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Category: Improve Your World

A Story of Before and After

My odd friends are once again teaching me how what we think can sometimes fool us. Let me tell you about Rahim and Sandy. Rahim is a quiet, gentle guy and all the girls I know have a secret crush on him. The one with the biggest crush is Sandy. What put him in solid with her was when she saw him one afternoon at the mall.

A girl who was dressed kind of oddly was being bullied by a group of rude boys. Sandy, watching in the food court, saw Rahim stride up to the group and order the boys away from the girl who by this time was crying.

Rahim stood between the weeping girl and bullies until mall security came and escorted the boys away. Sandy watched as the guards thanked Rahim and the girl’s mother ran up to hug her girl.

Sandy texted me from the food court: “Rahim is awesome. He’s so strong and kind. I like him so much.”

I smiled and set my phone aside.

A busy week of school and sports and gossiping passed. Sandy spent every spare moment she could with Rahim. They took breaks together, went for slushies together and biked away from school together every day.

Sandy texted me: “I know we are just friends, but Rahim is the guy I see with me for a long time.”

This was before.

The very next day after that text, Sandy saw a picture on social media of the bullied girl from the mall kissing Rahim on the cheek. In another picture, Rahim and mall-girl were sitting close to each other eating burgers and looking happy.

At this point, Sandy texted me: “How could I be so stupid. Rahim took advantage of a bullied girl and now is hanging with her.

He was only nice to her because she was so pretty. And all this week while he was hanging with me, he was also hanging out with this girl.

He must be one of those guys who needs lots of girlfriends to feel good about himself. I saw that in a movie last week.”

I rolled my eyes and turned off my phone.

Sandy does this all the time. Before the mall incident, Rahim is sweet and sensitive. After the mall, he’s the villain on a television show. Sandy is my friend and I’m going to have to talk with her about making assumptions. I need to tell her that mall-girl is Rahim’s cousin.

My odd friends are once again teaching me how what we think can sometimes fool us. Let me tell you about Rahim and Sandy. Rahim is a quiet, gentle guy and all the girls I know have a secret crush on him. The one with the biggest crush is Sandy. What put him in solid with her was when she saw him one afternoon at the mall.

A girl who was dressed kind of oddly was being bullied by a group of rude boys. Sandy, watching in the food court, saw Rahim stride up to the group and order the boys away from the girl who by this time was crying.

Rahim stood between the weeping girl and bullies until mall security came and escorted the boys away. Sandy watched as the guards thanked Rahim and the girl’s mother ran up to hug her girl.

Sandy texted me from the food court: “Rahim is awesome. He’s so strong and kind. I like him so much.”

I smiled and set my phone aside.

A busy week of school and sports and gossiping passed. Sandy spent every spare moment she could with Rahim. They took breaks together, went for slushies together and biked away from school together every day.

Sandy texted me: “I know we are just friends, but Rahim is the guy I see with me for a long time.”

This was before.

The very next day after that text, Sandy saw a picture on social media of the bullied girl from the mall kissing Rahim on the cheek. In another picture, Rahim and mall-girl were sitting close to each other eating burgers and looking happy.

At this point, Sandy texted me: “How could I be so stupid. Rahim took advantage of a bullied girl and now is hanging with her.

He was only nice to her because she was so pretty. And all this week while he was hanging with me, he was also hanging out with this girl.

He must be one of those guys who needs lots of girlfriends to feel good about himself. I saw that in a movie last week.”

I rolled my eyes and turned off my phone.

Sandy does this all the time. Before the mall incident, Rahim is sweet and sensitive. After the mall, he’s the villain on a television show. Sandy is my friend and I’m going to have to talk with her about making assumptions. I need to tell her that mall-girl is Rahim’s cousin.

5 New School Year Resolutions

Everyone makes promises to themselves at New Year. They “resolve” to be nicer, eat better, work harder and not spend so much time on social media. New School Year Resolutions make more sense. January 1 is just a day, but when you start school, you start a new life.

Your school days this year are totally different than last school year. You will learn new things. You will meet new people. And you are a new person. As you go back to school you are older and know more than you did when you started school last year. To see how much of a difference a school year can make, look at the pictures on your phone or your social media pages. How are you different? Has your music changed? The movies you like? What about your friends? Have they changed?

Ask yourself these questions. Then think about the new school year. You will be different when it is over. Make a resolution that lets you decide how different you could be! Think about these resolutions:

1. Resolve to Spend More Time In Real Life.

Too many kids—and adults—spend big parts of their days online. The Internet is fun and can bring people together but having fun and hanging out with people in real time is better. You can see them, touch them, share real life. Also, people tend to be nicer when they look into each other’s eyes.

2. Resolve to Work Towards My Goals.

You want to be an astronaut? Then pay extra attention in science class. Want to be a pop star? Be sure to practice your guitar or piano. Are you going to be a police officer? Maybe ask a teacher to bring an officer to school so that you can ask questions.

3. Resolve to Never Post On Social Media When I Get Mad.

As we learned in a previous article, Anger Management for Kids, posting when mad can make you just as bad as the people who made you mad. If you need help learning how to control your anger, re-read the post. It could save you from getting into a lot of trouble.

4. Resolve to Be More Grown-Up.

All kids want to be respected and treated like a grown-up. Think about how to earn that respect and treatment. Maybe pick a chore and always do it, like taking out the garbage or vacuuming the living room. Always do what you say you are going to do. Be respectful and get respect back. Even if you know adults that act like children, you can be better than that.

5. Resolve to Be a Kid.

Yes, you are growing up and starting a whole new year of school, but you are still a kid. Enjoy it. Play basketball. Make a backyard fort. Hang out with your friends and make new ones. Wear silly tee-shirts. Play hide and seek in the park. You want to be grown-up and you will. When you are an adult you will not be able to do many of the fun things you do as a kid. Do them now.

Everyone makes promises to themselves at New Year. They “resolve” to be nicer, eat better, work harder and not spend so much time on social media. New School Year Resolutions make more sense. January 1 is just a day, but when you start school, you start a new life.

Your school days this year are totally different than last school year. You will learn new things. You will meet new people. And you are a new person. As you go back to school you are older and know more than you did when you started school last year. To see how much of a difference a school year can make, look at the pictures on your phone or your social media pages. How are you different? Has your music changed? The movies you like? What about your friends? Have they changed?

Ask yourself these questions. Then think about the new school year. You will be different when it is over. Make a resolution that lets you decide how different you could be! Think about these resolutions:

1. Resolve to Spend More Time In Real Life.

Too many kids—and adults—spend big parts of their days online. The Internet is fun and can bring people together but having fun and hanging out with people in real time is better. You can see them, touch them, share real life. Also, people tend to be nicer when they look into each other’s eyes.

2. Resolve to Work Towards My Goals.

You want to be an astronaut? Then pay extra attention in science class. Want to be a pop star? Be sure to practice your guitar or piano. Are you going to be a police officer? Maybe ask a teacher to bring an officer to school so that you can ask questions.

3. Resolve to Never Post On Social Media When I Get Mad.

As we learned in a previous article, Anger Management for Kids, posting when mad can make you just as bad as the people who made you mad. If you need help learning how to control your anger, re-read the post. It could save you from getting into a lot of trouble.

4. Resolve to Be More Grown-Up.

All kids want to be respected and treated like a grown-up. Think about how to earn that respect and treatment. Maybe pick a chore and always do it, like taking out the garbage or vacuuming the living room. Always do what you say you are going to do. Be respectful and get respect back. Even if you know adults that act like children, you can be better than that.

5. Resolve to Be a Kid.

Yes, you are growing up and starting a whole new year of school, but you are still a kid. Enjoy it. Play basketball. Make a backyard fort. Hang out with your friends and make new ones. Wear silly tee-shirts. Play hide and seek in the park. You want to be grown-up and you will. When you are an adult you will not be able to do many of the fun things you do as a kid. Do them now.

When You Get Mad! (Anger Management for Kids)

Anger Management for Kids

Whether you are on the school playground or spending time with friends in your neighborhood on the weekend, not everything always goes as planned. You could skin your knees, bump your head going up the monkey bars and get splashed in the pool. Accidents happen. People get mad.

In that finger-snap moment, many say or do things that hurt friendships, feelings and even get them into trouble.  That doesn’t have to happen to you. You just need a few tools.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling mad. Everyone feels mad from time to time. The problem is when the anger makes you do things that hurt you or other people. That’s why the most important thing to think when you get mad is this: TAKE CONTROL.

TAKE CONTROL. You are stronger than you think. You have the power to get control of your anger. Here are some ways:

  • When you open your mouth to yell at someone who hit you or splashed you, take a breath. Hold that breath. Let it out slowly. Take another breath. Those few seconds will save you from saying something mean or making someone else mad.
  • Make fists and throw them away. That is, curl your hands into fists then quickly fling your hands open. Do that over and over until you feel your burning anger fade.
  • Walk away. Walk to the side. Pace back and forth. This is a good way to help when you stub your toe or hurt your arm. It helps ease the pain while you let the anger out.
  • Close your eyes and grit your teeth. Then let yourself relax. This helps you calm down and think.

These actions may seem easy, but they are not. You may need to practice them with friends or your parents. But they are important because they give you control. Once you have control, you can think about what made you mad. When you can think with a calm head, you can take care of what the problem is.

Did you bump your head? Then call an adult to make sure that you are not badly hurt.

Did another kid yell a mean comment to you? When you have control you can walk away or just roll your eyes or go tell your parents. If the comment was truly hurtful, you can talk about it with friends or family or a special adult—yelling back makes you just as hurtful as the person who hurt you.

Many adults go through life struggling with their anger. They get in trouble. This can often be made worse when they express their anger on social media. Some people go to jail. Many never learn to be the boss of their anger. They pay a big price for that. You are better than that—or you can be—when you learn what to do when you get mad.

Whether you are on the school playground or spending time with friends in your neighborhood on the weekend, not everything always goes as planned. You could skin your knees, bump your head going up the monkey bars and get splashed in the pool. Accidents happen. People get mad.

In that finger-snap moment, many say or do things that hurt friendships, feelings and even get them into trouble.  That doesn’t have to happen to you. You just need a few tools.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling mad. Everyone feels mad from time to time. The problem is when the anger makes you do things that hurt you or other people. That’s why the most important thing to think when you get mad is this: TAKE CONTROL.

TAKE CONTROL. You are stronger than you think. You have the power to get control of your anger. Here are some ways:

  • When you open your mouth to yell at someone who hit you or splashed you, take a breath. Hold that breath. Let it out slowly. Take another breath. Those few seconds will save you from saying something mean or making someone else mad.
  • Make fists and throw them away. That is, curl your hands into fists then quickly fling your hands open. Do that over and over until you feel your burning anger fade.
  • Walk away. Walk to the side. Pace back and forth. This is a good way to help when you stub your toe or hurt your arm. It helps ease the pain while you let the anger out.
  • Close your eyes and grit your teeth. Then let yourself relax. This helps you calm down and think.

These actions may seem easy, but they are not. You may need to practice them with friends or your parents. But they are important because they give you control. Once you have control, you can think about what made you mad. When you can think with a calm head, you can take care of what the problem is.

Did you bump your head? Then call an adult to make sure that you are not badly hurt.

Did another kid yell a mean comment to you? When you have control you can walk away or just roll your eyes or go tell your parents. If the comment was truly hurtful, you can talk about it with friends or family or a special adult—yelling back makes you just as hurtful as the person who hurt you.

Many adults go through life struggling with their anger. They get in trouble. This can often be made worse when they express their anger on social media. Some people go to jail. Many never learn to be the boss of their anger. They pay a big price for that. You are better than that—or you can be—when you learn what to do when you get mad.

How a Town Made A Monster—True Story

Once upon a time, a mom and dad drove their little girl to school. Mom got out to walk the girl to the school door.  Before they got there, Dad remembered something he had forgotten to ask the little girl. He rushed out and ran to the girl and Mom. Mom was upset. She said that they could talk about the question after school.

Dad disagreed and the two had a small argument on the school steps, which was very bad manners. The little girl started walking away. Her dad grabbed her arm and she quickly answered his question before running off to class.

Meanwhile, a woman in the parking lot saw the argument on the steps. She saw the dad grab his daughter’s arm. She went on social media and made a post: “I saw a man grab a little girl today at school. Watch out for your kids.”

Another parent saw the post and shared the post with his friends. They shared the post with their friends. Soon, everyone in the small town was thinking that a man was trying to kidnap their dear children.

Thinking that some evil man lurked near the school, people started seeing monsters everywhere! If a man stopped to drop off a sandwich for his son at recess, people would go online to post: “I saw a man try to grab a little boy.”

When another man ran up to his girl to give her the sweater she had left at home, people would post: “I saw the bad guy.” And all those posts bounced from cell phone to cell phone.

Before long, people went to the police and reported that a man was trying to steal kids from school. The story reached news reporters. A major television station reported that a man was stalking school kids. The stern announcer warned thousands of people to be on the lookout for this monster.

The police immediately started investigating. They interviewed many of the people who posted sightings of the evil man. The police talked to kids and their parents.

Then they made an official announcement: Nothing had happened. No one was trying to snatch children.

Hundreds of posts and reposts warned of a bad man, but none of the reports were true. No evil monster was trying to grab children from school. The monster was made up by too many people posting false details on social media.

Soon, the panic faded. People forgot about the evil man—and they did not seem to understand that they were the ones who made the monster.

This event really happened in Alberta, Canada, June, 2011.

Once upon a time, a mom and dad drove their little girl to school. Mom got out to walk the girl to the school door.  Before they got there, Dad remembered something he had forgotten to ask the little girl. He rushed out and ran to the girl and Mom. Mom was upset. She said that they could talk about the question after school.

Dad disagreed and the two had a small argument on the school steps, which was very bad manners. The little girl started walking away. Her dad grabbed her arm and she quickly answered his question before running off to class.

Meanwhile, a woman in the parking lot saw the argument on the steps. She saw the dad grab his daughter’s arm. She went on social media and made a post: “I saw a man grab a little girl today at school. Watch out for your kids.”

Another parent saw the post and shared the post with his friends. They shared the post with their friends. Soon, everyone in the small town was thinking that a man was trying to kidnap their dear children.

Thinking that some evil man lurked near the school, people started seeing monsters everywhere! If a man stopped to drop off a sandwich for his son at recess, people would go online to post: “I saw a man try to grab a little boy.”

When another man ran up to his girl to give her the sweater she had left at home, people would post: “I saw the bad guy.” And all those posts bounced from cell phone to cell phone.

Before long, people went to the police and reported that a man was trying to steal kids from school. The story reached news reporters. A major television station reported that a man was stalking school kids. The stern announcer warned thousands of people to be on the lookout for this monster.

The police immediately started investigating. They interviewed many of the people who posted sightings of the evil man. The police talked to kids and their parents.

Then they made an official announcement: Nothing had happened. No one was trying to snatch children.

Hundreds of posts and reposts warned of a bad man, but none of the reports were true. No evil monster was trying to grab children from school. The monster was made up by too many people posting false details on social media.

Soon, the panic faded. People forgot about the evil man—and they did not seem to understand that they were the ones who made the monster.

This event really happened in Alberta, Canada, June, 2011.