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Bullying

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Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. We want to help stop bullying at church, school, online, and in the community. Some feel that bullying is a normal right of passage in growing up. It isn’t!! There will always be conflicts between kids, but bullying is intentional cruelty, harassment, and emotional, physical and sometimes sexual abuse. This behavior can set the tone for a lifetime of intentional cruelty or worse. And the consequences to the victim can seriously affect them for the rest of their lives.

Psychology Today explains that Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others, specifically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Bullying is not garden-variety aggression; it is a deliberate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power. It's a very durable behavioral style, largely because bullies get what they want—at least at first. Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age, if the normal aggression of 2-year-olds isn't handled well.

Many studies show that bullies lack prosocial behavior, are untroubled by anxiety, and do not understand others' feelings. They typically see themselves quite positively. Those who chronically bully have strained relationships with parents and peers.

Electronic bullying has become a significant problem in the past decade. The ubiquity of hand-held and other devices  affords bullies any-time access to their prey, and harassment can often be carried out anonymously. This parent page is a great resource for parents of students and teens.  Check it out HERE

There are many roles that kids can play. Kids can bully others, they can be bullied, or they may witness bullying. When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying.

One of our kids@ehills kiddos I meet with regularly shared an amazing book she is reading right now on this very subject.

Of course I read it! Amazing read for any age really! The book Wonder is incredible, written with understanding and compassion. I would highly recommend you reading this with your family to lead to a great understanding and conversation about bullying.

There is also a movie being made about this book. As I watched this trailer, I was captivated by these words. “You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out”. Take a look HERE.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Tiffany Ann Johns to gain insight to share from her on this topic. Tiffany Ann is a mother of 4, one of which has special needs. She and her special needs daughter visit schools and organizations educating others on disabilities, bullying and how to demonstrate kindness. She shared some great reminders of ways we can help students and kids to choose to be kind.

  • When someone looks different or acts different, say hello
  • Introduce yourself, even if they do not respond
  • If you see bullying, stand up and say something
  • Do not rely on others
  • See something-Say something

Tiffany Ann suggested another amazing resource for children. This book is called Out of My Mind and can be found here. 

Remember….the opposite of bullying is KINDNESS.

TRANSITION

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by: Phil Bettison, Early Elementary Pastor,  Johnny Kluever, Preteen Pastor  & Matt Feria, Middle School Pastor

Fall can be a difficult time. Summer was fun, schedules were crazy, and getting “back into the groove” has it challenges. But, once a rhythm is established, there is peace there. For some, there can be BIG transitions! Like a new grade or a new school. Here are some practical tips for helping your child, and YOU be successful with new things.

Transitioning into Elementary School: For some kids, they’ll be in the same building, which is comforting. Familiar territory and familiar faces can be anchoring for their young souls. However, new teachers, new rooms, and possibly new classmates can come with new challenges. What’s the best thing you can do? Talk. Beyond “how was school today?”, find creative ways to find out how your child’s day went and learn what they’ve experienced. A few examples are:

  • When were you the happiest?
  • What did your teacher say most today?
  • What was your favorite part of lunch?
  • Is there anyone in your class who needs a time out?
  • How did you help someone today?

Engaging your child this way will help find out how their day was and learn more about who they and who they are becoming are as well.

Many things are worth waiting for and many things are short lived. A kiddo’s time in Summit can fly by as many times 4th and 5th grade school years do as well. But the valuable growth and maturation process of a Preteen during their Summit years is truly vital. 6th graders move on to their Middle School years more prepared for the things they will face and 4th graders begin their Preteen journey eager to develop in gigantic ways and in their relationship with Jesus.

The best way for a 4th grader to get engaged and meet new people is to attend services on the weekend as well as Summit Night Events outside church time. These events normally take place on Monday nights at Eastern Hills and are an easy invite to neighbors and classmates that might not come to church otherwise. We hope to see you there for an awesome time!

Transitioning students into Middle School: It is time for students to enter into the world of middle school that they have only heard stories about: this mysterious world of mean teachers, impossible tests, and terrifying giants (also known as 8th graders). While middle school is not usually as scary as it is made out to be, it is ALWAYS a serious adjustment for kids. One of the reasons that middle school can be tough is that, as kids begin to experience more freedom, they go through an intense process of figuring out who they are- of finding their identity. In times of transition, the most important thing that a student can know is that their identity is found in Christ. They are defined not by their status, their successes, or their failures, but by their Savior’s love for them. It is this knowledge that can make big changes, no matter how scary, just a little bit easier.

Please email Colin Lesyinski,  , Student Ministry Director or Matt Feria,  , Middle School Pastor or Johnny Kluever,   , Preteen Pastor.

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