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It’s October, which means its National Bully Prevention Month!
I feel strongly that it is our job as parents to do all we can to educate & safeguard our children from becoming a bully or being bullied. Of course my preferred method of teaching children is through books, so I’ve decided to start a Reading Challenge for this month using the hashtag #BullyFreeReadtoMe and I really hope you’ll join us, so let’s get started…
What is the #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Challenge?
#BullyFreeReadtoMe is an opportunity to teach your children important life long social skills, such as,
1. identifying emotions & learning how to regulate them,
2. exploring diversity & the importance of inclusion,
3. empathy, kindness & friendship
4. standing up for yourself and others.
The best part is… all of this happens by connecting with your child through reading.
How Do I Participate in the #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Challenge?
Put very simply… read to your child.
You might be thinking that there is a “catch” or something, but there isn’t. I think too often parents underestimate the power of reading. There are so many amazing children’s books, with stories that not only captivate your attention but can easily touch your heart.
I’ve selected books that I feel are character building and are great stepping stones towards Bully Prevention, and I will be posting one each day on my Instagram Story. I will also be posting bookish play using #BullyFreeReadtoMe throughout the month.
I hope you do the same, Please feel free to use #BullyFreeReadtoMe & tag me on Instagram @parentingnotperfection to be a part of our community of caregivers working on Bully Prevention through reading. Show us your books, your play or your bookish play related to the following skills…
Identifying Emotions & Learning How to Regulate Them…
Children being able to identify their emotions is an extremely important skill. It helps ease frustration and unwanted behaviors. There are many children’s books that talk about feelings in a variety of ways. Aside from being able to identify their emotions, its just as important to help your child learn how to regulate them, in other words, what to do with them. Storybooks are a great outlet for children to discover what they can do, what works and what doesn’t work when you have these big emotions you’re just getting to know.
Exploring Diversity & the Importance of Inclusion…
Children (and grown ups) tend to react poorly to people and things that are unknown or different. Bullying often occurs when a child has been set apart from the group. Books can help show your child a world of people, cultures, religions, families, etc… that are different from their own or the same. They can identify with characters that remind them of themselves and feel comforted they are not so different after all or they can explore societies they never would have known if it weren’t for that book.
Empathy, Kindness & Friendship…
After learning about their own feelings and understanding themselves, children can begin to understand other peoples feelings and how they may differ from their own. Characters can show what it means to have empathy and how to be kind to one another. They can depict a variety of situations that gives your child a solid framework to building solid friendships.
Standing Up for Yourself & Others…
Books have the power to help teach us how to stand up for ourselves and others. They can allow children to imagine being in that characters position and walk in someone else’s shoes, all while being curled up next to you safe and loved.
Tips for Success in Our #BullyFreeReadtoMe Reading Challenge!
- Choose a time that works for both of you. There is no law saying that reading must be done at bedtime, if you’re too tired and in a hurry to get bedtime over with, its not the best time for you, and that’s okay. Maybe you’d prefer to read while your child is eating their breakfast? Or maybe when they are in the tub. (Did you notice I named times when you have their undivided attention? 😉 ) Anytime can work.
- Make reading a part of your routine and you’ll be more likely to stick with it!
- Your child does not have to sit still while you read, if you let that expectation go before you begin, you will be much happier. Some kids just can’t sit still. I have one child that never moved while I was reading, and my other one can not stop moving. She looks like she’s not paying attention at all, and to be honest, it was a challenge to let go of my idea of what reading time was “supposed” to look like. But truth be told, if at any point I ask what I said or request a summary of what we read, she has never missed a beat and always knows. So keep that in mind.
- Join our community of caregivers doing the #BullyFreeReadtome Reading Challenge by using the hashtag on social media to spread the word & tag me @parentingnotperfection on Instagram to be featured in my story!
To help you succeed further, check out our FREE Printables. I’ve created…
1. A Book list of 31 books (yep one for each day of the month) that you can choose from to get you started. Please don’t feel obligated to read them all, I just wanted to be sure to give you a nice selection to choose from. The list is also broken down into the same sections we talked about in this blog post. Think about where your child might be and go from there.
2. A Reading Log for you to write down all the books you’ve read this month, or maybe just the books you really enjoyed that could become a holiday list of books you’d like. 😉 Or perhaps it could be a library wishlist of all the books you saw on #BullyFreeReadtoMe that you didn’t get a chance to read yet!
3. A Reading Sticker Chart for your child to place a sticker (like these you can find in a dollar store) each time they read a book with you. Its great fine motor work to peel and stick the sticker, eye hand coordination and counting how many books you’ve read together! Other options are to have them color in a smiley face for each book you’ve read. It also serves as a nice reminder to read together! 🙂
You can find them all in our FREE Printables Library. Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉