Tuesday, October 25, 2016

National Bullying Prevention Month: How to Stop Bullying



How to Stop Bullying

In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, we are taking the opportunity to highlight the seriousness of bullying and some strategies to prevent and stop it.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. (stopbullying.gov)

“You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user,” Facebook requires people to pledge when they sign up. Users also agree not to fake their identities or to post content that is hateful or pornographic (The Atlantic)

Most of us have been a victim of bullying at some time in our lives.  As we have seen by news reports of suicides that resulted from being bullied, bullying is a serious matter.  I hope these strategies will help some of you find ways to prevent and stop bullying.

Types of Bullying

Physical: Hitting, punching, kicking, picking a fight
Verbal: name calling, insults, teasing, mean jokes, gossip
Emotional: Purposely leaving someone out or embarrassing them
Cyber-bullying: spreading rumors online or receiving insulting texts by phone, text, or email

Strategies for Children and Teens

Physical: Do not engage.  Assertively tell the person to stop and walk away.  If there is a fight, you will get hurt and also get in trouble.
Verbal:
1.      Look the bully in the eye and firmly tell him to stop.  Be assertive and use confident body language.  Example:  “Cut it out, Jim!”  Stand up tall.  Think to yourself, he is acting like a jerk and won’t get away with putting me down.
2.      Stay calm.  Even if you feel upset, don’t let your emotions show.
3.      If the bullying persists, tell an adult you trust who can make an impact.  Telling is not the same as tattling.
4.      If you see someone being bullied, stand up for him or her, and try to get some friends to join you.  Offer friendship to a victim.
5.      If you are tempted to tease someone in a mean way, think about what it would be like if someone were doing this to you.  Look for your better side.
Emotional:  This kind of bullying can often be found inside your social group.  You can tell the perpetrators to stop, and you can seek other friends who treat you with respect.
Cyber-bullying: You can report this to the service provider, which can block the person from trying to contact you.


Strategies for Parents

1.      Pay attention.  If you notice something is wrong with your child, talk about it. Converse with your child on a daily basis and be open to hearing things you don’t like without being critical, so your child will confide in you.
2.      If you find out your child is being bullied, take it seriously and take action.  Suggest the strategies above.
3.      If you find out your child is a bully, it is time to have a serious discussion about the implications.


No one deserves to be bullied.  Do not tolerate it for yourself or others.  Together, we can make the world a kinder place.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Top 5 Grammar Mistakes

Top 5 Grammar Mistakes

If you want to look smart, it is best to reduce your grammar mistakes.  Here are five of the most common mistakes made even by excellent writers!


1.       Using an apostrophe for a plural word – example: The class will meet on Wednesday’s.  This is plural, so it should by Wednesdays.  If you aren’t sure about adding an apostrophe, ask yourself if the word is plural or possessive.  A possessive word gets an apostrophe, like “the bike’s tire is flat.”

The most common misuse of the apostrophe that I’ve seen refers to a family – you should write “the Johnsons,” not “the Johnson’s”.

2.       Using an apostrophe for its when it isn’t possessive– example: “The tree lost it’s leaves” is incorrect because “its” is not a contraction for “it is.”  The correct sentence is, “The tree lost its leaves.”  Also correct is “It’s time to go” because in this case, “it’s” is a contraction for “it is.”


3.       Capitalization Remember that you only capitalize proper nouns, which are the names of people or places.  For example, “our school’s principal” is not capitalized, while “Principal Heller” is, since it is a name.

For a title, you capitalize each word except the small words like is, for, and, about.  A sample title is “All about Eve.”

4.       The use of I – “Henry and I went to the store” is correct because without Henry, it would be “I went to the store.”  In this case, I is the subject.  “They gave Jane and I a big thank you” is not correct because in this case, I is the object, which should be me.  “They gave Jane and me a big thank you” is correct because without Jane, it would be, “They gave me a big thank you,” not “They gave I a big thank you.”  To get this right, just remove the other person and see how it sounds.


5.       Less vs. fewer - Less refers to amount, such as “less water.”  Fewer refers to something that can be measured by number, like “fewer apples.”  About ten years ago, Bob Green, a columnist from The Washington Post, convinced the Giant Supermarket to change the fast line sign from “10 items or less” to “10 items or fewer” so that they could be grammatically correct.