4 Ways to Discuss Bullying and Teach Empathy + Video

GETTING KIDS TO DISCUSS BULLYING helps parents teach empathy.  If you’re

Buster Bully +
Buster Billy Needs Your Child's Advice. Discuss the Video.


like most parents, you don't want your child to purposely hurt others. You don’t want your child labeled, ‘Bully.’

Today, I'll share:

  • 5 reasons it’s hard for bullies to stop
  • 4 ways to discuss bullying with your kids and
  • 6 questions to help your children think about empathy

You’ll find my short YouTube Video below to help with your discussions.

Bullying Is Hard to Stop When a Child Is ~

Click here for the full article on Bullying

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In listening to the video, I suggest you:

  • Stop it when a question is asked
  • Discuss it with your child
  • Listen more than talk

You'll find out if your children are taking on your positive values. If not, be creative. Ask more questions to help them think wisely. Try not to criticize.

When you hear good ideas, give them praise. They'll love your attention and approval. You, in turn, can take pleasure in listening to their developing minds tell you what they really think.

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Here's the video:

Character Building: Teaching Empathy - How Parents and Kids Discuss Bullying

 

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Pick up the Dilemma Discussion Kit

 

Family Conversations Dilemma Kit

Available at KidsDiscuss.com 

It's 51 Discussion Questions will help your family build character and bond together.

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Childhood Fears: 5 Problems, 3 Causes, and 3 Solutions

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How You Can Help Your Child with Fears

Are childhood fears a problem in your home? If so, read the signs, causes, and solutions from our parenting skills expert, Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions. Today she'll share 5 signs to look for, 3 causes for anxiety, and 3 keys to helping your children. 

5 Signals Your Kids May Be Worrying:

1. Sleep problems – fear of the dark, fear of going to bed, begging to sleep with you.

2. Avoidance behavior – upset about going to school, the doctor, or other situations.

3. Attachment frights – clings to you, won’t let you out of her sight, follows you to be safe.

4. Retreats to younger behaviors – sucking thumb, carrying security blanket, wetting the bed.

5. Bodily symptoms – shaking, crying, whimpering

Dr. Michele also lists others signs of anxiety on page 249. Let’s look at 3 specific anxieties your child may experience.

3 Typical Causes for Childhood Anxiety:

Children lack experience and strategies for dealing with problems. Here are some difficulties that many kids face.

1. Divorce – wondering what will happen to them, fearing parents’ quarrels, feeling abandoned and powerless.

2. Bullies – feeling like an outcast, worrying about the next encounter, fearful about what to do.

3. Violent images – playing scary video games, watching brutal movies, listening to hateful music.

Again, Dr. Michele shares more causes for frightful feelings on page 250.

3 Solutions for Helping Your Child Overcome Fears:

1. To support your child through divorce check in with how he feels, let him know what to expect, and assure him that you love him and he will be okay.

2. To assist her with handling bullies, suggest she stay with a large group, an older child, or a helpful companion. Advise her to talk to an adult she trusts for help. Tell her to stay away from places where the bullies hang out.

3. To help him deal with frightening images that scare him, monitor his video games, screen the movies he wants to see, supervise his music.

Dr. Michele advises you to take your child’s fears seriously, avoid belittling, be supportive, teach relaxation skills, and use ‘baby steps’ when helping your child face his fears.

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You’ll find a wealth of practical ideas for understanding childhood fears and helping your son or daughter deal with them on pages 248-254.

Let's THANK Dr. Michele Borba for her tireless work in helping parents help their children. She is an amazing expert.

Dr. Michele Borba

Dr. Michele Borba

Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.

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Parenting: Teaching Your Child to Be a Buddy Not a Bully

Charmaine Hammond and Toby
Toby, the Pet Therapy Dog, Teaches Kids to Be Buddies

Teaching your young child to be kind is easy when you read and discuss, Toby Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully.  Charmaine Hammond, our parenting skills expert, wrote this charming book about her pet therapy dog, Toby. Today, Charmaine is here to show how Toby teaches a classroom of students how to think about bullying.

Toby's Story about Being Bullied

Some dogs are like some children. They bully other dogs by barking, growling, and stealing their toys. This happened to Toby. The students wanted to know how Toby reacted. His actions showed the kids just what to do if they're bullied.

As Miss Charmaine told Toby's story, the children asked questions, shared their feelings, and gave their advice. Their teacher, Mrs. Johnson, asked, "What can you do if someone hurts your feelings, is mean to you, or is being a bully to someone else?" Before you read their answers, I suggest you get your child to share what he would do.

Toby's Message about Being a Buddy

Toby likes all the kids for who they are, even if their shoes are purple with polka dots. He sends the message that appearances don't matter. It's what in a child's heart that counts.

Toby's Book Promotes Kindness

Miss Charmaine gives the class 'homework.' She asks them to do acts of kindness to friends, parents, and animals before the day is over. You can ask your child to think of specific things he could do to be kind.

Enjoy asking the discussion questions. You'll  find out what your child really thinks about being a bully or a buddy. 

In the end, you'll find Toby's 4 rules to post on your fridge. They'll give your youngster the best ideas for dealing with bullies.

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This excellent book makes a welcome gift for Christmas and birthdays. The colorful pictures will capture your child's imagination and the messages will touch his heart.

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Let's THANK Charmaine Hammond for creating a series about her dog, Toby. Charmaine said it took a lot of training in the beginning before Toby became a pet therapy dog. Once trained, she took him to schools, hospitals, and even libraries to cheer people up when they were unhappy, not feeling well, or needed to learn to be a buddy.

Pick up Toby Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully

Toby  says Be a Buddy

Available at Amazon.com

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Bullying and Young Children: Learning Lessons without Lectures

 Waffles and Pancakes Bullies

A Lesson in Bullying

Afraid your young children might become bullies? Cindy Springsteen, our parenting expert and author of the book Waffles and Pancakes ~ A Lesson in Bullying, is here to help. She knows how to teach lessons without lectures. Let's find out her method.

Many young children respond to animal stories. Cindy created a story about 2 hamsters, Waffles and Pancakes, and Oscar, the guinea pig. The boys who own the two hamsters have trouble figuring out why their pets don't feel well. Since hamsters can't talk, the boys didn't know their feelings were hurt by the cruel words of Oscar.

Cindy's story helps kids feel empathy for the hamsters. When parents read this book to their youngsters and probe with questions, they'll be teaching lessons without lectures.

Parents and teachers can use this animal story to:

. Help kids understand animals have feelings

. Be good to animals

. Help kids realize people have feelings

. Be good to others

. Try to get along with everyone

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I suggest asking your children 3 questions while reading this story:

1. Why did the hamsters look sick?

2. Have you ever felt bad when someone said mean things to you? Tell me about it.

3. What advice do you have for Oscar the bully? Why?

You might even have your children draw a picture of the guinea pig bullying the hamsters. Then have them draw a picture of the 3 pets getting along.

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Let's PRAISE Cindy for helping young children understand feelings and why it's important to be good to both animals and people.

Cindy Springsteen
Cindy Springsteen

Pick up your copy of Waffles and Pancakes ~ A Lesson In Bullying

Waffles and Pancakes ~ Bullying

Available at Amazon.com

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Resilient Kids: How to Teach Confidence Using 4 Practical Parenting Tips

 

Boy feeling fear jpg
Learn Ways to Raise Resilient Kids Here!

To be resilient, your child needs to be confident, evaluate situations well, use his support system, and come up with good strategies. Today our parenting expert and author of the book, The Resilience Formula, Dr. Donna Volpitta, will help us with the first part, building confidence in our children.

 

Confidence and the Self:

Let's say your son's ride home from a party is drunk or your daughter is being bullied. How they think about their own abilities will determine what they do. They both need to feel, think, and look confident in their words and actions.

Will your son speak up and put his safety on the line?

Will his confidence help him find a better way home?

Will your daughter look and sound weak?

Will she look and sound confident?

Resilience shows itself in your child's self-talk, feelings, and actions. Dr. Volpitta gives us 4 parenting tips to teach our children from Tool Kits for Kids:

How Kids Can Appear Confident ~

1. Use direct eye contact when speaking and listening to people.

2. Stand up straight. (Avoid the shoulder slump.)

3. Speak loud enough to be heard and with moderate speed, not too fast or slow.

4. Keep a confident facial expression.

Parents can coach their kids by role-playing situations in front of a mirror.

Dr. Donna says, "Practicing these skills helps kids develop confidence because looking confident projects an image that shows other kids they are not easily shaken, and this increases their social capital."

Repeat Resilient Language:

When kids suffer from the loss of a friendship, a poor grade, or a scratched knee, what they tell themselves is important. Repeating reasonable statements helps them develop a wiser brain. Here are 3 ideas Dr. Donna suggests to teach children to repeat often when things don't go well:

"1. This is a difficult time. It's not difficult forever.

 2. I may feel bad now, but I may feel better later.

 3. My life may not be OK now, but in time, I can find a new way to be OK."

These accurate statements are believable. They give your child a perspective about time, that things can get better. (From pages 54-56)

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Dr. Donna Volpitta has given us practical solutions for helping our children think, feel, and act with confidence. Teaching our kids confidence is a big first step to their becoming resilient. 

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Pick up Dr. Donna Volpitta's book, The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting and teach your children the resilience formula.

  Cover Donna

Available on Amazon.com

Let's APPLAUD Dr. Volpitta for her excellence in helping parents raise resilient children.

Donna V
Dr. Donna Volpitta

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The Success Story of a Bully, A Principal, His Teacher and Parents

Boy angry
How a Parenting Team Tames a Bully

Richard used bad language, behaved badly in class, and bullied other children. Rick, the principal, held a conference with his parents and teacher. Rick learned that Richard's father feared his son would get kicked out of school like he did when he was young. This insight was the key because Richard picked up on it and acted out his dad's fear.

The conference succeeded because parents, teacher, and principal:

1. Wanted to help Richard.

2. Acted as team and trusted that each member would play their part.

3. Knew each had the power to make a difference but none could separately fix the problem.

4. Shared information openly and honestly.

5. Talked specifically about what they knew without labels or generalizations.

6. Believed they would be making decisions in concert with each other.

7. Understood that success was in Richard's hands.

What Rick, the principal, learned:

1. If a parent is afraid, the child will pick up on it.

2. We must do a little action research on the problem with new behaviors.

3. Together parents, teacher, and principal can create the conditions for changing a child's problem behavior. (From pages 162- 167)

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Rick Ackerly shows how important it is for parents, the teacher, and principal to become a team in helping a troubled child. When they work together, avoid labels, and create the conditions for change, miracles, can happen.

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Pick up Rick's book, The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity, in Children.

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Available at Amazon.com

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Let's THANK Rick Ackerly for sharing his important knowledge as a true leader in the educational field.

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About Bullying: Is Your Preschool Child a Bully?

Boy angry preschool bigstock--9633062
You Can Prevent Your Child from Being a Bully

If your preschooler was in trouble for bullying, what would you do? Our parenting expert and author, Dr. Partridge, is sharing advice from his book, Building Character Skills In The Out-of-Control Child.

To show the importance of his work, here's a statistic from the National Education Association:

"It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students."

Imagine being the parent of a preschool bully and having to attend a parenting meeting with the parents of your child's victims. Dr. Partridge, being the expert, led the discussion. Several parents spoke up telling how their children were "picked on."

Finally, one of the parents of the bullies spoke, "My wife and I are embarrassed - and apologetic, because our son is one of the troublemakers - no doubt about it."

Other parents shared their frustration and discouragement because their youngsters were bullies too. The kids who were bullies at school acted badly at home too.

Dr. Partridge encouraged the parents to give suggestions on how to change the bullying behavior.

Here are some of the parent's suggestions:

1. Sit the bully on a chair in the laundry room facing the dryer and make him stay there.

2. Put the bully to bed early.

3. If he acts badly in the grocery store, leave the cart. Take him home and put him to bed for the rest of the day.

4. Swoop him up and put him some place he doesn't want to be.

One mother told about what didn't work:

"Well, when Jennifer hits her brother, I hold her and tell her it's not the right thing to do, and why - and what she should do since she's older - but it's not working." (From pages 95-96)

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If children aren't disciplined effectively from an early age, they may becoming spoiled, uncaring, and seek the power that bullying gives them. They become a menace at home, in school, and, as they grow, to society.

By getting answers from the parents, Dr. Partridge didn't need to tell them to be stricter  with their children. They knew it. They heard what worked from each other. Brainstorming can be a good place to start when real solutions are described. What would you do if your preschool child was a bully?

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Let's APPRECIATE Dr. Partridge's wisdom in helping parents help themselves and for sharing his ideas in his insightful book.

Dr. Partridge
    Dr. Partridge

Pick up Building Character Skills In The Out-Of-Control Child

Cover Building Character Skills in the Out-of-Control
Available at Amazon.com

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If you'd like an ebook on how to discipline effectively pick up my Discipline Tips for Parents today. The techniques inside will give you what you need to raise respectful children.

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10 Tips When Your Kids Are Bullied and Suffering!

If your child is being teased your both may be suffering. Our guest blogger, Paul Taylor, sent this information in the article, 10 Tips for a Child Being Relentlessly Teased. Let's find out what he suggests.

10 Tips to Help Children Deal with Bullies

Being teased and picked on by bullies can be one of the toughest parts of growing up. It’s important to remember that even if someone never physically hurts you, harassment and tormenting you with words is still a serious form of bullying. If you’re being teased or bullied at school, here are some tips to help you deal with the situation to the very best of your abilities.

1. Tell an Adult – Many kids don’t want to tell an adult what they’re going through for fear of making things worse, but it’s very important to let a parent, teacher or family friend know what’s happening to protect yourself and the other kids that the bullies are picking on.

2. Walk Away – Sometimes, just letting a bully know that you’re not afraid of them is enough to discourage them from picking on you. Keep your head high, walk away and ignore the hurtful things they say the best you can.

3. Be a Friend – If you see another kid getting picked on, stick up for them. You might make a new friend who can return the favor sometime, and who also understands what you’re going through.

4. Never Retaliate – No matter how mean the things a bully says to you are, you should never try to fight them. On top of getting you in trouble or causing someone to be hurt, you’ll be giving the bully exactly what they’re looking for: a reaction.

5. Don’t Open Messages – Don’t even open emails, texts or Facebook messages from people that you know are bullies. The things inside are bound to be hurtful, and probably untrue. No good will come of reading them, and the people who send those messages won’t be able to get any satisfaction from saying something hurtful if you don’t bother to read it.

6. Skipping Class is a Bad Idea – It can be very tempting to skip class or pretend to be sick to get out of school to avoid being teased, but it’s not the right solution to the problem. Missing too much school can cause trouble for you and your parents, in addition to making it almost impossible to maintain your grades.

7. Report and Block – Most social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have “Report” buttons, allowing people to anonymously report messages and posts with harassing content. Reporting these messages and blocking the sender are two of the best ways to prevent online bullying.

8. It’s Not Your Fault – No matter what you’re being teased about, the behavior of the bullies that are picking on you is not acceptable, and it’s not your fault. Don’t blame or be angry with yourself; understand that the bully is the one with the real problem.

9. Don’t Be a Bully – It’s easy to take your frustrations about being teased out on other kids by bullying them in turn, but you should never resort to this behavior. It won’t make you feel better about your own situation; it’ll only cause you to feel guilty and make someone else feel as badly as you do when you’re on the receiving end.

10. Be Proud of Who You Are – Bullies tease people for lots of reasons, but most of them have to do with the way they feel about themselves. Never let a bully’s words make you do or say things you don’t want to, or change who you are. Individuality might cause some people to tease you now, but it will be highly prized in a few years.

Let's THANK Paul Taylor for bringing us this article. May it help you and your kids who are being teased by bullies.

Connect with Paul Taylor

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Parents, it's your turn to take the microphone:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for  helping parents and their kids? Please answer in the comment link below.

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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10 Top Character Tips for Developing Potential in Kids

Mom_daughter_a

Building Character, Potential, and Flexable Thinking in Kids

If you'd like to build character in your kids and develop their potential too, keep reading. Our parenting expert, Kendra Delano, has taught children to think flexibly and positively, communicate effectively, overcome adversity, and make great choices throughout her 17 year career as an international educator. Let's listen to her advice.

Top 10 Tips for Developing Character, Potential, and Flexible Thinking:

First ~Teach Your Children to Observe:

Whenever someone enters a new setting, he or she should learn to watch how the people are behaving before making any attempt to interact. Are they having quiet or boisterous conversations? Are there children running around or are most people sitting down? This is the most important element in learning to adapt to a new environment.

Second ~ Venture Out ~ Travel:

You don’t have to leave the country. If you live in the suburbs go into a rural area or the city. Most urban areas have ethnic sections such as China Town, Greek Town, etc. Realize that the first people to approach you are usually in some form of sales and marketing. Quietly walk on. After that soak in every flavor, sound and interaction!

Third ~  Encourage Reading: Children learn vicariously from strong characters. Authors usually plant valuable insights and lessons into their stories. Voracious readers tend to be wise people.

Fourth: Show Children that You Withhold Judgment:

Avoid labeling any person or situation as good or bad. I have an example. A friend’s teenage daughter was telling about a girl with a poor reputation. I asked WHY she thought that girl went with so many different boys. After a pause she replied, “Because her dad left home a long time ago. She doesn’t see him so maybe she needs more attention from boys.” Bingo. Encourage children to understand and think below the surface.

Fifth ~ Never Confuse a Child’s Behavior with Their Worth:

I NEVER use the expression, “You are a bad boy or girl.” It hurts me just to write it. Everyone is valuable and intrinsically good. There are only good people who CHOOSE to behave badly. Behaviors can be modified.

Sixth ~ Encourage Children to Label Their Feelings (develop self-awareness):

Stick to the basic ones: mad, sad, glad, hurt, ashamed, afraid, and lonely.

Seventh ~  Keep a Journal:

In addition to making diary entries have children label the choices they make each day and the outcomes of those choices. Encourage children to find a correlation between the words and behaviors chosen and how their days are unfolding.

Eighth ~ Encourage Children to Consider New Possibilities:

As a teacher I used to read the story of Chicken Little to my first graders. After the story I asked, “How is Chicken Little the same as a child who shouts, “He stole my pencil!?” I asked the children to brainstorm how a pencil could have found its way into a classmate’s desk. They answered that it could have fallen on the floor and been picked up, that it could have rolled over to the desk, that the same brand of pencil could have been purchased by two different students, etc.

Ninth ~ Encourage Children to Problem Solve:

So many well-intentioned parents jump in to solve their children’s problems. Wait. See how resourceful and ingenious your child can be. Remember the person who tried to help a butterfly break out of its cocoon. The butterfly died because it needed to do the work itself!

Tenth ~ Show Your Children That You Sometimes Change Your Mind:

Show them that after considering new information you have changed your position. Wise people take their time in making a decision and are never afraid to admit they were wrong.

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Connect with Kendra and get her book, 'Showtime' at:  www.SameDayDifferentChoices.com

Blog Potential ~ Showtime Book
  'Showtime'

Let's give Kendra a GRATEFUL HAND for her outstanding tips. She has the knowledge and the ability to communicate well.

 Blog Optimistic Kendra Delano      Applause_18229118

Kendra Delano

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Bonus Article:

How Discussions, Quotes, and Compliments Build Character in Kids

at:  http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=119

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Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Warning: Don't Use 2 of These 5 Parenting Tips with Bullies

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Parenting Tip: Sing about Bullies

Learn how 2 poor parenting tips and 3 better tips help your kids overcome bullies. Dr. MacMannis, our guest blogger, is a child psychologist, school consultant, lecturer, and award-winning songwriter. He creates songs and activities for social and emotional learning. Let's find out his advice on how to deal with bullies.  


Tips for Kids When Dealing with Bullies

2 Poor Ways to Deal with Bullies:

First poor way ~ act aggressively back, which is just what some bullies want.

Second poor way ~ be passive and go along with what the bully says.

3 Better Parenting Tips for Handling Bullies:

First better way ~ Bullies are also less likely to pick on kids when they are with other friends.

Second better way ~ It can help to stand up to the bully (or bullies) and say, “Cut it out!” Then walk away, or tell an adult.

Third better way ~ An excellent means of learning these skills is to listen to the award-winning song “Bye, Bye Bully”, from Ready to Rock Kids. Your child will soon be singing in full chorus:

Bye,Bye Bully Song:

“Hey you, cut it out.
And if you can’t, you’ll be without me
‘Cause I’ll walk away with my head up high
And say, by the way, goodbye.

Bye, bye bully…
Names will never hurt me, no matter what you say.
I’ll tell the teacher that it’s not okay
I’ll just ignore you, no matter what you say.
A bully’s just unhappy, and havin’ a bad day. Poor bully.”

Hearing this song a number of times has a profound affect on children’s levels of confidence. It gives them tools to become empowered and show the bully that what they're doing is not okay.

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Blog Potential Dr. Mac MannisApplause_18229118
Dr. Don MacMannis

Let's give Don a BIG HAND:
Please connect with Don MacMannis, PhD. at his fun music website ~ Dr. Mac Music ~
http://drmacmusic.com/

Bonus Article:

5 Parenting Tips: When Bullies Call Your Child Names

at:  http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/feature_article.asp?fa_id=82

Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:

What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids? Please answer in the comment link below.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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