Can You Name 5 Reasons For Being Honest?

When dealing with bullying, you will find that the issue of honesty often comes to the surface. It is important to be honest, and I emphasize this with students in presentations everywhere. But what is an actual, real-life reason for being honest?

Here are five specific reasons for honesty:

1/ ReputationHonesty is one of the most important ways to build a solid reputation. It is a key element in almost everyone’s mind as to whether a person is desirable. If you are choosing a friend, would your first choice be someone you knew was completely honest, or someone whose honesty was questionable? The answer is obvious. Protect your reputation by being honest. That reputation will be with you for a very long time.

2/  Peace Of Mind — there is and gnawing feeling inside you when you say something that is not true. That feeling can remain for a very long time, and it can be more uncomfortable than many people realize. When you tell an untruth you may think that you can simply move on, but the fact is that your subconscious mind remembers you have told something which is untrue. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘that is something that really eats away at me?’ That’s what dishonesty can do. Subconsciously it can do harm over time. If you take a vow of honesty, you will be rewarded in your life. You will have an inner peace which will give you great comfort.

 

3/ Relationships — honesty can solidify a friendship or family connection and build the feeling of confidence that you have with the other person or people in your relationships. Whether we are talking about relationships of family, marriage, business, education, or religion, honesty is a vital part of those relationships. Honesty can create an environment where a relationship of any kind will flourish.

 

4/ Health And Well-Being — honesty can free us from guilt, worry, and other forms of psychological stresses. Dishonesty can cause many psychological problems, therefore it only makes sense that honesty can result in excellent mental health. There is a feeling of peace and calm that results from saying the right things, being honest, and living a life of integrity. We simply feel better when we are honest.

 5/ Being Genuine — after presenting hundreds of shows to children, one commonality that comes to mind is the answer to the question I often ask; “how do you make good friends and keep them“. The answer that comes from students time after time is simply two words; “be yourself”. If children see ‘being yourself’ as such an important aspect of relationships and friendships then it is obviously very important to be genuine. How do you be a genuine person without being honest? Of course the answer is… it would be impossible. To be genuine, you absolutely must be honest. So remember, be yourself, be genuine and most of all be honest.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate and school speaker & presenter on all topics related to bullying.  www.standupnow.ca

 

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

Five Basic Ways to Show Respect and Eliminate Bullying

St. Ann Catholic School in Ancaster Ontario was the location of our ‘Stand up For Respect’ programs yesterday.  The students were excited and it showed! (St. Ann School looks incredible with it’s regal white columns as you can see in the photo).

Unbelievable enthusiasm filled the gymnasium. Children at St. Ann Catholic School definitely understand the meaning of the word ‘respect’. They showed respect from the moment they walked into the gym.  Principal Mr. Mike Goffredo is obviously very proud of his students. Mr. Goffredo runs a tight ship and it was clear his students have great respect for their principal.

Children came into the gym to practice role-plays for the assembly. Several students told me how happy they were to attend a school where there is almost no bullying at all. Other children remarked about how safe they feel every day within the walls of St. Ann Catholic school. What a great testament to the administration, teachers and other staff. Parents of St. Ann  children must feel thrilled to send their students to such a great school.

The children were dressed for Earth Day, so the audience was a sea of green. Participation in their schoolwide spirit day was obviously high. If the students show as much respect for each other as they do for the Earth, it must be one of the most respectable schools around.

During the ‘Stand Up For Respect’ assembly the children learned some strategies to use in order to maintain their level of respect. We watched a video which outlined some of the following respect tips:

Be polite
Include others
Share
Play fair
Use friendly language

The assembly featured ATFM radio with DJ Benny DL at the controls. He sang songs, played commercials, and talked about treating each other in a fair and decent manner. Children laughed at the humor in Benny DL’s Rockethead video. It featured a rocket blasting around the world. It also outlined all kinds of ways to show respect to each other.

More advanced strategies were presented in the grade 6 to 8 assembly which followed the break. Students acted out role-plays, watched videos and discussed pertinent issues. After the assemblies ended students went home and encouraged their parents to come back at 6:30 PM to learn even more about bullying, cyber bullying and relationships. The parent session was funded by a subsidy made possible by the government of Ontario through a PRO grant. The assembly was well attended, with more than 20 families from St. Ann being represented. Every family in attendance received a free CD containing 14 sample songs on the topics of respect and bullying. Students acted out skits and performed for their parents. We want to thank Mr. Goffredo along with teachers students and parents from St. Ann school. What a great day!

Bruce Langford, anti-bullying advocate – www.standupforrespect.ca

 

Earth Day reminds us to consider what matters around us

Be willing to speak up in support of maintaining nature’s systems that make our earth so magnificent.  Treat the earth with consideration.
Do your part every day to make the earth a better place.

EARTH DAY is a day to consider the gift our earth gives us
including clean air to breathe and fresh water to enjoy.

We must preserve these gifts by all working together to maintain the natural resources the earth provides.

We must also work together to keep our relationships on track and
to maintain feelings of appreciation and thoughtfulness. Speak up when
something needs to be said. See a little of yourself in others and you will be
more understanding and sensitive to their needs. Doing these things will help to
keep your relationships filled with respect. Bit by bit the concept of bullying will become even more abhorrent than it already is. Beat bullying by building respect and living it everyday just as we celebrate Earth Day by showing respect to our planet.

Bruce Langford, bullying prevention advocate www.brucelangford.ca

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