Bullying and Siblings – How to have peace at home and at school

Anger can really affect how we act and treat people.

I’m sure this statement is obvious to you, but when you live with people, namely your brothers and sisters, you get to know them in a way no one else does. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not so good. If power struggles develop, then bullying can start to happen. Anger can be a result.

Be good to your siblingsOne of the characteristics of bullying is that it can take place when there is an imbalance of power. Maybe you think you are better, stronger, smarter or wiser than your brother or sister. Or maybe that’s how they feel about you.

If you realize you are mistreating people in your family and maybe you are feeling a bit more powerful or better than them, you can make the decision to change how to treat them. If you do, you will notice a big change in how you are treated as well. You will start to be respected more. Family members might even ask you for advice.

If you feel someone else in your family is mistreating you and they think they are more powerful or better than you, it can be tough sometimes to change that situation. You may be able to talk to them about how you feel. It may be necessary to talk with your parents about the situation.

Try to control your anger about the situation and also try not to be a know-it-all. Don’t be bossy or arrogant. Just realize it will take time to change the situation, especially if it has been going on for a long time.

Remember, the way you treat others is often how they will treat you. It is usually easier to judge others than it is to see how you appear to other people. Your brothers and sisters need to be treated with respect just as everyone else is.

This is an ongoing project. Aim to be kind and peaceful and think about how you’ve achieved this at the end of every day.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who offers school presentations on bullying & respect.




7 Anti-bullying strategies for the summer holidays

July 3, 2o13
Can you believe that it is actually summer holidays? Well it is for many students anyway. You may have started your break in June or you might summerholidaybe studying all summer long, but a lot of students are now enjoying a break from school.

Here are some strategies for the summer holidays that can help you be an even better anti-bullying advocate. After all, everyone who is compassionate about something needs a change of pace once in a while.

1/ RELAX – Just take the time to do what you like to do. If you have a job, let it take your mind off school but if you are on holidays,  fill your time doing what you enjoy.

2/ READ – If you like to read, make sure you pick up some interesting titles at the library and let yourself sink into the books you’ve chosen.

3/ WRITE – Here’s your chance to Continue reading

Multi-media school assemblies on bullying and respect

How To Plan a Respect AssemblyAnti-bullying multi-media school assemblies are a way to create a buzz in your school about bullying prevention. Children want to go to school and feel safe. They want to believe they are cared about by the school and that teachers and principals will help them out if they need support. Through a school assembly, a strong message can be conveyed to children that school safety is a top priority.

Many children have fear that they will be picked on or bullied. The result is that students can be tense and worried during class and not learn as well as could be expected. Children must be relaxed and happy to perform at their optimum.

In order for children to feel safe and protected from bullying, teachers can play a major role.

S.A.F.E. is my acronym for the day.

4 Points for teachers:

S ee what’s going on – Keep an eye on the Continue reading

How can schools help control what children are doing online?

safe schools onlineSchools have a role to play when it comes to children and their online activities. Parents and schools working together can greatly improve the online safety of children by teaching them the ropes of internet safety. Teachers should be aware of the following information so that they can advise parents and children when the opportunity arises.

Favorite Online Activities
Ask kids what on-line activities are their most favorite. This will give you a heads up as to what aspects of internet safety you need to be most concerned with. Is it email, instant messaging, gaming, facebook or others that I haven’t mentioned?

Website History
Keep track of what websites your child or student is visiting by reviewing the history files. Open Internet Explorer and click on the toolbar at the top of the page for history files. In some editions of Internet Explorer simply click on Tools > Toolbars > History. To adjust the number of days that Internet Explorer keeps the history, go to the tools button and select Internet options. Then click on the Gen. tab. You will find the history section at the bottom. If you are unsure how to check the history on your computer, just use Google search. Check to see what browser you’re using and then search by typing in the ‘browser name’ and ‘how to check search history’.

Instant Messaging
Tell your children that you will monitor their instant messaging conversations, just as you would be aware of their live interaction with friends.

Here’s an example: Open live messenger and login as the user you want to track. Select Tools > Options > Messages, and see the message history setting in the bottom. Make sure the box is ticked next to “automatically keep the history of my conversations”. The location of the saved conversations is shown here. Open the folder where the conversations are saved to review what has been said.

Parents and teachers need to understand that games can be taken very seriously by children and they can become so much a part of the game that they almost lose touch with reality. Some kids even have trouble determining the difference between fantasy and reality. Gaming time should be kept under control as some children will become obsessed and play for hours and hours, sometimes it even taking a break.

Filtering software
Parents and schools can use filtering software to help ensure that kids are going to safe sites. Search ‘Internet filtering software’ on your browser to find out what options are available.

Children should not be searching the Internet without supervision. That means an Internet connected computer at home should be in a central place like the kitchen or family room where everyone goes. Students at school should also be supervised while on-line.

Parents and Schools CAN help to control what children are doing online.

Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate located in Canada.








3 Respect Tips for Catholic Schools, Toronto Ontario

Respect Stand Up NowRespect is a topic that comes up in schools daily. The need for respect is always growing, and it helps to reduce the amount of bullying in schools as well as other benefits for the students, teachers, and parents. Here are three simple tips to increase the level of respect in your school:

1) Treat People Right

Students should always be respectful to each other and their belongings. This should continuously be emphasized by the teachers. Respect should be shown even when others are not around to witness. Students who only act appropriately when a teacher or other authoritative figure is around are missing the point of respect. It should be used at all times, and does not matter if it will ever be noticed or not. The fact that you are being respectful will come out, and people will see that in you.

2) Choose Positive Thoughts

Respect relates to your innermost thoughts. Everyone can control their own thoughts, and therefore should always think of positive things. Students and teachers can have trouble doing this at all times, and should be practiced frequently. This means that one should clear their mind of any biases, prejudices, or past events that may put them in a sour mood. You should also stop thinking or saying profanities, put-downs, and rumors. Every person, student, or teacher should be treated as an equal, and your actions start with your thoughts. If you think of positive things about people, it will help you to show respect.

3) Forgive and Forget

One of the most important things to increase respect for people is to forgive what they have done to you if they have done anything bad. This may take time and a lot of effort, but it will help you to feel better and act with more respect. Restoring relationships is important for both children and adults. Talk with the people who are to blame, and tell them that you forgive them. Listen to what they say, and try to understand how and why things went badly. Rekindling old friendships can brighten your day, and grow your respect in people.

A major misconception about respect is that only children need to work on it. This is false because it is up to everyone to make respect grow. Working with these three tips about respect in your school will help to make a safer, healthier, respectful school.

3 Key Ways to Stand Up Against Bullying in Newmarket Ontario

Stand Up Against Bullying presentations by Bruce Langford of Stand Up Now Productions were featured at clearmeadowClearmeadow Public School in Newmarket Ontario.

We presented three assemblies including a Jk-3, grade 4-6 and grade 7-8 assembly. An overall anti-bullying message was shared with the students as well as three sub-messages emphasized throughout the shows.

The overall message was to show Respect. If you truly live your life with respect and truly show respect to others no matter who they are, I firmly believe bullying will decrease.  Show respect to family members, community, and at school. Show respect to teachers, staff and other students. Offer to help others as much as you can. I believe that is part of being a respectful person.

Ignore – It is important to understand that ignoring bullying behavior can take the power away from the person doing the bullying. Ignoring bullying  does not always work effectively, but it is important to understand it is one effective way to remove power associated with bullying.

Empathy – If everyone truly had empathy, then bullying would be reduced. Empathy is simply having the ability to feel what another person is going through. Being able to imagine the feelings of others helps us all to connect with each other.

Confidence – If you walk with confidence and show confidence in your mannerisms, in my opinion bullying will clearmeadow1be diminished. You will find yourself starting to do something about bullying behaviours. You might talk to a teacher, you may find yourself speaking to the person later who was being bullied. You might intervene and say something which will cause the bullying to stop.

Students at Clearmeadow School were very responsive during the assemblies and enjoyed the music, drama and videos. They reacted enthusiastically to the different dynamics of the three assemblies. Mr. Arnis Pukitis, principal at Clearmeadow School had Stand Up Now Productions visit his previous school, Whitchurch Highlands, and wanted to feature them at Clearmeadow.

Stand Up Now Productions helps children and adults learn effective strategies to deal with bullying.



Anger Management Tips

Anger Management Stand Up Now ProductionsEveryone gets angry once and a while. The key is to not let this anger ruin the rest of your day. You should learn how to manage your anger, and try to get rid of it to help you get through the day without it lingering in the back of your mind. Anger can negatively affect you in many ways, so here are a few tips to help you with anger management:


1) Be active

Go outside for a run, bike somewhere, or go swimming. Being active helps to take your mind off of things and release your energy. The fresh air and change of environment will also help you. Anger is easily released during physical activity.

2) Breathe

Take a moment to remember to breathe. Stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. Breathe in, hold that air for a few seconds, and then slowly release your breath. Imagine your breath coming from your gut, so that you do not just breathe from your chest. This will help you to lower your tension and stress levels.

3) Express your anger

After you have calmed down, talk with someone about what happened. Try to find out how to fix whatever caused your anger. Identify solutions that will help you to overcome your anger. Try not to be confrontational when talking with someone, as this could cause another wave of anger.


Your feelings can affect how you act and what you say. You do not want to regret what you do later on, so if you feel yourself getting angry, remove yourself from the area immediately. Follow the three steps outlined above, and try to get yourself in order and clear your mind before you go back.

WebCams for Internet safety at school and home – 5 Child Centred Tips

4 Types of WebCams

4 Types of WebCams

WebCams can be a convenient, fun way to communicate with others.

What exactly is a WebCam?

Answer, a WebCam is a video camera that is attached to or built into a computer.

Most laptops now come with preinstalled WebCams. WebCams can be added to a computer easily and at relatively low cost.

In many cases a WebCam can be purchased for under $50 and immediately plugged directly into the computer. After quickly installing the software, the WebCam can be up and running in minutes.

Many kids are used to sharing their lives with the world through instant messaging, Facebook, other social networking sites, and even emails. WebCams are a tool which kids can use to give the online world a birdseye view of their lives, wherever they may happen to be. This can create a whole new degree of risk that parents and teachers must be aware of.

The images from a WebCam can be sent directly to the Internet. The images can be still photos, a whole series of images, or even video.

WebCams can be used to videoconference with other WebCam users, or the user can post a link to their WebCam on one of the many WebCam sites on the Internet. Anyone who visits the site can then view the images which have been uploaded from your WebCam.

Children can inadvertently post their WebCam address without realizing that other people can log into it. Even users who do not post their WebCams on one of these sites could find their private life being invaded.

Each WebCam has a web address that can be found by search engines who can then post that address on their listings. A WebCam usually has a password, but some users do not change the default password or the password is very, very easy to guess. There are also programs written which are actually viruses (trojan horse programs) which allow hackers to activate a WebCam without the knowledge of the user.

It is important to be aware that there are specific sites set up on the Internet which are designed for people to randomly chat using video through WebCams. Even though some of these sites are age restricted, of course children are known to have logged in. Without going into detail, you can only imagine the kinds of images which are sometimes revealed.

Here are Five WebCam safeguards:

1/ Cover up with tape, or unplug your WebCam when you are not using it.

2/ Never keep a computer with a WebCam in a child’s bedroom.

3/ Teach children that WebCams can be an invasion of privacy.

4/ Keep open communication with your children regarding webcams, instant messaging and social media sites like Facebook.

5/ Be sure your children understand never to respond to on-line messages from strangers.

With correct guidance and supervision, WebCams can be a safe and fun way to communicate with others.

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who offers presentations to schools and businesses on bullying, cyberbullying and respect. www.standupnow.ca




Does Toronto need an anti-bullying bylaw like Port Coquitlam?

Port Coquitlam is currently working on an anti-bullying by-law which will give law-enforcement officers the power to charge people who are apprehended for bullying related offences. In November, Port Coquitlam participated in an anti-bullying campaign which was launched as a result of the suicide of Amanda Todd, the teenaged girl who committed suicide earlier this year as a result of bullying.

The anti-bullying bylaw would be the first law of this type to be passed in British Columbia. Plans are in place to have fines which would range from $200.00 to $2000.00, depending on the specifics of the offence.

People who are charged and fined with a bullying offence will be given the opportunity to have their ticket fees waived if they agree to participate in an anti-bullying course developed through the PoCoMo Youth Society.

The PoCoMo Youth Services Society was established in 1992 under the name PoCoMo Teen Centre Society and their original mandate was to develop teen centers in the three British Columbia Cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. Their website is www.pocomo.org.

Another Canadian City which has had an anti-bullying bylaw in place since 2006, is Regina, Saskachewan. The bylaw in Regina was created as a result of the tragic bullying case of Reena Virk. Regina has defined bullying as: “any objectionable or inappropriate comment, conduct or display by a person directed at an individual not of the same household intended to intimidate, humiliate, ridicule or isolate, which causes or is likely to cause physical or emotional distress.”

Smartphone use can contribute to bullying incidents

The Regina bylaw also makes reference to bullying which results from the use of electronic devices, obviously a reference to the increasing seriousness of cyber-bullying. Regina also makes it possible for those charged to have the fee dropped by agreeing to participate in an anti-bullying course.

Regina officials feel the anti-bullying bylaw has helped to education its residents about bullying. They believe that it is important to raise awareness of the problem and help people understand the seriousness of bullying situations.

Some residents of Toronto believe that an anti-bullying bylaw would be a good thing for their city, as an effort to help increase awareness about a societal situation which in some cases has gotten out of hand.

I believe that education is a very important piece in the puzzle to reduce bullying. As society becomes more aware and more empathetic, our citizens will begin to raise the standards related to what is acceptable by society in general in the area of human relations and more specifically, bullying.

Please spread the word; bullying is not acceptable, in any form.

Stand Up Against Bullying!

Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate in southwestern Ontario.






Hamilton Parent Anti-bullying event sponsored by Ontario’s PRO Grants

As an anti-bullying week event we visited Sir Wilfrid Laurier public school in Hamilton on November 19, 2012 to present a parent/child presentation called ‘Stand up – Keep Your Kids’.

Parent Council Representative Hamilton

Dayna Liddle, Parent Council Rep Sir Wilfrid Laurier PS

We had a great audience of receptive parents and children who were eager to learn more about bullying prevention. A group of enthusiastic children arrived early to practice role-plays, which they did with sincere conviction. Parent Council representative, Dayna Liddle, was one of the parents in charge of arranging and overseeing the event. Dayna is obviously adamant about bullying prevention.

We talked about a number of concepts which parents can use to help safeguard their children at home, school, and in their communities. Here is an overview of three strategies we discussed.

The energy a human being exudes often comes across as being positive or negative. It is important to ensure that our children are sending positive vibrations to the world, as in my opinion,  this positive energy will also attract positive energy. As parents, it is important to encourage our children to walk with confidence and show confidence in the way they carry themselves. If we are constantly criticizing our children or finding fault with the way they do things, they will develop a low self-esteem that will begin to be apparent wherever they go. Instead, it is important to lift up our children, encourage them, look for the positive, and help them to understand that they are valued individuals who can make a decided difference with their friends or in their community. I strongly believe children who carry themselves in a positive manner, will be targeted less often in bullying situations.

As a parent myself, I understand that it is my job to direct my son if he makes a mistake or does not follow directions. I know I need to be firm and definite about my expectations, however, it is vital that I also help to build up his self-esteem on a continuous basis.

Be Aware of your Child’s Online activity:
When police officers do presentations about cyber bullying, one of the things they talk about is making sure that the computer is in a central place in your home. I also emphasize this very same idea. The computer should not be located at the back of your family room, the corner of your basement or in your child’s bedroom if  it is connected to the Internet. Make sure the computer is in a central place like the kitchen or family room where everyone goes. As an adult we are all responsible for making sure we know exactly what our children are doing online. This includes games, research, online chatting, and social media websites such as Facebook or twitter.

be safe on-line

Be aware of what your children are doing on-line

Cell phones, video, and YouTube:
Many parents are concerned about their child’s safety, and rightly so. As an effort to keep our children safe many of us provide our children with cell phones. However cell phones usually have many capabilities including cameras and video cameras and GPS. These functions while being very useful can also complicate life and provide interesting tools for would be cyber bullies. If a fight breaks out at your child’s school, someone is likely to pull out a cell phone and start videotaping the event. We all know that it is popular to upload these kinds of videos to YouTube or similar sites. Videos such as this often get a high number of hits and it can be a real perk for a student who is trying to get attention. Also what many parents don’t realize is that YouTube will pay users who get a large number of hits on their site. This can also be incentive to upload videos such as I have described.

As a presenter and anti-bullying advocate, I appreciate the fact that this anti-bullying event was made possible by an Ontario government PRO grant. Thanks to everyone who helped organize and support this event at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Public School in Hamilton.

Bruce Langford, anti-bullying advocate and presenter www.standupnow.ca