Empowered Flower Girl to facilitate Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood workshop

Cat fights, drama, gossip. While some of us cringe at these behaviors, they’ve become normalized in popular media.

But how are reality TV and social media shaping girls’ relationship realities? Empowered Flower Girl will examine this and how educators and parents can help transform the way girls relate to one another.

As part of the 2017 MAMSE (Michigan Association of Middle School Educators) Conference, EFG will present Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood: In the Age of Bad Girls, Housewives and Frenemies.

This year’s conference is scheduled Friday, March 10 at Swartz Creek Performing Arts Center, 8427 Miller Rd, Swartz Creek, Michigan.
Learn more about the conference and register here.

In addition to engaging more online, girls are twice as likely as boys to be victims of cyberbullying. Mentor Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood examines how role modeling and mentoring can combat relational aggression and encourage positive relationships in and out of the classroom.

Events at Beaumont Hospital to Kick Off Bullying Prevention Month in Michigan

Bullying often goes unreported by students in many schools across the country. Despite research findings that show bullying has significant long-term impacts on both victims and perpetrators, many young people are reluctant to speak up.

It is up to parents, teachers, counselors and youth advocates to learn the signs of bullying and know how to effectively respond to children and youth.

That’s why the International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA), in partnership with Beaumont Children’s, is hosting the Michigan Bullying Prevention Conference on October 1, 2016. The event, scheduled at Beaumont Hospital’s campus in Royal Oak, will unite diverse groups of youth advocates to discuss bullying and peer aggression. They will also develop strategies and solutions to take back to their schools and communities.

Patti Agatston, Ph.D., a national cyberbullying expert and IBPA president, and Anne Collier, founder of the iCanHelpLine, will open up the conference with a keynote and discussion on “Cyberbullying and Digital Citizenship Strategies.”

Workshop topics include restorative practices, school climate, bullying and suicide, effective communication strategies, cyberbullying and legal aspects of bullying and many more.

Registration is $25 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Professional development credits are available. Principals, teachers, counselors, liaison officers, social workers, school board members and those working in community agencies are encouraged to attend.

The conference will be preceded by a free event for parents and adult family members covering information and strategies specific to online safety. Karuna Nain, Facebook global safety manager, will present “Navigating the Social World with Your Teens — Insights from Facebook,” on Thursday, September 29. Registration is required for this event.

The Michigan Bullying Prevention Conference is sponsored by Beaumont Children’s, NoBLE (No Bullying Live Empowered) and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Additional support comes from the Michigan Elementary and Secondary Principals Association (MEMSPA).

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.ibpaworld.org/mi.

Is It Teasing, Bullying or Something Else? Experts Across the Country Make the Distinction

In an effort to help parents and caregivers identify and address bullying, WedMD recently published the feature “What Does Bullying Look Like?”

Patricia Agatston, Ph.D., International Bullying Prevention Association president, and others across the country, offered their expertise in defining what is and what isn’t bullying and what can be done to identify and support children who’ve been impacted by it.  Read the full feature here.

Agatston, a national cyberbullying, will be among the speakers at the Michigan Bullying Prevention Conference, scheduled October 1, 2016, in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Registration for the full-day event is $25 and includes breakfast and lunch. The conference will be preceded by a FREE social media workshop for parents.  Karuna Nain, Facebook global safety manager, will present “Navigating the Social World with Your Teens — Insights from Facebook,” on Thursday, September 29. Visit the Michigan conference website for details.

 

PARENTING: Tips for stomping out bullying and digital harassment

We often receive emails, IMs and phone calls from parents and grandparents concerned about their child’s wellbeing in school. Often the child has reported being harassed or bullied. We commend parents for taking the first step toward a resolution.

There are numerous resources available to prevent and address conflict. One of my personal favorites is the Stomp Out Bullying organization.

Is your child being cyberbullied? Is she or he experiencing conflicts in school? Here’s how you can help.

Get more tips at StompOutBullying.org.

Be supportive of your child. Parents may be tempted to tell their kids to toughen up, that names never hurt anybody, yet – cyber attacks can harm a child easily and have a long lasting effect. Millions of cyber accomplices can help target or humiliate your child. That emotional pain is very serious and very real. Do not ignore it.

Alert the school and guidance counselor to watch out for in-school bullying and see how your child is handling things. It is important that you give your child love, support, nurturing and security. Children have committed suicide after having been cyberbullied. Take it seriously.

Did you know?
*Girls were about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.
*Of those students who had been cyberbullied relatively frequently (at least twice in the last couple of months):
*62% said that they had been cyberbullied by another student at school, and 46% had been cyberbullied by a friend.

Bullying Prevention, Relationship-Building Workshop Grants Available

In an effort to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, drama and relational aggression, Empowered Flower Girl is awarding a total of $500 in grants to organizations interested in hosting workshops. Schools, community/faith-based organization and other nonprofits based in Southeastern Michigan are eligible. 

Apply through Oct. 21 for a Fall 2015 grant.

From workshops combating teasing, cyberbullying and cliques, to programs encouraging goal-setting and self-esteem, Empowered Flower Girl helps schools and organizations address critical social issues.

For more information, visit www.empoweredflowergirl.com or email rkamaria@empoweredflowergirl.com.

Children At School“Ultimately, we believe that if students are equipped with the skills to peacefully and effectively problem solve as well as have the capacity for empathy, then they are less likely to be offenders of bullying, hazing or other disruptive behaviors.” – Rasheda Kamaria, Empowered Flower Girl Chief Empowering Officer

Bullying Prevention #Tips4Teens: Stand up for yourself (and others)

From teasing and bullying to hazing and stalking, many teens across the country have experienced some form of harassment.

While nearly 30% of U.S. 6th-12th graders report being bullied at school, others are suffering in silence.

Empowered Flower Girl LLC, a social enterprise with a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another, encourages students to stand up for themselves and others as the school year kicks into high gear.

Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Kamaria offers the following tips to help students handle conflict:

Speak up: Even if you lack confidence or feel afraid, speak up and out against harassment and bullying. Let the person know that you do not approve of his or her actions. No, means no.

Get help: If the teasing, bullying or harassment persist, tell a trusted adult at the school (in addition to a parent or caregiver). School counselors are a great resource and can help you get through the conflict peacefully.

Keep records: Be sure to keep track of any and all incidences and attempts to get help. This will come in handy during any mediation meetings.

Be the change: Hurt people hurt people. Often, bullies have been victims of bullying themselves at some point in their lives. If you’re feeling down and out, find a way to express your feelings (minus the mean). Giving compliments, volunteering or doing something nice for others can brighten your day.

Have more tips to help young people overcome teasing, bullying and other conflict? Share your thoughts with us using #tips4teens. Twitter: @efgempowered

 

Empowered Flower Girl encourages a shade-free summer

New campaign aimed at eliminating cyberbullying and relational aggression

No Shade Just SmilesWhether you call it “drama,” “beef,” or “throwing shade,” online conflict via social media is impacting the way young people communicate and relate to one another. Tension in and out of the classroom is being fueled by Facebook fallouts and Yik Yak attacks.

Empowered Flower Girl (EFG) advises youth and parents alike to monitor online interactions and behavior.

Results from a recent Wayne State University study found that 54 percent of youth were involved in online abuse.

This summer, Empowered Flower Girl is encouraging kindness and working to thwart meanness with its “No Shade. Just Smiles.” campaign.

“Parents and teens play a vital role in eliminating cyberbullying,” said Rasheda Kamaria, EFG chief empowering officer and founder. “If you’re experiencing conflict with someone, avoid sending mean text messages and posting shade-filled status updates. Have a conversation with that person if possible or if the situation is serious, seek help from a mediator.”

When there is a threat of violence or if a crime has been committed, call 9-1-1.

Seeking solutions to cyberbullying, drama, relational aggression or other social/communication challenges among teens in your school or community? Empowered Flower Girl offers engaging workshops, programs and content that tackle these issues.

For more information, visit http://www.empoweredflowergirl.com. Join the conversation with #NoShadeJustSmiles. “We want teens to break the internet with positivity,” Kamaria said.

Beyond Bullying Prevention: The end of bullying begins with empathy and compassion

End of BullyingBy Rasheda Kamaria

Empowered Flower Girl aims to inspire, entertain and empower youth, communities and families with our programs and online content. This month, National Bullying Prevention Month, I want to go a little further. I want to challenge everyone who reads this post to reach out to a young person and have an authentic conversation about . . . whatever. But what I challenge you to do more than anything, is listen.

Perhaps you’ve read recent headlines about the 14-year-old Florida boy, who after being “bullied his whole life,” committed suicide. Media outlets across the nation reported that the Greenwood Lakes Middle School student’s lifeless body was found in the school’s bathroom. He and his family had reportedly moved from New York to Florida because of bullying.

My heart aches and breaks. Not only for this young man but also for the countless others that we may know or have read about this year who have taken their lives to escape the agony of being harassed and taunted daily. Perhaps us as community leaders, educators, parents and everyday citizens can listen more to our children (and by our children I mean all children).

I believe it’s time we shift from bullying prevention to encouraging and instilling empathy, compassion and acceptance in schools, communities and families.

Rasheda Kamaria is the chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl LLC, a social enterprise that works with schools, communities and families seeking solutions to cyberbullying, drama, relational aggression and other social/communication challenges facing youth. A survivor of bullying, Kamaria was featured in the article “Being Bullied Changed My Life” in the May 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine and has spoken and written numerous articles on the subject.

A Year in Review: Empowered Flower Girl immersed in the community

For Empowered Flower Girl, 2013 has been an eventful and inspiring year. Over the past 11 months, EFG has had the honor of facilitating workshops and programs throughout southeastern Michigan and Lansing. Approximately 225 girls and women participated in our Chica Chat and Mentoring Girls & Inspiring Sisterhood workshops.

Thanks to Detroit SOUP, we were able to offer Chica Chats to a diverse group of girls and young women, including teenagers struggling with challenging behaviors and addictions. Over the summer, we partnered with Detroit Parent Network to host the first Community Chica Chat.

We also celebrated our three-year anniversary with friends, family and supporters, including Detroit City Council President Saunteel Jenkins.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended an event, recommended us to a friend, “liked” us on social media or sent positive energy. Your support helps us help girls and young women live POWERfully.

Empowered Flower Girl’s reach and impact in 2013:

Workshops

Hazel Park Middle School of Hazel Park, Mich.
Reach Academy of Roseville, Mich.
Serenity Program at Capstone Academy
Family Literacy Night, Detroit Parent Network
I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference
I am Woman Expo
Parenting Awareness Michigan Conference
Women’s Weekend at Citadel of Praise

Media

Girl’s Life Magazine
Black America Web
Tenacity Radio
C and G News
ColorBlind Magazine
BLAC Magazine
Metro Parent Magazine
CBS Detroit

Cyberbullying prevention starts at home

Reported incidences cyberbullying are all too common in the Digital Age. Even kindergartners have access to a world of information in the palm of their hands thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices.

While schools and communities across the nation are implementing programs to curb in-school and online harassment, prevention ultimately starts at home.

With the increase in bullycides and bullying-related illnesses over the years, parents should be aware of and engaged in their children’s online activities.

Tweens and teens may consider it snooping, but Rasheda Kamaria, Empowered Flower Girl CEO, considers it conscious parenting.

“Informed parents are better able to help their children identify safe spaces online and avoid those that are potentially harmful,” she said.

Knowing which social networks and electronic communications tools are out there and which ones your children are actively engaging in is the first step. A study from Wayne State University’s College of Nursing, which surveyed nearly 400 metro Detroit youth ages 10 to 18, found that on average, youth spend two hours a day online and send 189 text messages. Additionally, some youth reported having up to 25 email accounts.

Jemica Carter, Ph.D., who co-authored the WSU study with associate professor Feleta Wilson, Ph.D., recommends parents get tech savvy.

“Some parents are unintentionally unaware of their children’s online patterns because they may not have access to the same technology or have challenges using it. Many community organizations and libraries offer free or low-cost computer and social media training for adults,” she said. “Education is the first line of prevention.”

The following are additional tips to help parents prevent and address cyberbullying:

Ask questions. Take an active role by inquiring about your child’s relationships with peers on and off line.  Most children won’t volunteer the information. Parents should ask specific, preferably open-ended questions to get their children to open up.

Host a tech-free family night. Ditch the cell phones, laptops and tablets for dinner and conversation. For some teens, talking face-to-face may seem old-fashioned but it’s a great way for families to connect. It also reduces the temptation to go online.

Be a role model. Parents are their children’s first teacher and play an important role in influencing appropriate online behavior. Parents should be conscious of what they’re posting on social networks and make an extra effort to use technology responsibly.

Overall, the entire community – parents, schools, community groups, faith-based organizations – play an important role in preventing and ending cyberbullying.