Many of you know that I am all about social media. I blog (clearly), I facebook, My instagram, pinterest and linked in are always maintained. I care about online interaction. You get it.I am not able to feel good about this month (National Bullying Prevention Month) coming to a close without dedicating a blog post to the issue and connection between social media and social responsibility. In the last month I have used my online platforms to build new relationships, to share about my family, my business and my own personal thoughts about life in general. I also (unfortunately) have had interactions that could be labeled as negative and offensive. I have been called names, I have been disrespected and I have been messaged with undesirable content. I share this because I talk to parents and young people on a regular basis about cyber responsibility. What we put out there leaves a lasting impact. What we say to others does not dissolve or disappear. Even if it does not stay on screen it stays in the mind of others. Our words are valuable and everlasting. My goal and mission is not to preach but to prepare our community to think before we tweet. Bullying is typically associated with consistent offenses but it starts with one offense. This means that even one negative and hateful message adds to the atmosphere of relational aggression. In no way am I asking to censor, edit or control the emotions and thoughts that we put into the digital climate but I am asking for careful thought and understanding before pushing send. A few questions to consider: Would I say this in person to someone? If this message was a screen shot would I be okay with it being shared? Even though October is almost gone-our motives and desire to eradicate the harm of cyber-bullying has to be a year-round effort. -Read something great
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
When I was in the 7th grade I won a scary story writing contest at my middle school. The prize was receiving a free signed book from a published author and being able to meet him at his book signing in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This experience was a pivotal opportunity for me. I was a girl who was bullied in school and tormented on a regular basis. I recall winning this contest not only being a confidence booster but also a sign that I was more than the insults that others hurled at me. I was able to put words on paper and make others interested. My thoughts mattered. I remember being in my happy place listening to the process involved in developing stories and thinking that one day I would love to do the same thing. This was an incredible treat for me. I am looking forward to seeing many of my readers this weekend at participating Barnes & Noble Booksellers. I love to meet my readers in the bookstore. It is an amazing opportunity to connect, listen, share and learn. I always look for kids that remind me of myself. Those who are eager to meet an author, those who are interested in their own dreams being realized one day and those who need to be reminded of their worth. In the spirit of paying it forward I would like to have a small contest of my own. This upcoming weekend I have a treat for those who purchase one of my books and who mentions this blog post. In the spirit of giving and bringing forward a positive harvest I am giving away a "mystery" item at each signing. Feel free to share with those who might be interested. Saturday: Rochester 11-1. Sunday: Troy 4-6. Monday: Northville 5-7. Read Something Great!
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Today marks the 1st day of National bullying prevention month. I am often asked at what age should we talk to our kids about bullying and related behaviors. I am pleased to share that many pre-schools and early learning centers have asked me to read my books to their students and talk to parents about pro-social education. It is never too early to teach our kids to be kind. To share with them the importance of caring about others and to try to use practical examples to allow them to work on compassion development. As many of you know I have my own little tot and we are already working on feelings identification exercises. Bookstores and resource stores like Self-esteem shop carry many tools to begin this process. If we can teach young people early how to recognize emotions it is a great step in the process of pro-social learning. Does your center need assistance? Can your family benefit from a personal consultation on emotional understanding and prevention? Please let me know. This Friday I will be at Kindercare centers reading my picture book series to students and beginning the process of pro-social education. If you need an Unbully kit we send great resources through the mail that includes information, tools and resources that aid in prevention. -Read something great