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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Day 1: Kindness and Respect Challenge, The Bullying Cure?

October 1, 2013

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Not sure what we’re expected to work on for the rest of the year, but I’m up for treating people better, at least through Halloween.

Unlike highly successful education campaigns of the past: Don’t Be a Litter Bug and Buckle Up for Safety because Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires, if you go by surveys, our 10+ year war on bullying hasn’t yet reached the tipping point.

There’s no one solution to verbal abuse and the rest of the social garbage that has become the norm for our kids, online and off. Something’s gotta give and each of us has the power to make things better. I never took physics, but I know that everyday nastiness and social aggression adds to the garbage. So it stands to reason that more kindness and respect will move the needle in the other direction.

That’s why, starting today, to honor the good intentions of National Bullying Prevention Month, I’m beginning my own month-long Kindness and Respect Challenge (aka #KindRespect).

Kindness and Respect Challenge

Here’s the idea: between now and October 31st, I will actively look for opportunities to be kind and respectful to others. I realize it’s going to take serious anger management and mouth control on my part. I also understand I’m inviting the the Universe to throw a whole lot of “tests” my way, but I’m in and I’ll be reporting my experiences right here every day.

Who’s in with me?

In friendship,

Annie

PS Encourage your kids to join the Kindness and Respect Challenge along with you (and the whole family). Create a #KindRespect chart (could be on the fridge or posted on a wall) in which each one of you who RECEIVES an act of kindness and/or a show of respect from another family writes it down. For example, John might write on the chart, “Trevor helped me with my homework.” Way to go, Trevor! Or Trevor might write, “Mom, made me a snack.” Yay, Mom! At the end of the week, acknowledge the cumulative effects of more kindness and respect in the family. Change happens when we change how we treat each other.

Check out Day 2

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10 Comments »

  1. I am so with you! My son has Aspergers Syndrome and when he was growing up he was bullied and picked on, and my daughter had experiences too with the “mean girls.” I’m a pretty low key, patient person but there are times when I am rushed where I’ll be rude to a cashier, waiter, person waiting in line, etc. and I shutter to think of me being the cause of emotional pain. Words matter. My son works part time in a public venue and I have a friend working at a popular coffee place and the stories they tell me about how awful people can be…I don’t ever want to be that person!

    Comment by Jodi Murphy — October 1, 2013 @ 10:20 am

  2. Encourage your kids to join the Kindness and Respect Challenge along with you (and the whole family). Create a #KindRespect chart (could be on the fridge or posted on a wall) in which each one of you who RECEIVES an act of kindness and/or a show of respect from another family writes it down. For example, John might write on the chart, “Trevor helped me with my homework.” Way to go, Trevor! Or Trevor might write, “Mom, made me a snack.” Yay, Mom! At the end of the week, acknowledge the cumulative effects of more kindness and respect in the family. Want to try it?

    Comment by Annie — October 1, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

  3. Jodi, welcome to the Kindness and Respect Challenge. I hear you re: feeling rush leads to being rude. Yeah, guilty as charged. So this will be cool, huh? We have a chance to “unlearn” the knee-jerk reaction that turns us, instantly into jerks! LOL I’m heading out into the world and on to the freeway in a bit. Can’t wait to see what opportunities present themselves to challenge me on this challenge. Hey, run it by your kids and please keep me posted as the month wears on. Good luck, Jodi!

    Comment by Annie — October 1, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

  4. Good idea, kindness and compassion don’t get enough press. I truly believe it is the only solution for the bullying problem on all sides of the equation. The thing that people don’t realise is how fostering love and compassion in oneself makes you stronger. This is the thrust of my YA novel, You Can’t Shatter Me.

    Comment by Tahlia Newland — October 1, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

  5. […] PS Check out Day 1 […]

    Pingback by Day 2: Kindness and Respect Challenge | Annie Fox's Blog — October 2, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  6. […] I considered picking up a rock and hurling it in Buck’s direction. But then I remembered The Challenge. I took a deep breath and announced to David, The Pupster, the deer, and the Universe, “I […]

    Pingback by Day 3: Kindness and Respect Challenge | Annie Fox's Blog — October 3, 2013 @ 10:19 am

  7. […] Saturday (Day 5 of the Challenge) I drove to Stanford to a Challenge Success student event. My job was to lead two round table […]

    Pingback by Day 7 Kindness and Respect Challenge (We’re here to help) | Annie Fox's Blog — October 7, 2013 @ 10:55 am

  8. […] just came off a radio interview on the topic of teen dating violence. (Excellent timing for my Kindness and Respect Challenge. )One of the other guest experts, Associate Professor Emily Rothman of Boston University School of […]

    Pingback by Day 9 Kindness and Respect Challenge (R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me) | Annie Fox's Blog — October 9, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

  9. […] wonder why Kindness and Respect isn’t a year-round thing. We’d all be better off if it […]

    Pingback by Day 11: Kindness and Respect Challenge (T’is always the ‘season’ for spreading good will) | Annie Fox's Blog — October 11, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

  10. […] know it’s not the official last day of this month-long Kindness and Respect Challenge. (We all remember Thirty days hath September…) But tomorrow’s Halloween. (Yay, Kit-Kat […]

    Pingback by Day 30: Kindness and Respect Challenge (What did we learn?) | Annie Fox's Blog — October 30, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

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