For many of us, November has been exhausting. The contentiousness of the U.S. presidential election has kept many who work with children and youth on edge. Our children are like sponges and soak up the good and the bad of our collective behavior. Unfortunately, many have picked up on the not-so good.
But all hope is not lost.
We have opportunities to transform how people relate to one another in our communities and classrooms. I recently attended the International Bullying Prevention Association Conference in New Orleans. The theme was “Getting to the Bottom of It: Bullying Prevention through Empathy and Kindness.”
Kindness is powerful. Author and education expert Dr. Michelle Borba noted in her opening keynote that empathy is “we” not “me.” Instilling a we attitude in our children is vital. This can be done in and out of school through experiential activities.
Sunday, Nov. 13, gave us all an opportunity to turn me into we as the nation observed World Kindness Day, a 24-hour global campaign dedicated to paying it forward and focusing on the good. Empowered Flower Girl encourages you to engage – and engage youth – in activities that make a difference year round!
Make kindness go viral.
New campaign aimed at eliminating cyberbullying and relational aggression
Whether 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.
During International Random Acts of Kindness Week, we typically ponder ways to be more generous, friendly and considerate of others. This year, I invite you to consider adding yourself to the equation.
Being kind to yourself is an important step in empowering others. You can’t help others if you’re not well. Mentally and physically, be good to you.
Our Valentine’s Act of Kindness to You
I have the honor of being one of 38 women around the world featured in this inspiring book by Kathie Holmes. Ms. Holmes is an Australian entrepreneur and founder of the Creative Ability Network.
Holmes gathered 38 amazing women who have all had the darkest of days but drawn on their inner strength to create the brightest of lives. We share our journeys through love, loss and life.