160,000 children stay home from school on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied. I’m sure many of you have heard the excuses; I’m too tired, my stomach hurts, I’m sick. That stomach ache might be very real as they feel the physical effects of being scared. If you suspect that your child does not want to go to school because of this fear, try to get them to talk about it. Let them know that you support them; encourage them to be open and honest about what is going on. Keep an open dialogue with your child’s teacher, principal, or other person who is designated to be the go to person at your school.

As we are hearing more and more about bullying, we don’t seem to be hearing much about successful ways of curbing this behavior. Most of what is in the news are the incidents that are reported and measures taken to punish the perpetrators. Yes, we need to address these issues as they happen, but that is not solving the problem.

All of our educational materials are based on proactively addressing these issues by offering kids better ways to behave. We have seen changed behavior as kids gain confidence by learning what to do, and not do, in all the social situations they encounter every day. As we redefine “cool,” kids learn, “The KIND kid is the COOL kid, not the bully.” “Cool Kind Kids” learn that they can be kind and cool. They don’t have to be a bully to be cool.

With school starting and Bullying Awareness Month in October, it’s important to focus on helping kids reject bullying.  Through the “Cool Kind Kid” Challenge, ask your kids, “Are you TOUGH enough to be KIND?” “Are you COOL enough to be KIND?”  Encourage them to get their friends on board; to take the “Challenge.”

Written by Barbara Gilmour.  (C) Cool Kind Kid