom. They are:
1/ Classroom makeover (pastel walls with little clutter)
2/ Alert programme
3/ Exercise breaks
4/ Fidgit toys
5/ Playing with clay or modeling medium
6/ Womb room (Snoezelen room)
7/ Yoga

So much fascinating information on the brain and self-regulation. Thanks to you both, Stuart Shanker and Jane Bertrand and to the Peel School Board for sponsoring the event.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who presents bullying prevention workshops in Toronto, Mississauga, North York, Kitchener and London Ontario. www.standupnow.ca telephone: 905-233-2102

Are You Immune to Bullying? Learn about Someone who Is.

I just talked to a 10-year-old boy who told me he is immune to mean comments, teasing and also bullying.
I asked him to explain.

He told me that he just doesn’t let the comment or teasing register in his brain. He just ignores it. He said it is just a natural thing and it isn’t even hard to do.
I asked him, “how long have you had this ability?”
Him: “About one and a half or two years.”
Me: Do you realize that this might mean that you will never be bullied because you will never think of meanness as bullying?
Him: “Yes, I realize that. I think that’s a really good thing.”
Me: “How does this make you feel now that you know that you have this ability?”
Him: “I think it is kind of a super-hero-like power really.”
Me: Yes, I can see that it might be.
Him: Just the other day some kids were saying some mean stuff to me and I didn’t even care.
Me: Do you think they were trying to bully you?
Him: Maybe, but I’m not sure. They just stopped because I didn’t give them a reaction.
Me: Do you think there are very many other people with this power you are describing?
Him: I don’t know anyone else.
Me: Do you think other people could develop this power, or is it only reserved for certain people?
Him: I think there are a few people that could do it, but I think most people can’t.
Me: What do you think a bully would do if they knew you had this super-power?
Him: Leave me alone.
Me: Do you think you have any other super powers?
Him: (Thoughtfully) I’m not sure, maybe.

I have never talked to someone who described themselves as being immune to mean remarks and bullying before. I think this is quite interesting. If you have any comments, I would be pleased if you would share them in the comment box. Thanks.

Bruce Langford, Anti-bullying advocate and school presenter  www.standupnow.ca 
905-233-2102

Iron Joan Police Foundations Students Stand Up Against Bullying

The students of Cardinal Newman Catholic School taught us today about bullying prevention.

The bullying prevention advice we learned at Cardinal Newman is:
Be yourself, let your energy spill out. Celebrate life, be kind and fill your life with respect.

You see, the students at Cardinal Newman live the advice you read above. They are filled with energy, they celebrate day-to-day life and they understand the concept of respect.
We will remember the Cardinal Newman spirit and energy we experienced today for a very long time.
It is our hope that the students of Cardinal Newman will remember the bullying prevention strategies we taught today for as long as we remember their energy.
Daytime presentations were ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’ and ‘Stand Up For Respect’.  The evening parent student bullying prevention presentation was called ‘Stand Up – Keep Your Kids’. Seventy one families attended and enjoyed outstanding pre-show entertainment by the Cardinal Newman Iron Joan group mentored by students from the Sheridan College Police Foundations program. We were dazzled by the confidence shown by the Iron Joan team.  The Sheridan College Police Foundations students who mentored the children at Cardinal Newman were extremely proud of the confidence and skill exhibited by their students.
Cardinal Newman student council also did an amazing anti-bullying presentation. This anti-bullying parent/student program presented by Bruce Langford was made possible by the Ontario Government’s Parent Reaching Out Grant (PRO) available to school parent groups across Ontario.

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who offers anti-bullying workshops in Toronto, Ontario. www.brucelangford.ca Telephone: 905-233-2102

Parent Reaching Out Grants for Bullying Prevention Programs

Government subsidies can help with bullying  prevention. Parent Reaching Out (PRO) Grants for Ontario School Councils are available for 2012 to help increase parent involvement in support of student achievement and well-being. Be sure to apply for 2013 funding once the applications are released, so that you can use your funds for a good cause within your school. Many school councils choose to fund bullying prevention programs as well as purchase anti-bullying books and resources for their school libraries. We have delivered many bullying prevention programs in schools, made possible with the funding from the Ontario Government’s Parent Reaching Out grants.

Great feedback has been received from parents, teachers, principals and students. Here are some comments:

“Bruce Langford’s Stand Up Now programs were excellent, filled with valuable content of benefit to our students. I would gladly endorse this program.”
Ms. Marika Boshyk, Principal St. Demetrius Catholic School Toronto  Toronto Catholic District School Board

“I was impressed with how each presentation was tailored to the needs and interest level of each division. The presentations were creative and interactive and they certainly captured the attention of the students. Thank you again for addressing such an important topic in such an engaging manner.”
Ms. Kim Moses, Teacher Trillium Woods Public School, Richmond Hill  York Region District School Board

“Bruce, we loved your interactive approach with the audience during your presentations, giving our students an opportunity to voice their concerns around bullying through the question and answer portion of the assembly. Your presentation fostered a comfort level with the students that encourage them to be open and honest during the assembly, qualities that tend to be lost when dealing with issues of bullying.”
Claudio Moschella (Acting VP) Earnscliffe Senior Public School, Bramption Peel District School Board

Bruce Langford offers bullying prevention presentations for schools and parent groups
www.standupagainstbullying.com  Phone 905-233-2102

Conquer Bullying and Conflict with Self-Forgiveness

To conquer bullying, let’s strive for less conflict in the world.  How to do that … self-forgiveness. (Read on to learn how we can calm the bullying epidemic by learning the concept of self-forgiveness).

stop judging yourself... forgive yourselfWhen you are comfortable with both your strengths and weaknesses, you radiate simple, unaffected humanity. Self acceptance, total self acceptance, means self-forgiveness.
When you forgive yourself and stop judging yourself, then you won’t judge others, and there will be less conflict in the world.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and speaker/presenter.
www.brucelangford.ca   telephone: 905-233-2102

Does Bully Movie 2012 show too much graphic bullying?

Promo Bully MovieSweet natured and keen to learn, Alex wants more than anything to fit in. But from the moment he gets on the school bus, Alex is relentlessly bullied by classmates, who pummel him with insults, curses and punches.

 As another school year begins, Kirk and Laura Smalley launch Stand for the Silent, an anti-bullying organization. They won’t be waving their son off to school. At the age of 11, tired of being pushed down, thrown into lockers, and verbally abused, Ty Smalley took his own life.

The above scenarios are from the new movie Bully. Have you seen it yet?
When someone gets picked on all the time – ridiculed, pushed, shunned or trash talked – that’s bullying. It happens to 10 to 15 per cent of Canadian students aged 11 to 15, and to 20 per cent of U.S. students. Bullying really hurts people – not just the kids being bullied but also their families. You can make your school and community safer by doing your part to stop bullying.

See the movie Bully. Take A Stand. Take the Pledge. Contact Cineplex, Empire Theatres. The movie is scheduled for release in select theatres April 6, 2012.

Follow on Twitter @bullycanada #stopbullying

Watch Bully. Then tell everyone about it. Because when we all understand what bullying really does to kids and their families, then we can all work together. Visit www.bullymovie.ca to take the pledge.

What is your opinion? Does Bully Movie 2012 show too much graphic bullying and violence? Let us know what you think with a quick comment.

Bruce Langford – anti-bullying advocate and school presenter
http://www.brucelangford.ca