Monday, May 29, 2017

13 Ways to Stop Bullying

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

There’s a lot of controversy over the TV show “13 Reasons Why.” My husband and I haven’t watched it and we haven’t let our kids watch it.

We recently had a suicide in our area by a young girl. She was bullied.

I want to know your opinion regarding what to do about bullying. How do we really stop it? How do I talk to my kids?

Does the TV show tell how to stop it?


Wanna know

Dear Know

You don’t need to watch the show to stop bullying.

We’ve listed 13 reasons why kids are bullied and 13 ways to stop bullying and start creating civility.

13 reasons why bullies bully:

    1. Popularity — bullies use weakness, goodness, sexual attractiveness, or lack of coolness for entertainment
    2. Fear — of not being good enough
    3. Justification — to validate their bad behavior
    4. One-upping — judging others so they feel superior
    5. Envy — doing anything to get what they covet in others
    6. Feelings of lacking — in intelligence, money, family, love
    7. Wanting power
    8. Drugs or alcohol influence
    9. Abandonment issues — wanting to belong, be loved, or getting real attention
    10. Lacking empathy — not understanding or caring
    11. Bigotry
    12. Bully-victim — mimics those who have bullied them
    13. Passive-aggressive joking — insults others and then says they are just kidding

13 ways to end bullying now:

    1. No phones at school, during dinner and throughout the night — unsupervised phone use is the number one tool for bullying
    2. Develop real relationships — limit social media
    3. Establish real face-to-face communication
    4. Hold empathy training — people must be taught how to understand others
    5. Stop narcissism — by teaching how to serve others
    6. Live the Golden Rule
    7. Learn about real heroes — who overcame hardships, obstacles, and challenges
    8. Report bullying and don’t stand by
    9. Stop the cheating, lying, and so-called joking
    10. NO gossiping — even “if” it’s true, only God knows our hearts
    11. Believe in God — be humble and forgiving
    12.Set boundaries — control impulses and don’t intrude on anyone’s privacy, religion, sex, or politics
    13. Develop genuine gratitude, respect, and love for others

Suicide, because of bullying, can result when relentless harm to another doesn’t seem to have an end. The victim doesn’t feel he or she has choices. Suicide is the third largest cause of death with our youth. It’s increased by 100 percent in kids 14 and younger.

We believe civility, which is composed of consideration, caring, and courtesy, is the answer to ending bullying.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Monday, May 22, 2017

No one is born to be a loser

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My big sister just told me I was born to be a loser and it’s time I become brutally honest with myself. She said I’m lazy and so is mom.

Well, she has my dad’s selfish genes.

She said mom lied to us when she said we’re special.

She told me to stop being a martyr.

I’m lonely and miserable. All I do is watch TV and eat with my mom. I can’t get a job and I still live at home. I’m 28!

My sister gets money from her boyfriend. I can’t get a boyfriend.

I’m not on social media anymore because I hate myself. I feel like, “once a loser, always a loser.”

Signed, Always a loser

Dear Always,

No one was born to be a loser! That includes you. And, honesty has nothing to do with being brutal.

Have you ever looked at a baby smile, for no apparent reason? Or laugh, when sunlight came into her room. Or watched her bounce up and down in her crib, just because you walked into her room?

We are indeed born special, simply because we came from God. He doesn’t send “losers” to earth. That would be mean and pointless.

God also didn’t give you a bunch of loser “genes.” He gave you your free will to choose who you want to be. You may choose to use all the talents you have, all the virtues you want, and all the values needed to make your life purposeful.

Choose not to be selfish. A selfish person can’t share, can’t care, can’t use their creativity to give back.

Everyone is born with creativity. We start by creating thoughts. You can create any thought you want and that will start you on the path of being a winner.

Giving back starts relationships and stops loneliness. Being a martyr means suffering for a good cause or it means being a willing victim.

Suffering for a good cause is the ultimate act of being unselfish. Being a willing victim isn’t genuine suffering and counts for nothing.

Here’s how you fix it:

-Accept responsibility. Find your talents and get a job or go to school to develop them. No excuses.

 -Admit your weaknesses. Correct them. No excuses.

  -Do something with your “special-ness.” No excuses.

  -Develop a good work ethic. No excuses.

Develop yourself and relationships will come.

Signed, Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Monday, May 15, 2017

Why are girls still being slut-shamed?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Why are teen boys still slut-shaming girls?

Why aren’t boys ever treated this way?

I was told recently to watch the TV show “13 Reasons Why,” so I did. People are saying it’s a realistic story about a girl who commits suicide, but I think it’s mostly about boys slut-shaming girls.

My high-school aged nephew said he doesn’t know how true it is, but he’s seen it everywhere on social media.

This is so wrong. I want to know what to do to help these girls.

Gotta help

Dear Helpful,

Thank you for wanting to change our overly sexualized culture.

Boys don’t need to be equal in being slut-shamed. The change we need for our youth is to teach them to stop with sexual bantering, stop the porn, stop focusing on sexual appearance, stop the partying, and start setting boundaries like:

Abstinence from pre-marital sex. If you think it’s harmless, think again and look at the statistics on STDs, rape, abuse, bullying, suicide, and depression, anxiety, as well as alcohol and drug addiction. It’s possible to turn the tide and restore respect for each other’s innocence, goodness and modesty by starting a campaign of abstinence.

Abstinence from gossip, even if it’s true. Slut-shaming is gossip and most often it’s not true.

Abstinence from using social media to send sexual jokes, pictures, and labels.

Abstinence from judging others. It’s hypocritical – you’re not perfect either – and only God knows a person’s story and heart.

Abstinence from lies, especially the one where our youth is mature enough to handle sex.

Adults need to teach healthy relationships and respect for intimacy. Respect means reverence, admiration, value and esteem.

Adults must lead by example. Show a commitment to change our culture of sex as a game for entertainment and amusement.

Adults need to teach our youth to stop putting down others and instead teach how to lift their classmates up!

Men need to show respect to women and be a good example for boys.

Sex should not be used to control or manipulate others. Many boys use these tactics on girls and then shame them for complying. Teens shouldn’t use sexual conquests as trophies to develop confidence or self-worth.

Guys are still being lauded for their sexual conquests and that’s wrong.

Overall, boys and girls need to be taught how to be ladies and gentlemen. Adults too!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Little girls can be bullies, too

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Why do little girls bully each other?

I’m mad because we have moved three different times and my seven-year-old girl has been bullied every time.

First, she was called a baby because some little girls found her sucking on her fingers. My husband and I
talked with her and enrolled her into soccer and gymnastics classes.

Then, the same girls told her she ran funny, so she avoided going to play soccer after that. We let her quit.
She went on to do well with gymnastics.

But when we moved again, a group of girls in her gymnastics class whispered about her and ignored her. She wanted to quit, but my husband said quitting wasn’t an option. However, she stood in a corner for the rest of the year. I tried talking with her coach and she said our daughter would come around, but she didn’t.

The city we’re in now is the worst. Our daughter has a southern accent and the kids make fun of her. She’s quiet and isn’t asked to any sleep-over nights or parties or play-dates.

It’s breaking my heart.

Broken-hearted mom

Dear Mom,

The “new kid” is always a target for bullying just because they’re new and different.

Little girls bully for a few reasons:

• They mimic what they see at home
• They haven’t been taught healthy communication skills
• They need empathy training

Help your daughter to not stay a victim by:

• Going to a professional therapist.
• Participating in activities. This isn’t optional-help her choose one and stay committed for six months. •Reward her for staying committed.
• Teaching her good communication skills with role-playing. Use our acronym C.L.A.S.S.: Connect by complimenting you; Listen to you tell a 15-second story about your favorite activity; Ask her to repeat back what you said in the way you said it; Summarize: Tell her what she has learned and why it’s important; Then have her Suggest a fun thing to do with you … tell her friendships start this way.
•Teaching her what the word “empathy” means and asking her teacher if you can repeat the C.L.A.S.S. lesson for her students.

The most important value for all children, not just little girls, to learn is the Golden Rule. Teach your daughter what it is and how to put it into action through role-playing.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stop making snowflakes!

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
Two kids at high school called my daughter’s friend a “snowflake.”

She told them she didn’t know what they were talking about. They laughed. She told them to stop being mean. Then she cried and they laughed even more.

Her mom went to the school to complain. She told them her daughter was being bullied. The principal said she was not being bullied, but she was welcome to come to the office and meet with the counselor. Her mom got mad and said she was going to “do something about it.”

Her mom took her daughter out to eat to “pamper her.”

Now, my daughter’s friend is over here expecting us to console her, I think, but I’m mad at her and her mom. I think they have made an issue out of nothing.

I want to shake the two of them and tell them to wake up and grow up.

My daughter has never acted like this. She’s not a snowflake and neither am I.

Not a Snowflake

Dear Not,

We’re happy for you and your daughter that you’re both strong and tough enough to not let others define you.

You have an opportunity to help this girl and possibly her mom (if she is willing) by having a conversation with them.

Let them know that you care about them and have ideas that have helped you.

Use what you want from the following thoughts:

    - Being easily offended means being thinly self-defined. When you feel well enough about your values like integrity, gratitude, and generosity of spirit, you build a shield of goodness, so that you won’t be easily offended or hurt. It allows you to stand tall, look the person in the eye before walking away.

    - Being labeled a snowflake is unkind, but it’s not bullying. Being a snowflake means being too emotionally vulnerable to handle other people’s views, thoughts and even attacks. If you know who you are, it gives you the freedom to let others’ voice their opinions because they won’t change what you think.

   - Don’t accept the label of “snowflake” or you will stay stuck a victim. No one can tell you who you are, but you.

   - Strengthen your family by being good leader examples. Help each other face conflict head-on and stay away from the shame and blame game.

Being strong stops the snowflake trend.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri