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“Learning to ‘Put Safety First’ gave me the courage to speak up when my colleagues were bullying a new employee.” ~Gary, a technology support team lead

We are helping to create cultures of respect and safety, thanks to Kidpower supporters like you. Gary’s story below shows how showing courage and knowing the words to say can help change a group’s culture from tolerating bullying to being respectful:

Respect and connection increase workplace wellness and productivity.

“I am ashamed to say that I used to join in with teasing people at work, especially if someone who was different joined our team. After all, I thought, it was ‘just a joke.’ Then my son got bullied at school; he was devastated and it broke my heart. In the Kidpower parent education program his school sponsored, I learned how to teach him to protect himself and to advocate for my child. And I realized that I was also being a bully.

Initially, I was afraid to do anything when my co-workers were teasing. And I felt awful because I didn’t know what to say and was afraid of their reactions. I read some Kidpower’s Put Safety First’ Commitment articles with practical communication, boundaries, and adult leadership skills.

I spoke privately with each of my colleagues: ‘I know we thought we were just having fun – but I’ve realized from my son being bullied at school that we’re being bullies at work. We need to stop this kind of joking at other people’s expense.’ Now if someone starts teasing, I explain it’s against the values of this team because it’s hurtful. I think it’s helping our team work better together, and we still find ways to have fun, too.”

Here are 4 empowering resources that helped Gary get ready:

Bullying happens everywhere: from the school yard to the corporation office to the senior center. Practicing how to handle difficult conversations – and how to persist in the face of negative reactions – can make speaking up easier and more successful. Your generous donation will help us get these vital resources in schools, organizations, and the hands of individuals in many more places around the world.

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Published: December 28, 2019   |   Last Updated: December 28, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.


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