Archive for April, 2018

Bullying Prevention Efforts in Elementary School

Last November, I had the opportunity to bring my 8 Keys to End Bullying presentations to Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Baton Rouge, LA. Today, almost 6 months later, I received this heart-warming email from their School Counselor, letting me know the impact of the workshops:
I hope you are doing well as we approach the end of another school year! I have been thinking about you and your brilliant wisdom, and I thought I’d give you a shout out. I want you to know how much your bullying material has impacted my 3rd and 4th graders this year. The number of bullying reports have significantly gone down, and I’ll get statements in my office like, “Ms. Alaine, I went over the three P’s, and I don’t think it’s bullying. But I still need some help!” We also spent a long time in 4th grade talking about our Bully-Busting Spirit Animals, so I’m able to point out in individual sessions when someone is acting like a “Tiger” and they know exactly what I’m talking about. It has been so neat to give such clear directions for helping my kiddos navigate their world. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!
Alaine Dawson, M.Ed.
School Counselor Grades PK-4
(shared with permission)

Sesame Street Tackles Bullying


As an independent, nonprofit organization; programs like Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children would not be possible without charitable giving. If funded, Sesame Workshop will tackle another major issue for families in the autism community and beyond: how to prevent bullying by fostering empathy and compassion.

Childhood bullying hurts, and research shows that kids with autism are disproportionately affected. Since 2015, Sesame Workshop has reached millions of kids and families with their work in the autism community. However, in order to tackle bullying prevention, Sesame Workshop is looking to their passionate community of fans and families for help. If the campaign’s first funding goal is reached, Sesame Workshop aims to create a kid-friendly digital storybook about understanding differences through everyday activities and play plus articles and supplementary materials about bullying for grown-ups.

As with other materials and storybooks featuring Julia, this new content will offer parents and caregivers a perfect starting point for deeper conversations with their children.  Here are some fun videos to check out:

Julia and Rosita Celebrate Families

Julia and Grover Search for Patterns

Julia, Rosita and Grover Play Freeze Dance

Different Ways to Say Hello


If you’d like to help fund Sesame Workshop’s endeavor to bring an end to bullying, please visit their Kickstarter page here:

Does Your Child Worry Too Much?


This week, I’ll be doing a presentation on how to understand and effectively respond to anxiety in children & adolescents at The Hillside School in Allentown, PA.    There’s some natural overlap between this presentation and my Brain-Based Strategies for Helping Kids Calm Down workshop, as both anxiety and anger are brain-issues at their core–uncomfortable states caused by the triggering of the amygdala.

The bad news:  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million people or 18.1% of the population every year.

The good news:  Anxiety disorders are highly treatable.

Being able to recognize the symptoms of anxiety for what they are, rather than confusing them with stubbornness, drama, or defiance is a key factor in meeting kids needs and helping them feel heard and understood.  The article below, 15 Things Kids or Teens Say That Could Mean ‘I’m Anxious’–Where they Come From and How to Respond, is a great resource for helping adults to ‘decode’ the common ways kids describe their anxiety, in order to respond more effectively.

Another priority I’ll be talking about at Hillside is the importance of teaching kids–at a developmentally appropriate level–about their neuro-anatomy.  Knowledge is power and even very young kids benefit from understanding the connection between their brains, their feelings, and their behaviors.  The second post below, What Anxious and Angry Kids Need to Know About Their Brain, offers a terrific script for teaching little ones about their brain.  My book, The 8 Keys To End Bullying Activity Book for Kids & Teens, offers explanations and activities for upper elementary and middle school aged kiddos on this same topic.

UPDATE, 4/27/18:  Thanks to all who attended the presentation at Hillside last night.  For those who attended–and those who emailed me because they were not able to attend but would like information–here are the video-instructions for making the Mindfulness Beads, as well as well as the HandBrain Model video from Dr. Dan Siegal.

For more information on training programs related to helping young people cope with anxiety, please email or use the Contact form on this site.


15 Things Kids or Teens Say That Could Mean ‘I’m Anxious’ – Where They Come From And How to Respond

What Anxious and Angry Kids Need to Know About Their Brain


What Parents Need to Know to Keep Kids Safe Online


It’s a fact of 21st century life that kids are connected to each other 24-7.  While many professionals and parents feel like digital immigrants in their kids’ native cyberlands, any lack of technological savvy on their parts is usually made up for by the social and moral savvy that comes with age and life experience.

While adults have good reasons to believe that they’ll never be quite as knowledgeable as kids about social media, it’s essential that we do our best to keep up on the options available to young people and offer them our guidance and wisdom (in place of our lectures and thou shalt nots) on how to use technology safely, respectfully, and with dignity.

The following links, offered to help parents and professionals keep up with 17 of the most popular apps of this season, are based on my training, Practical Strategies for Keeping Kids Safe Online.

Anonymous apps:


About Sarahah:

About Burnbook:

About Whisper:


About TBH:


Disappearing Media Apps:


About Snapchat:

About Instagram stories:



About Periscope:


Teen Dating Sites:


About Down:

About Tinder:

About Hotornot:

About Blendr:




About Omegle:

About Kik

About Vero:


For more information on what professionals and parents can do to keep kids safe online, check out 8 Keys to End Bullying: Strategies for Parents and Schools

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