More Anti-bullying Activists

The Twitter Birds brought to our attention that during the month of May Christine Fonseca will be focussing on the issue of bullying on her Growing Up Gifted blog 
http://growingupgifted.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/understanding-the-bully/
She will be using the concepts found in Barbara Coloroso’s book, THE BULLY, THE BULLIED, AND THE BYSTANDER, as well as her professional experience, she will examine the many aspects of bullying as it relates to the gifted.

  • Week of 5/3 – The Bully
  • Week of 5/10 – The Bullied
  • Week of 5/17 – The Bystander
  • Week of 5/24 – How to help

Cruel is NOT Cool

Typical of many gifted children Sprite has a strong sense of justice.
She loves to organize protest marches and campaigns like the Feetspeak Unfair to Sprite protest march and the Please Remember campaign.
So when she saw that author Annie Fox, who has been a guest contributor to Sprite’s blog, is organizing an anti-bullying campaign in the U.S., she was eager to help.

This is Annie Fox’s campaign
Cruel’s Not Cool! a new anti-bullying campaign to engage students, teachers, administrators and parents in a community-wide exploration of our culture of cruelty, why cruel’s not cool, and what each of us can do, moment-by-moment to take back our schools by making them safer, more accepting places for all students all the time.
See http://www.anniefox.com/cruel.php

So Sprite repainted her signs and assembled her campaigners. There were more of them this time.
I noticed a monkey and a meerkat among the marchers.
All the over excitable Dabrowski dogs were there. Imaginational was dreaming of an ideal world where no one was cruel and people and dogs spent their days lazing happily in the sun together.
Caramel Cat was really lazing in the sun and Arachnid the Spider was still too busy with web design to attend.
Everyone seemed to be giving the same message this time – even Columbus Cheetah who could not find a way of working in a message of protest about speed restrictions.
As expected the Origami Secretary Bird had a slightly different approach and claimed that the campaign was about stopping work place harassment. But Sprite did not mind because she said Cruel Is NOT Cool in any setting!

Annie Fox says

Annie Fox says:
March 6, 2010 at 6:27 am
Hi Sprite,

You’ve asked a really important question. “Why are kids mean to each other?” Wow! I could write a book just on that one! Actually, in a way, I already have. If you haven’t yet read “Real Friends vs. The Other Kind” you should. In it you will definitely find some answers to the most common friendship issues.

But you don’t have to read the book to realize that people (that includes adults, kids, tweens and teens) are incredibly complex! Sometimes we want to do the right thing and we do it. The “right” thing can include: being respectful to other people, being kind, being true to yourself, etc. And sometimes we’re not sure what the right thing is. Why? Because at that moment you might feel very scared or very angry or very embarrassed. Those intense emotions can make it really hard to think straight. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m not thinking straight, I am much more likely to do or say something I later regret… something that’s rude and hurts someone’s feelings.

Back to your question: some kids are mean to other kids because the adults in their lives haven’t been very nice to them. So those kids feel bad about themselves. When a person feels that way a lot of the time he or she lashes out at others. It’s not fair, and it doesn’t make it OK. No way! But it may help you understand where the “mean kid” is coming from.

In those situations the best thing you can do is first to take some slow deep breaths to calm yourself down. Then calmly and maturely let people know (by your words and your behavior) that you don’t appreciate what they did. Do your best to put yourself back in control of your own behavior. Know that you deserve respect and show, by the choices you make at school and at home, that you always respect yourself.

Oh, one more thing that can help in these annoying situations, is to remind yourself that you won’t be going to this school with these kids forever. Thank goodness! As you get older and move up in the grades the other kids get more mature and less interested in putting down other people.

Letter to Annie Fox

“Can you help me write the letter to Annie Fox at http://anniefox.com/ NOW please?” demanded Sprite “I asked you to help me do that a couple of weeks ago!“
“OK, what do you want to write?”
“Just tell her all that mean stuff the queen bee girls were saying to me, calling me Spit and Spite and ask her why kids are mean like that! Send her the blog entry you wrote about it.“ https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/spit-spite-sprite/
“OK,” I said “I’ll do that.
But in the meantime have a look at What Kids Want to Know about Bullying and Other Friendship Issues at http://ezinearticles.com/?What-Kids-Want-to-Know-About-Bullying-and-Other-Friendship-Issues&id=3723788
I think you will find that was one of one of the questions she answered.”

Also I will see whether we can get some of her books for you to read” http://www.anniefox.com/books/msc.html

Annie Fox has a series called Middle School Confidential. You can watch a video trailer at http://www.anniefox.com/books/msc.html and you can download a free leaders’ guide to the series at http://www.freespirit.com/files/OTHER/Leader’s_Guide_to_the_MS_Confidential_Series.pdf

As well as the Middle School Confidential series Annie Fox has written Too stressed to think and The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating which is out of print now but can be downloaded FREE at http://www.anniefox.com/books/tsg.html

The Third S.I.P. – P for Physical and Practical Part 2

“What can I do about Little Bully Black Dog?” asked Sprite. “I think it could be quite fun to play with him but he always ends up getting too rough and making me feel bad about the things I can’t do”
“Is it my fault? Am I doing something wrong?” Could I learn how to play and joke with him so he would play nicely?”
“Is he just a mean bully or does he have problems too and wants to feel better by making me feel worse?”

I was impressed with the insight that Sprite was developing and I knew of a couple of programs that could be helpful for her.

First we looked up Psychologist, Evelyn Field’s Bully Blocking website at http://www.bullying.com.au/ and found helpful information there.

Then I showed Sprite Psychologist, Alison Brown’s website http://www.psychologyandchildren.com.au/ and told her about her programs which help children to build and keep friendships. The titles of her programs appealed to Sprite.
“The Rainbow Connection – that sounds really hopeful and Football or Fractals? – Well, that’s just how it is!
Except for me it’s more like Harmonic Motion of the Planets or Stick on Stars and Makeup!”

spritewblackdog09