Category Archives: Peaceful Schools

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

Eliminate Anger with these Five Tips

relaxing waterfall

Let your anger go. Allow peace to replace it.

Anger can often lead to problems which may include violence, bullying or even just frustration. Learn to harness your anger with these 5 basic tips:

  1. Try to figure out why you’re angry. Did somebody say something that really ticked you off? Did someone tease you? Did someone take their anger out on you? If you can answer these questions you may realize you don’t even have a reason to be angry.
  2. Release your anger gradually. Get in touch with your own feelings so you know how you can release your own anger. Go out for a jog. Go for a swim. Workout at the gym. Do something creative. Shoot some hoops. Play the piano. You get the idea. Do something that will help you unwind.
  3. Ask for help. Talk with a friend about your frustrations until you feel better. Spend time with your counselor unloading your frustrations. Sit down and look your web cam in the lens and make a video, talking about how you feel. Watch that video and experience your mood begin to change.
  4. Think about someone you can help. The world is full of people who need a hand. Think of someone who is having a rough time right now. Are they experiencing cyber-bullying or workplace bullying? You can do something to help them. Think of what it is and get to work. This is one of the best ways to beat anger and frustration.
  5. Get totally relaxed. Slow down your thought process and start thinking the most peaceful thoughts you possibly can imagine. Put on a relaxing CD. Close your eyes take deep breaths. Imagine the most relaxing place you could possibly be. Maybe it’s the beach with the sound of gentle waves in the background. It could be a grassy meadow with the breeze blowing through your hair. Feel the tension leave your body. Simply allow your body to completely unwind.

 Bruce Langford, Bullying Prevention Advocate www.standupnow.ca

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

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

Were Steve Jobs, Tom Cruise, Cher, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein bullied?

Steve JobsA little known secret about Steve Jobs is that he had a learning disability in the form of dyslexia. Sadly, special needs students are often bullied. In fact people who are different are frequently bullied and many times special needs children are perceived as being different. Children with special needs may be dyslexic as in the case of Steve Jobs or they may be autistic. They could also have ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), have a visual or auditory impairment, or be gifted.

There are many examples of famous people who had special needs, yet were able to compensate for their challenges. Some examples of famous people with dyslexia are: Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Cher, John Lennon, Sir Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg. Other famous people with learning disabilities are: Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

In many classrooms there are children who are very protective of their special needs classmates. However, sometimes special needs students suffer relentless bullying.

We can all help special needs students achieve success by making sure they are not bullied, and by creating a classroom culture of protection. After all, special needs children often have amazing talents and abilities as the list above indicates. Remember, Stand Up Against Bullying in every school classroom, home and community!

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who teaches peace strategies.  www.standupagainstbullying.com

 

Take a stand , make a change – stop the culture of bullying

Caribbean Island Sunset

Virgin Islands Sunset

Here is a bullying acronym – Ways to turn bullying around:
Beautiful person that has a
Unique personality and can be a
Loyal friend also
Loving & caring so
Youth stand up for your rights and
Individuals take a stand
Never give up on yourself and
Grow your confidence.

Never give up – keep on being strong.
Stand Up Against Bullying!
This acronym was created by students at the United States Virgin Islands Youth Summit 2012 under the leadership of Bruce Langford www.brucelangford.ca

 

I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander (St. Thomas V.I.)

Sugar Bay Resort Stand Up Against Bullying Youth Summit 2012A student report:
Today we went to the U.S. Virgin Islands Youth Summet at SugarBay Resort and Spa. There were about 300 5th and 6th graders. We are all from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Education Schools.
We watched BennyDL go live on ATFM radio broadcasting directly from SugarBay Resort. He talked to callers, sang songs and talked about bullying prevention. BennyDL is a DJ but his real name is Bruce Langford.
Later we watched videos & talked about the issues related to bullying. We got into groups with students from other schools. Some of us made up poems and songs about bullying and what to do. Some of us made up role-plays and skits about bullying. Some groups presented to everyone.
We put our ideas together into one pledge we believed in. The pledge we came up with is simple:

Our Stop Bullying Pledge
I pledge to stop bullying and not be a bystander.
I will lend a helping hand to others to help keep our communities safe.

Students from 7th to 12th grade also met and came up with the following vow:

The U.S. Virgin Islands Anti-bullying Vow
We solemnly vow to abolish bullying!
We hereby declare we will use our courage and strength
to not be a bystander,
but instead be a leader, take action and to take a stand.
School Speaker

Bruce Langford is an international presenter and anti-bullying advocate   www.brucelangford.ca

Talk out your bullying problems using a non-confrontational approach

Talk it out, talk it out, talk it out!

If you are being bullied, don’t keep it all inside you. You can talk it out with the person who is making life tough for you – as long as you do it in a non-confrontational way. Make sure you don’t sound threatening, and don’t display anger or frustration. Just stay cool, and casually talk it out with them.

If you are experiencing bullying on a regular basis, find someone you can talk to; find a trusted friend or adult; find a teacher or councilor. Talk out a situation that is bothering you and it can make all the difference in how quickly you are able to resolve the conflict.

Don’t have anyone to talk to?

Boy talking to dogTalk to yourself or your pet. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, call ‘KidsHelpPhone’ at 1-800-668-6868. You can also jot down your thoughts in a journal. This can really help you work through your problems. Just remember, keeping anger and frustration locked inside can eventually cause problems.

Talk it out in the most safe and confidential way possible.

Stand Up Now Productions –LiveSchoolShows about Bullying & Conflict Resolution with teacher/presenter Bruce Langford.

www.brucelangford.ca

Keep Your Focus and Believe the Bullying Will Stop

No bullying is the focus I often talk to people about their own experiences with bullying. I was at a school recently where I talked to someone about her own personal experiences. She said bullying had been part of her life for years. She had told people about the meanness and about specific hurtful examples. She explained how she sometimes spoke up and asked the bully to stop. She tried to stay confident. She read as much about bullying as she could. She talked to friends about her frustrations. She asked her parents for advice. She said there were times when she felt discouraged, but she never gave up. She was determined that the bullying would stop and she just kept imagining a day when people would not pick on her.

When she was going into grade 6, she tried even harder to stay focused on her vision of no bullying. She said, as the year progressed, she noticed the bullying started to decrease. More people were nice to her. People would sometimes stick up for her. After Easter she realized that the bullying had actually stopped completely. She never forgot her struggles though. They remained vividly etched in her mind.

This is the kind of good-news story that can help everyone realize that bullying can be conquered! Now that she is a grade six teacher herself, she was able to tell me her story with clarity and focus. Even though it was a tough struggle, she is a shining example for her students today, and she has empathy when students talk to her about their own challenges with bullying.

Bullying prevention is the focus in our School Assemblies. Visit www.atfm.ca or www.brucelangford.ca for more information

Sarnia Area School is determined to reduce bullying with Student Seminar

Sarnia Area School Peaceful School Pledge

Hillcrest Peaceful School Pledge

The Hillcrest Peaceful School pledge is posted in the gym in a huge green peaceful school tree. The students and staff hear it every morning on the announcements.
It reads:
I attend a peaceful school.
It is my responsibility to play safe
and not say or do anything that hurts anyone’s body, feelings or things.
I respect myself.
I respect others.
I respect property.

The students showed that respect yesterday as we presented two anti-bullying seminars to the students. Petrolia School, Hillcrest Public School SignHillcrest teachers gave Stand Up Now Productions top marks in their feedback reports saying they would definitely encourage other Sarnia area schools in the Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) to host our Stand Up Against Bullying seminars. Teacher/Presenter, Bruce Langford was extremely pleased with the student response to the skits, videos and music.

Hillcrest Public School Building

Hillcrest Public School, Petrolia

Students at Hillcrest Public School really do care about being a peaceful school!