Posts Tagged ‘ Cartoon Network ’

Cartoon Network Encourages Kids to “Stop Bullying Speak Up”

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

October is National Bullying Month, dedicated to remedying a problem that affects nearly one in three students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While this may seem like only a big-kid problem, it’s not: Bullying has filtered down to grade school and even to preschool. Some research even shows that tormenting has become more common among 2- to 6-year-olds than among tweens and teens.

That’s why the Cartoon Network is hosting its 5th Annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign this month. The aim is to give elementary-school children the tools to speak up against bullying, both by talking about strategies to combat it and by creating a strong support network. The campaign has already surpassed its goal of collecting one million online video pledges from parents, students, government officials, celebrities, and educators vowing to say something if they see bullying taking place. They’re still taking submissions—upload yours (and have your kid join in if he or she is old enough) at stopbullyingspeakup.com. The network has been airing select videos throughout the month alongside PSAs encouraging kids to speak up against bullying. There’s good reason to do so: More than half of bullying situations (57 percent) stop when a child intervenes on behalf of a child being bullied.

Bullying isn’t just hurtful in the moment. It takes a long-term toll on kids—both victims and perpetrators. Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and sleep difficulties. Bullies, meanwhile, are at heightened risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence in adolescence and adulthood.

In order to shed light on this growing problem, Cartoon Network brought together a panel that included Richard Weissbourd, Ph.D., a child and family psychologist at the Harvard School of Education, and Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D., a professor of child development at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to discuss anti-bullying strategies.

While having a parent get involved can be embarrassing for a child (or even make bullying worse), there are ways to help your kid without worsening the situation. While it’s a natural tendency to tell a bullied child to “hit back” or encourage him to defuse a situation with humor, the best solution is to work with your child to find out what action he’s most comfortable taking. If you decide to take the matter to a school administrator, it’s critical to follow up. Don’t assume the issue has been resolved after a single conversation, because schools often don’t follow through. Both Dr. Weissbourd and Dr. Espelage encouraged parents to do their homework by studying state bullying laws to force action. You might also come armed with this statistic: School-based bullying-prevention programs decrease its incidence by up to 25 percent

If you suspect your child may be bullying another child, ask, “Is my child a caring community member in this school?” at your next parent-teacher conference. Many kids report that their parents care more about their academic achievements than whether they’re caring and respectful members of the school community. You should also watch your own actions, since bullying is often a modeled behavior. Make sure your child understands consequences and responsibility, and the effects of his actions. As Dr. Weissbbourd explained, the idea is to raise ethical kids—ones who understand why bullying is wrong and can determine a successful way to stop it on their own.

How Not to Raise a Bully
How Not to Raise a Bully
How Not to Raise a Bully

Photo by Nathaniel Chadwick. Copyright 2014: Cartoon Network. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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How TV is Messing With Your Tween

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Being a tween girl is hard. And according to a new study, the television shows tween girls and boys watch is making life just a little more difficult. The study published in the journal Sex Roles found that programs on common kid channels, such as Disney and Nickelodeon, frequently show girls (all of whom are good-looking) being concerned about their looks, working to look better, and receiving comments about their appearance from other characters . At the same time, boys in these shows had a larger variety of “looks” (some attractive and some not so attractive) and didn’t focus on their appearance.

If you think about your tween years, or your own tween child, you know that this is an awkward stage. Braces, glasses, growth spurts, and hand-me-downs plague a majority of middle schoolers and affect their self-esteem. When combined with the existing struggles of tweenhood, TV shows that tell girls to focus on their looks are bound to cause anxiety about every aspect of their appearance.

What worries me most about this study is that if girls are told to spend time thinking about what they look like, what are they not concentrating on. For example, if they spend their morning preoccupied about their outfit, are they missing out on time learning in class? Are they wasting time that could be used to daydream about their future career? And could low self-esteem keep them from speaking up in school or participating in sports?

Aside from turning off the television, there are things you can do to counteract the negative messages on their favorite channels:

-Set a good example by loving yourself.

-Encourage your  girls to participate in a variety of activities.

-Talk to her about all her positive qualities to increase her long-term confidence.

What do you do to promote a healthy self-esteem in your kids?

Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying

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