Areté Today, a PodcastIn the first new episode of Areté Today in over two weeks, I discuss at length the topics of meanies, conflict, and bullying. Because I run the area’s only art-based social emotional empowerment program for kids and adults, I get numerous questions around this topic. People are constantly emailing me or calling me for advice. Yet, for every person that has the courage to email me, I know a number of people are suffering in silence; perhaps too scared to stand up or too embarrassed to broach the topic.

I think we can all agree that bullying is a problem and it has dire consequences, occasionally including people taking their own lives. We need to be talking about this! We need to get in front of it, at an early age like the Self Esteem Through Art program does, so that we can nip it in the bud before it starts. There are countless ways that we can get in front of this in a PROACTIVE manner and not wait until we are forced to be REACTIVE.

On the flip side, with the increase in awareness about bullying, we also have an increase in false-bullying cases. Bullying is becoming a waste-basket term to describe everything from a mild disagreement to normal conflict to physical violence. This Podcast will break the behaviors down into three distinct buckets, give you examples of what each term means and also what it does NOT mean, signs to look for, and actions you can take.

This is a hot topic in a landscape that is changing all the time. We need to educate ourselves, advocate for more programs in schools (sorry, Open Circle is a start, but simply not cutting it), and have the difficult conversations.

This is a really in-depth episode—my longest one to date. It’s almost an hour long and would be best listened to on a long run or walk, while in the car during your commute, or with your kids at your side so you can open the doors to discussion and understanding. Have a pen handy—you are definitely going to want to take notes!

I really look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. I already know there is so much more that I could talk about and this won’t be the last episode on this topic. Let’s help elevate the energy of our children and the people around us. Education and awareness are the keys. There is so much more on this topic over in the expanded show notes on the blog.

I look forward to seeing your comments and reading your emails. If you see the value in a robust, art-based empowerment program in schools, contact me and let’s get the ball rolling.

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