160,000 Kids Too Many
By Stephanie Jojart
How many kids will have to suffer from bullying before Schools assertively confront this issue?
Every day, 160,000 kids miss school because of the impacts of bullying. Every year, over 300 Australians between 14 & 24 take their own lives – many of which have been impacted by bullying. In 2013, Joshua Taylor was one of these 300.
Joshua began Year Eight as a bubbly, energetic, carefree boy. Within the year things changed – he became withdrawn, anxious, terrified of going to school. He suffered bullying so relentless he began stealing his parent’s money and selling his own possessions so he could pay off those who bullied him.
Desperate and at a loss of what to do, Joshua’s parents asked the school to step in. They in turn proposed sending Joshua to another school, hopefully putting him in a more positive environment minus the bullying. His mother, Cherie Taylor, unable to afford new uniforms, pleaded with Joshua to give the school another try, he complied, telling his mother ‘It wasn’t so bad.’ Days later, during National Anti-Bullying Week – Joshua took his own life.
Unfortunately, his story is just one of many. Too often like in Joshua’s case, school administrations struggle to effectively combat bullying. Sometimes this is due to lack of training; because they are disengaged and think that what happens outside school is not their responsibility; or because they don’t want to confront the parents of students who are bullying other(s) because they come from an unhealthy background with problems at home.
Administration staff often wait in vain for the problem to go away. They ask the teachers to keep an eye on the problematic kid, but teachers are not present in all situations – Joshua received the bulk of his bullying on the bus ride home - so the bullying still occurs.
When parents complain about their child being bullied, the school administration tells them the child who bullies comes from a troubled family. They search for sympathy from the parents, but there is no empathy spared for kids who are hurt by the bullying. Some parents try to endure the situation, other parents go to directly to the child who is bullying - each parent has their approach. However, being a parent doesn’t equal having an intellectual maturity, so while the problem may be stopped it is never really solved because those who bully don’t receive the education needed to change their thinking.
Since Joshua’s death, Cherrie has campaigned to establish anti-bullying laws to better protect kids and parents. Kidzucate’s educational programs are designed to bring about the same kind of change by working in ways teachers and school administrations can’t. Our goal is to teach and train kids how to be better kids, because every child has the right to not only receive an education but to enjoy it.
Did my daughter inherit his temperamental ways? Can parents pass on traits that aren't in the DNA, like sense of humor or style? Child psychologists say yes. It's called modeling, where a child learns by observation and imitation. And like the genes that provided our daughter's red hair and pixie nose, it contributes to who our kids become, says George Holden, Ph.D., a psychologist at Southern Methodist University and author of Parenting: A Dynamic Perspective. “When you observe a behavior in your child, ask yourself, ‘Where did that come from?’ In many cases for young children, it came from a parent.”
Kathy Kane of Denver sees modeling played out in a more positive way. Her 5-year-old son, Patrick, has had plenty of opportunities to watch his mom paint and draw, and has picked up on her artistic sensibility. “He'll stop and tell me how beautiful something is, or point out cloud shapes,” notes Kane, adding that “according to his teacher, Patrick is well developed in writing his letters and shapes.” Not a bad by-product.
Does this mean we can direct our kids to pick up our interests? Yes, with limits, says Margaret Tresch Owen, Ph.D., director of the Center for Children and Families at the University of Texas. “Show enthusiasm or recognition for an ability you like,” she says. But if your kid has no interest in becoming the next Picasso, leave it be.
As for those not-so-great traits: When Jackie Candelaria of Orlando sees her youngest child lashing out at his older brother, she thinks he's acquired her occasional hotheadedness: “I've told him that Mommy doesn't always handle things the best way.” Good move: Awareness of your actions—and a willingness to talk about them—are the best ways to stop the cycle, says Owen. In a calm moment, she suggests saying, “I showed you a side of myself yesterday that I don't feel good about.”
“Letting your child know the difference between appropriate and questionable behavior will help him make better decisions about expressing raw emotion,” explains Owen.
As for our 2-year-old, my husband and I have become more conscientious about our behavior. Because in the long run, patience is more important than her red hair and pixie nose, although patience isn't nearly as cute.
What Kids Get from Parents
By Shelley Preston
From style to sense of humor, kids can inherit traits that aren't genetic.
Find out the science behind how that works.
My toddler thinks she can do anything—until she can't. “Mommy do it!” she demands, thrusting the offending object my way. Daddy also gets flustered quickly, like the time he let the f-bomb fly while fussing with three different TV remotes. Now our daughter has a new weapon to deploy when a video takes more than two seconds to load.
Youth for Human Rights 11th Annual International Human Rights Summit 2014 ~ Brussels
By Sylvie Wellhoff
The 11th Annual International Human Rights Youth Summit Empowering future leaders through human rights education.
2014 Human Rights Hero Award Recipient
Brussels - Youth for Human Rights International hosted the 11th annual International Human Rights Summit at the International Auditorium from September 5th to September 7th, 2014 in Brussels. Youth Delegates from 30 countries joined UN officials, human rights representatives, human rights NGOs, religious leaders, and civil society at this Annual International Summit.
Local Australian youth Sian Williams attended this international human rights event to receive an award for her human rights education work, traveling all the way from Australia to represent her country.
More than 200 attendees packed the venue in the heart of Brussels with the purpose to learn more about human rights, specifically the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to inspire others to become advocates for tolerance and peace.
Approximately 60 Youth Delegates and Youth Ambassadors from around the world joined by local youth carried their flags side-by-side during the opening ceremony of the 3-day summit including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Cambodia, Colombia, Congo, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Liberia, Maldives, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Ukraine, USA and Vietnamese Community.
Mistress of Ceremonies Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, Founder and President of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), welcomed the honored guests including UN officials and UN country mission representatives, human rights and religious leaders, NGOs, local community activists and the community at large.
Distinguished speakers from such countries as Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Taiwan, Togo, Uganda, UK, USA and Yemen addressed the international gathering of youth. Celebrity guitarist and Koto player, Takatani HIDESHI from Japan opened the summit with his outstanding performance followed by performers from Argentina, Belgium, France, India, Italy, the Netherlands and Taiwan.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of four Human Rights Hero Awards to delegations from Australia, Colombia, Mexico and Nepal for their work promoting Human Rights Education. This is what the youth representative, Sian Williams, received. To date, at the age of seven, she is the youngest recipient of this prestigious award.
In 2013, bushfires raged in Australia in the southeastern Tasmania. People of Dunalley, where Williams works, lost almost everything. Encouraged and helped by her parents, she started collecting donations of clothes, toys and other relief items. Further, bullying in her area is a problem as well, which Williams wanted to change.
In the words of the YHRI President, Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, “Personally she [Williams] faced her own challenges. She stuttered and was bullied by other children. She wanted to do something to stop bullying. She thought that kids learn best from other kids.” And so they did, Williams was so successful in her human rights education that she was awarded the Human Rights Hero Award.
The 3-day summit included a full day peer-to-peer mentoring Human Rights Education Workshop, where the Youth Ambassadors shared their experiences and best practices with the new Youth Delegates to prepare them for greater expansion of their initiatives.
The International Human Rights Summit 2014 closing session was held on Sunday, September 7th, when religious leaders including Buddhist, Hinduism, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Theosophy, Scientology and many more gathered for the Inter-Religious Conference for Peace.
Founded in 2001, Youth for Human Rights International now has groups and chapters on all continents. Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, Founder and President of Youth for Human Rights International said: “These youth bring their own passions to Human Rights Education taking it to a whole new level by bringing the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to their peers through creative ways such as murals, rap dances, walks for human rights, large concerts and out into the rural areas where resources are limited through plays depicting the 30 human rights. Human Rights Education is expanding exponentially.”