Child Health & Safety News: Wk 9 “Nine-Yr-Old Girls Are Sexting!”

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: Here’s How The ‘Blue Whale’ Suicide Game Is Killing Teens On Social Media https://t.co/8nhSrUbK8d

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we miss something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of this past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Nine-year-old girl sent nudes to classmates https://t.co/fOt2YhOjTE
Child sexting: more common than we want to believe

Kids Watch & Copy Everything! 50 Ways to Be a Great Example

Of course we want our children to become good, responsible, respectful and successful human beings! But in our quest to “do it all” we may forget that some of the most powerful ways to help our children aren’t in the things we buy but in the simple things we say. Example is everything. In fact, the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, years ago said that the best way to teach character is by modeling good example. (I swear kids come with video recorders planted inside their heads and we know it when they play us back at the most inopportune moments–usually when the relatives arrive).

The bottom line is the kids are watching us and they are copying us–the good, the bad, and the very ugly. Just in case you need any proof here are a few things our children pick up from watching the example we set:

Behavior. Prejudice. Stress management. How we cope with defeat. Organizational style.  Driving safety.  Drinking styles.  Eating habits. Friendship making.  Goal-setting.  Values.  Sleeping habits.  Television viewing.  Courtesy. Discourtesy. Punctuality.  Religion.  Love of reading.  Lifestyle choices.  Interests. Responsibility. Digital citizenship. If we bounce back.  Self-talk.  Pessimism. Optimism.  Money Management.  Procrastination.  Frugality.  Patriotism. Biases. Friendship keeping. Valuing education.  Conflict resolution.  …And the list goes on and on!

Here are just 50 things to say to boost our own example to our kids so we become the model we hope they copy. Our children need role models. Let them look to us!

1.   “Thank you! I really appreciate that!” (Courtesy)

2.   “Excuse me, I need to walk away and get myself back in control.” (Stress and anger management)

3.   “I’m going to call Grandma and see how she’s doing. She looked lonely.” (Empathy, compassion)

4.   “Mrs. Jones is sad. I’m baking her some cookies. Want to help?” (Charity)

5.   “I don’t want to watch this anymore. I don’t like how they are portraying…(women, men, kids, a race, a culture, a religion…). (Values and stereotyping)

6.   “Excuse me. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.” (Admitting mistakes. Manners)

7.   “That’s my two cents. I’d love to hear yours.” (Communication style)

8.   “I lost my temper there. I’m going to work on counting to 10 when I get so stressed.” (Anger management)

9.   “I blew it. Next time I’ll….” (Handling mistakes)

10.  “I’m going to set a goal for myself this year. I’m working on….” (Goal-setting)

11.  “I’m so upset with my friend-remind me not to send her an email until I cool off.” (Online behavior)

12.  “Please repeat that. I don’t understand.” (Conflict and communication style).

13.  “I’m so stressed lately…I’m going to (start walking, eat healthier, write in a journal, listen to soothing music, or whatever) to help me relax.” (Stress management, coping)

14.  “I want to listen. Let me turn off my cell phone.” (Digital citizenship)

1f61f07c5f716c8e91eae5a3d85c5e2bb5.  “I have so many things to do today. I’m going to make a list so I don’t forget anything.” (Organization)

16.  “That woman looks like she’s going to drop those packages. Let’s ask if she needs help.” (Kindness)

17.  “Apologies…that was my fault. Hope you forgive me.” (Forgiveness)

18.  “I’m driving and need to keep my eyes on the road. Please turn off my phone for me.” (Driving safety)

19.  “I love watching the Oscars, but let’s not focus on their dress designers but their talent. How do you think Sandra Bullock prepared for her role in space.” (Valuing quality over materialism)

20.  “She’s my friend and doesn’t want me to tell anyone. I’m honoring her request.” (Friendship. Loyalty)

21. “I’m getting upset and need to take a time out. Let’s talk in a few minutes.” (Anger management)

22. “Great question-I don’t that answer. But I’ll try to find it for you.” (Admitting shortcomings)

23. “They do look different than us, but they have the same feelings. Let’s think about how we’re the same.” (Prejudice)

24. “Didn’t she just move here? Let’s go introduce ourselves and ask her to sit with us.” (Courtesy. Kindness)

25. “If it’s not respectful I’m not sending it.” (Digital citizenship)

26. “But is that true for all elderly people? Aunt Harriet remembers everything and she’s 87. Let’s think of more examples.” (Stopping prejudice and bias)

27. “Every month I’m going to set a new goal. You’re going to help remind me to stick to it!” (Goal-setting)

28. “We hear so much about the “bad” stuff–let’s look through the paper and find the good things people are doing for each other. We could start ‘Good News’ reports.” (Optimism, attitude)

29. “I need to take care of myself and eat healthier.” (Self-care)

30. “I’m going to walk around the block. Want to come? It always helps me relax.” (Self-care)

31. “I taped ‘No’ on a card on the phone to remind me to not to take on so much. I’m prioritizing my family!” (Priorities)

32. “I’ve got to catch my words-I’m becoming too negative.” (Attitude. Optimism)

33. “Let’s set ‘unplugged times’ for our family. What about from 6 to 8 pm?” (Prioritizing family).

34. “I do like it, but I’m going to wait until it’s on sale.” (Frugality, delaying gratification).

Children-may-close-their-ears-to-advice-but-they-keep-their-eyes-open-to-an-example35. “I always try to save half of my paycheck.” (Money management)

36. “Those children lost everything in that fire. Let’s go through our closets and find gently used clothes and toys to bring them.” (Charity)

37. “I’d love to eat that now, but I’m going to wait until after dinner.” (Self-control)

38. “I know it sounds fun, but I need to finish my job. My motto is, “Work first, then play.” (Responsibility)

39. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m driving so I can’t drink.” (Drinking behavior)

40. “My favorite thing to do is read! Let’s go to the library sale and find books to bring on our vacation.” (Instilling a love of reading).

41. “Let’s stay open-minded and give Daniel a turn. We didn’t hear his side.” (Non-judgmental)

42. “That’s not fair. We agreed on the rules so let stick to them.” (Fairness).

43. “I know we wanted to win, but we didn’t. They were better than us, so let’s go congratulate them.” (Sportsmanship)

44. “I need to go write a thank you to Peter before I forget. He put a lot of thought into that present and I want to make sure he knows how much I appreciate it.” (Gratitude)

45. “Thanks, but you don’t need to give me any money. I did it because I wanted to help.” (Charitableness)

46. “I’m going to stop talking about dress sizes and jumping on the scale, and start thinking about eating healthier instead.” (Self-image)

47. “I’ve got to get to the polls before they close. Voting is something I take very seriously.” (Citizenship)

48. “Let’s stop and think about how she feels. She looks sad-let’s get in her shoes for a minute.” (Empathy)

49. “I’m not just going to stand by when someone could get hurt. I’m asking if he wants help.” (Responsibility. No by standing!”)

50. “Everyone can make a difference. Let’s think of something we can do.” (Personal responsibility. Empowerment)

What can you say to a child today to be the example he or she can use for tomorrow? Beware, the children are copying!

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UnSelfie 140x210Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. Why is a lack of empathy—along with the self-absorption epidemic Dr. Michele Borba calls the Selfie Syndrome—so dangerous? First, it hurts kids’ academic performance and leads to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, it hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate and problem-solve—all must-have skills for the global economy. The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured.  UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want activate our children’s hearts and shift their focus from I, me, and mine… to we, us, and ours.  It’s time to include “empathy” in our parenting and teaching!  UnSelfie is AVAILABLE NOW at amazon.com.

Tomorrow, AMC is Screening Fist Fight Sensory Friendly

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of Fist Fight, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum. 

As always, the movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing Fist Fight tomorrow, Tuesday, February 28th at 7pm (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

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Editor’s note: Although Fist Fight has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug material. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

You Can See Rock Dog Sensory Friendly Tomorrow at AMC

New sensory friendly logoAMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

rock-dog-posterDoes it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Rock Dog on Saturday, February 25th at 10am (local time). Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming later in FebruaryFist Fight (Tues, 2/28)

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Editor’s note: Although Rock Dog has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for action and language. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.

Is Your Child a Bullying Victim? Read this Mother’s Story

When Maria’s daughter moved to secondary school (*middle school), she was bullied by a group of girls who had been her best friends at primary school (*elementary school).

Halfway through the school year, Maria** became aware that her daughter Sam** wasn’t being invited to her friends’ houses anymore.

mother's-bullying-story“She doesn’t always tell me what’s going on at school, but I noticed that she was biting her fingernails a lot and sleeping badly. She seemed quite upset.

“I talked to her about her friends and why they weren’t meeting up. Eventually, she told me that they didn’t get on anymore. I found out that her old friends were excluding her.

“For example, when she bumped into them in the street, one of the girls said directly to her, ‘This is the one we’re not talking to anymore’.

“They were also really nasty in the playground. They left her standing on her own. She was still trying to be friends with them but they just ignored her. She was very upset.

Bullying Incident

“Then I witnessed an incident one Saturday afternoon.

“Two of her old friends phoned her. They asked her if she’d started her periods. She said it was none of their business, but they kept her on the phone. She wasn’t strong enough to end the conversation.

“They were laughing and shouting, ‘We want to know, we want to know’. I was standing next to her, and felt disgusted. I felt really sorry for Sam. Afterwards, I thought of calling one of the girls’ mums, but I decided not to because I thought it might make things worse.

“I was very upset because I used to spend a lot of time with these girls, but now they didn’t think my daughter was good enough for them.

“I was worried about Sam because I thought it must be horrible to believe you’ve got really good friends and then they suddenly turn against you.

How Sam got Help with Bullying

“I told Sam that she should talk to Nicole, a learning mentor at her school. I knew that Sam liked Nicole, whose role was to sort out this kind of issue.

“Soon after, Nicole contacted me. Both she and Sam’s form teacher had noticed that Sam was being bullied.

“I found out that she wasn’t only being bullied by this group. Sam is half-Polish, and another girl was calling her a ‘Polish sket’ in class.

“The school intervened quickly. They cracked down on the racist comments and the use of the insult ‘sket’. After that, the problem with that particular girl was completely resolved.

“Nicole, the learning mentor, also set up a friendship group to understand the dynamic in this circle of girls who’d all moved up from primary school together. She asked the bullies and a few other pupils to talk together about friendship, boyfriends, fashion, puberty and growing up. A lot was revealed.

“It seems that Sam’s primary school (*elementary school) friends got to know other girls at secondary school (*middle school) and became more interested in fashion, make-up and boyfriends. Because Sam was more childlike, they didn’t want her in their group anymore. She wasn’t cool enough.

“Sam was different. I think that’s often what bullying is based on. She has her own style and doesn’t follow everyone else.

“Nicole had several chats with Sam, and helped to strengthen Sam’s self-esteem. When she was picked on, Sam used to get quite upset and would try to defend herself, but now she’s able to ignore it.

“When I spoke to Sam about the meetings with Nicole, I could see that things were improving. At home, I explained to her that friendships change, and primary school (*elementary school) friends don’t necessarily stay friends for life. I didn’t want to suggest that Sam was the victim because that can make you feel weaker.

“Sam has finally found a new set of friends and is really happy with them. She’s become more confident, and she no longer tries to be friends with girls who don’t want to be friends with her.”

**The names in this article have been changed.

Bullying: Information and Support for Parents

To find out more about how you can help your child if they’ve been bullied, read Bullying: advice for parents.

 Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

Child Health & Safety News: Wk 8 “Sex Messages Hiding in Roblox”

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: How to talk to your kids about school safety – what if a classmate brings a gun? http://bit.ly/2l2hgE9

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we miss something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of this past week’s top 18 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
Dad warns about popular game Roblox after he found sexually explicit messages in 8 y/o son’s Ipad… https://t.co/uhBkDVAgsZ 2017-02-18