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.

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.

Proactive Parenting: Help Your Children Avoid Social Media Pitfalls

Shocked Mother and Texting TeenagerOMG! – It’s the reaction many parents have after discovering their child’s social media profiles for the first time. No matter if they’re honors students or academically challenged, many teens are tempted to engage in risky or inappropriate online communication that may be harmful to their virtual and real-life reputation.

Parents should be aware of their children’s social interactions and take action when necessary.

“We advise parents to be proactive about their children’s activities on and offline,” said Rasheda Kamaria, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl LLC. “Be a role model and set the example instead of being your child’s BFF when it comes to navigating the social world.”

Why?

Because many children and adults alike are unknowingly putting themselves at risk as targets of online predators. Others may be hindering their chances for jobs, internships and even college admissions.

According to a 2013 nationwide survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder, more than 43 percent of hiring managers who research candidates via social media said they found information that caused them not to hire a candidate. The same is true for several U.S. colleges and universities.

A Kaplan-commissioned survey last year found that 31 percent of college admissions officers had visited an applicant’s personal social media page to learn more about them. Significantly, for those trying to get into college, 30 percent of admissions officers revealed they discovered information online that negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.

Here are a few tips for parents to help their children (and even themselves) avoid social sharing pitfalls:

• Have a conversation with your child about his/her social media interactions. You’d be surprised what they may share.
• Model appropriate online etiquette. Be careful what you post and share online as many children mimic their parent’s behavior.
• Set boundaries and inform your child of potential dangers online. The FBI offers valuable tips relating to cyber safety on its website.
• Unplug. Schedule dedicated family time minus media of any kind.

This summer, Empowered Flower Girl will launch a series of proactive parenting workshops. “Social Secrets: What Parents Should Know. What Teens Don’t Want Them To” is the first of the interactive workshops that will be offered. For more information, call 248-629-0334 or email info@empoweredflowergirl.com.

Empowered Flower Girl hosts Chica Chat in partnership with Detroit Parent Network

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Workshop to address cyberbullying, drama and cliques among middle, high school girls

 

DETROIT – In an effort to combat cyberbullying, drama and “mean girl” behavior and inspire positive relationships among middle and high school students, Empowered Flower Girl will host its signature Chica Chat workshop – in partnership with Detroit Parent Network.

 

The two-hour workshop, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2013, is open to girls 10-16 years old throughout the metro Detroit area.

 

“Our goal is to empower girls and young women with the tools to communicate effectively,” said Rasheda Kamaria, chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl. “The workshop provides them with a safe, judgment-free and supportive environment where they can express themselves fully while getting to know other girls.”

 

Earlier this year, Empowered Flower Girl received a grant from Detroit SOUP, a micro-funding organization, to offer the workshop to three Detroit schools and a nonprofit organization free of charge.

“We’re excited to offer Chica Chat in Detroit,” Kamaria said. “I grew up in the city. I was bullied and picked on throughout middle school and can relate to what young people are experiencing. Prevention is our priority.”

 

In order to participate, youth must have their parent’s or guardian’s permission.

 

Register through June 6 at chicachat.eventbrite.com. For more information about Empowered Flower Girl, visit empoweredflowergirl.com.

 

Rasheda Kamaria is the chief empowering officer and founder of Empowered Flower Girl LLC, a social enterprise that produces workshops and clothing that inspire girls and young women to live powerfully. 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 written numerous articles on the subject.

 

Chica Chat combats girl bullying

Chica Chat at a Glance

When: Thursday, June 13, 2013; 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Detroit Parent Network, 726 Lothrop Rd., Detroit

Contact: Rasheda Kamaria, info@empoweredflowergirl.com

Cost: Free; advance registration is required