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Category Archives: Stress

October Bullying: White Boys in Baja, Brown Girls in Cali

He acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but we knew otherwise.

“I got kicked in the stomach today.”

I felt objectivity fly out la ventana while my blood pressure rose. 

“Why, buddy?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t understand them.”

When we sent our tall, pale, strawberry blonde boy to school in a black-hair-rules culture, we knew it might be rough. Not speaking the language basically made him feel deaf and mute. 

Whether the other kids talked, whispered or yelled didn’t make a difference; our child had no friends and no idea how to make them. So he climbed trees, ate, walked, colored and played alone. 

Solo in Kinder, Baja 2006

The learning curve of language and culture proved steep and acceptance into their world moved slow. 

A year or two later he understood just enough Spanish to know when they poked fun of his freckles, red hair and extra large feet.

We knew we couldn’t blame this bullying on the fact that we lived in another country; bullies exist around the globe. But when you don’t even know why you’re being picked on, that’s confusing. 

Especially when you’re four. 

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Straight Up Facts

According to DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change…

  1. In the U.S., 1-in-5 students ages 12-18 has been bullied during the school year.
  2. Approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying.
  3. Students who reported that they were frequently bullied scored lower in reading, mathematics, and science than their peers who reported that they were never or rarely bullied.
  4. The most commonly reported type of bullying is verbal harassment (79%), followed by social harassment (50%), physical bullying (29%), and cyberbullying (25%).
  5. More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.
  6. 6th grade students experience the most bullying (31%).
  7. Students are less likely to report bullying as they get older. Only 39% of high schoolers notified an adult of bullying.
  8. 42% percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that the bullying was related to at least one of the following characteristics: 
    • physical appearance (30%)
    • race (10%)
    • gender (8%)
    • disability (7%)
    • ethnicity (7%)
    • religion (5%)
    • sexual orientation (4%)

I don’t care if you’re a white boy in Baja or a brown girl in Cali. Bullying crosses all social, racial, economic, and religious borders and ruthlessly levels the playing field.

Photo by Ryan Tauss on Unsplash

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Do you have these numbers?

No Bully Help Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

STOMP Out Bullying HelpLine: view hours and chat online

GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Please copy and paste, print or share these resources with the young people in your life… even if you don’t think they need it. They probably have a friend who might.

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Unity Day

Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month, has been recognized in the United States since 2011. 

To participate in Unity Day, individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wear or display orange to show support for students who have been bullied. 

  • Date: Wednesday, October 23
  • Location: All over The U.S.A.
  • Color: Orange
  • Message: No more bullying!
  • Key Words: Kindness, acceptance, inclusion

Sooo? Wanna join me on the 23rd? Let’s don our orange clothing and take a stand against bullying!

I’m already picturing some cray-cray orange outfits from a few of my less-shy faithful reader friends. Royce? Ann? Jeanne? Rob? Betsy? Sherry? Leo? Brenda? Jeanne? Wendi? Robin? Billie? Come on… you know you want to. 

Tag me on Instagram or Facebook and use any of these hashtags:

  • #unityday  
  • #antibullying
  • #bekind 
  • #kindness
  • #bullyingpreventionmonth

Let’s make some orange noise for this worthy cause together!

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Qs 4 You

Were you bullied as a kid?

Do you have a child, niece, nephew or grandchild being bullied?

Do you have a rad way to silence a bully? 

Do you have an encouraging phrase for someone being bullied?

Share in the comments to help us all out!

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Reclaiming Minutes & Health: 5 Things I Stopped & Started

Skimmers appreciate writers getting to the point sooner than later.  And since I’m a reader, a writer and a skimmer, I feel ya. Scrolling through a recipe blog and passing 14 photos of different angles of quinoa makes me crazy. Yes, I see the bran and germ and appreciate the endosperm. Just give me the… Continue Reading

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Working Moms: Killin’ It?

Almost a month into my new job and I’ve collected just enough data to tell you what I’ve learned about being a working mom in the States. It’s complicated.  Being a working mom in Baja looked super different for many reasons, most of which revolved around flexible hours and not having to tell anyone when… Continue Reading

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Do It Afraid

  “No Fear,” claims the American lifestyle clothing brand. “Fear not,” the preacher says.  “Do not be afraid,” Jesus commands. Sounds brave. Courageous. Bold. I want that; I’m guessing you probably do too.   Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash   But we’re human. And some of us deal with fear. How we deal with… Continue Reading

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Stress: Top 5 Factors for Kids and Adults

  Psychologists say the most stressful changes for children are (in no particular order) moving, divorce, losing a pet, death of a parent and death of a sibling. And for adults? According to Health Status, the top five include moving, divorce, major illness, job loss and death of a loved one. Since moving is one of the… Continue Reading

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