FamilyMotherhoodSummer

Creating A Bully Free Culture Among Kids

This Post Is Sponsored in partnership with JIMMY Patterson Books. As Always, All Opinions Are My Own! Thank You For Sponsoring CityGirlGoneMom!

Long before I had four children, I was a school teacher. In that role, I always found it fascinating to watch my students’ friendships grow and develop. Some of the most important friendships made are those that form during the childhood years. They can last for decades, and turn into some of the most critical relationships in a young person’s life. The benefits of these confidence building, laughter inducing, heart warming budding friendships are endless. Having your best bud by your side while exploring the pre-tween years is not only food for the soul, it’s also the first line of defense when it comes to the unwarranted torment of bullying.

Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein is the perfect, poignant tale of two middle school boys who go through relentless teasing throughout their childhood. Because of its humor and overall positive message, it is the must read book this summer for kids ages 9-13. I read the book alongside my 10 year-old Jackson, and he absolutely loved it. He immediately shared with me a story about a kid in his class that was being bullied, and how he sat with him during lunch to alleviate his sadness. As a mom who takes bullying serious, I felt this book was the perfect reminder of how painful bullying can actually be. And this story shows the reader that in the end, things really do get better. 

About The Book 

“David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: “Pottymouth” and “Stoopid” are still stuck with the names—and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true. So how do they go about changing everyone’s minds? By turning their misery into megastardom on TV, of course!” Their roller-coaster journey is perfectly written. We get to watch the characters go from the ultimate losers to the biggest winners, with more than 100 hilarious illustrations in this signature Patterson format. And this important story delivers more than just laughs—it shows that the worst bullying doesn’t have to be physical . . . and that things will get better.

We Can All Relate

I can remember clear as day, when a boy named Robert B. started calling me froggy on the school bus. Kids would point and laugh and say, “Here comes Froggy… Look at her eyes.” I was a small girl in stature, but my eyes were as big as the moon. The name carried from elementary school, all the way through middle school. When I finally hit high school, and came into my own, developing into a young lady, my unwelcome nickname Froggy finally dissipated. Years later, I ran into Robert, the kid who was responsible for the name I thought would never go away. He immediately noticed how I’d grown up, and how those big eyes turned into one of my greatest assets. He apologized and said he couldn’t believe how pretty I was, and he was so sorry for the torment. I forgave him, but I certainly did not forget, politely declining his invitation to take me out. As they say, forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. And in this case, a smile and bat of those eyes was the icing on the cake.

Teaching Your Child Not To Be A Bully

In an effort to prevent & raise awareness about bullying, Pottymouth and Stoopid is the perfect starting point to introduce the subject of bullying with your child. The reader can easily pick up on the importance of positive friendships. The anti-bullying message is woven throughout the story, illustrating examples of how to be funny and not mean. Prevention is the key when it comes to bullying, so the more I expose my children to how painful this type of behavior can be, I am essentially giving them the tools to understand it is not acceptable to tease or taunt another person. After reading this book, we had a great followup conversation about bullying, and what my child can do if they see it happening.

Signs of Bullying

• Leaving someone out
• Gossip and rumors
• Silent treatment
• Eye rolling, mean looks & stares
• Verbal putdowns & teasing
• Hurtful texts or posts on social media even those ending with LOL or JK

What To Do If You Witness Bullying

• Ask if the person is okay, and ask if he/she needs your help
• Stand near the victim as if you are on his/her side
• Provide support
• Encourage others not to engage in that behavior; by doing so you are making a difference
• Show empathy, and say you are sorry that this is happening
• Report the bullying to an adult

Pottymouth & Stoopid proves that walking through life with humor, can indeed soften some of the worst blows that life can deliver. And no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it with an armor of humor. I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding the humor in it. By being proactive and giving our kids the set of tools to not participate or tolerate bullying, we too can make a difference in making the world a better place.

GIVEAWAY

What I love about my job (besides sending positive vibes with great messages like anti-bullying), is giving some fun swag to one lucky CGGM reader. No more awful nicknames this school year with a personalized backpack from Lands End, plus a copy of Pottymouth and Stoopid. All you have to do to enter to win is:

• Follow @citygirlgonemom & @jamespattersonbooks on Instagram.
• Comment on my Instagram photo telling me your story about bullying
• And don’t forget to tag 2 momma friends in your comments.

Winner announced JULY 13th!

This Post Is Sponsored in partnership with JIMMY Patterson Books.  As Always, All Opinions Are My Own! Thank You For Sponsoring CityGirlGoneMom!

 

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Great article D; we can all use a reminder of this even in our adult lives!!!

    1. Danielle Lucia Schaffer

      hahahahaha right I know quite a few people who should read this

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