Compliments – How they can prevent bullying?

The kids all came into class excited about what they were doing on their summer vacations from school. Ms. Gimour greeted each child and asked what fun things they had done so far during the summer. Nicole started by saying that her family had a staycation. Rudy said, “My family has done that. It can be a lot of fun.” Nicole added, “We went on some fun day trips to the beach, to an amusement park and to visit my grandmom.”
Everyone had their hands up to share their summer experiences. Stephen said, “I went to soccer camp for a week with my friends. We had a great time.” Stephen added, “I went to basketball camp with my cousins. We played a lot of basketball.”
Ms. Gilmour asked Carmen what she did. She replied, “We took a car trip to visit family. It was fun to visit cousins we don’t see often.” Truman the Dragon shared about his trip to Disney World. The other kids all laughed and asked him if they allowed dragons in Disney World. He said, “Of course they do. Everyone there thought that I was very cool.”
Ms. Gilmour laughed too, and then asked if the kids understood that people at Disney World telling Truman that he was very cool, was called a compliment. Tanner said, “I’ve heard that word. Doesn’t it mean saying something nice to someone?” Ms. Gilmour replied, “Yes, Tanner, you’re right.”
Nicole said, “Can’t it also mean saying someone looks nice?” Ms. Gilmour agreed that Nicole was right also.
Ms. Gilmour then added, “Some other things that compliment can mean are ‘an action that expresses admiration or approval;’ or ‘an act or expression of praise, approval, respect or admiration.’” She continued, “Now how do you think that a compliment might prevent bullying?” The kids all looked puzzled.
Truman the Dragon spoke up and said, “When I heard people telling me how cool I was, it made me feel really good. I liked that feeling.” Nicole added, “I love it when someone tells me they like my dress or shoes.”
Carmen said, “I like to tell others they look nice.”
Rudy was thinking about this, “If a lot of bullying happens because kids say mean things to each other, what will happen if they start saying nice things instead?”
“I can see how that would change how kids treat each other, and maybe help stop bullying,” added Stephen.
Ms. Gilmour then asked, “How should you act when someone gives you a compliment?” Nicole was first to answer, “I think you should smile and say ‘thank-you.’”
Ms. Gilmour continued, “Did you know that just like a present or a favor is considered a gift, a compliment can be a gift also.”
Truman the Dragon was waving his hand, “I like to get gifts and I like to give gifts. Since compliments are gifts that make others feel good, I want to give them whenever I can.”
Carmen added, “Let’s tell our friends about how compliments work.” Everyone agreed to do that.

Note to Parents from Ms. Gilmour: Bullying is the #2 epidemic in the U. S. In addition to these Cool Kind Kid articles, we endeavor to provide up to date research, articles and other news on this topic on our Facebook page. For your kids, we post Anti-Bullying and Social Skills Tips from Barbara on Mondays, Tanner’s Tuesday Tips on Tuesdays, Cool Kind Kid Challenger Tips on Thursdays, and our newest contributor, Oliver’s Tips on Fridays. We also post Shocking Sunday Stats to keep this issue in the forefront of people’s minds. We’d love to post stories and photos of your kids being Cool Kind Kids, and how you have successfully dealt with bullying.

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