It’s Alright to Be Different, written by Benedict Coulter, is an adorable and meaningful book for children of all ages that addresses being bullied for being different. This book is just one of the many amazing tools that you can explore from Baby’s Brilliant.
The story is about a young autistic boy named Bradley who is starting a new school. Sadly, some of the children laugh at him and call him names because he acts differently than them. One boy in particular, named Dean, bullies him quite a bit at school, which is very upsetting to Bradley. Then one day there is an emergency at the school and Bradley ends up saving Dean, even though he has never been nice to him. Besides Bradley being so brave, he is also kind-hearted and forgiving.
Dean is shocked that Bradley goes out of his way to help him, especially because he was so mean to him for so long. The other students cheer on Bradley and look to him as a hero. Dean was so grateful to Bradley and thoroughly apologized to him for being so cruel.
I love the main message of the story: “When you see someone different, try not to judge them. Take a moment to try to figure out why they are that way. Be kind, caring, patient, and loving.” Believe it or not, the boys became best friends by the end of the story. The power of kindness truly is amazing!
This book is such an important tool for us to initiate a conversation with our children about bullies. Bullying is an intentional behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates someone else, either physically or emotionally. It can happen while at school, in the community, or online. Children often describe bullying as a moment in which someone makes them feel hurt, uncomfortable, and less of a person.
Some people will ignore the signs of bullying because they think it is a “normal part of growing up”, but according to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, there is nothing natural about being bullied. It can have serious consequences for a child’s sense of safety and well-being, and should not be ignored or tolerated.
With more attention on bullying these days, we can better understand who is being bullied and why. More than one out of every five (20.8 percent) students reports being bullied at some point. Cyberbullying is now the single largest type of bullying, with nearly 43 percent of kids having been bullied online. The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students include their looks (55 percent), body shape (37 percent), and race (16 percent).
As we saw in It’s Alright to Be Different, many children are also bullied because of their disability. Research shows that children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than other children. The National Autistic Society reports that 40 percent of children with autism and 60 percent of children with Asperger’s syndrome have been bullied.
Like any traumatic event, bullying can cause immediate and lingering stress and anxiety for victims. They often are left feeling lonely, isolated, vulnerable, depressed, and anxious. Kids who are bullied are also at increased risk for problems at school, sleep difficulties, physical problems like headaches, substance abuse, and violent behavior.
What Can Parents Do?
Unfortunately, 64 percent of children who were bullied do not report it to anyone. As parents, we can take several steps to prepare and protect our children from the impact of bullying. The most important thing we can do is to teach empathy and kindness to our children. We can do this by:
- Reading books to our children like It’s Alright to Be Different and talking about the story and how it made them feel.
- Being a role model—always treat others with kindness. Say hello to strangers on the street, say please and thank you, and be respectful of everyone including servers at restaurants and clerks at stores.
- Volunteering in the community as a family to help others.
- Encouraging your children to communicate their feelings openly and honestly to you.
If your child is bullied at school, check out PACER’s suggestions for effectively handling those tough situations.
More Amazing Tools From Baby’s Brilliant
Mom and dad team Ulli and Benedict Coulter developed Baby’s Brilliant—interactive read-along books, apps, and print books for young children to enjoy. Seeking quality entertainment for their own three children, they decided to create tools that are safe, practical, fun, and filled with valuable life lessons.
Baby’s Brilliant has an app designed to soothe and engage babies and toddlers with musical and educational videos. It provides a fun and friendly learning environment, where your little ones can safely explore. The app contains several different types of tools to explore:
The read-along books provide a traditional reading option for families to help increase children’s comprehension. There are no electronic distractions like animation or sound effects. The books are simply read the old fashioned way by a narrator with a soothing voice who is also a mother of two. The recordings are lightly orchestrated and presented at a comfortable pace for children to enjoy. Read-along books are a great way for babies and toddlers to get engaged in reading and for older children to start to learn how to read by following along with the narrator.
Videos include beautiful images and scenery from around the world and are accompanied by classical music in the background. Babies and toddlers are introduced to language in a fun and meaningful way. You can select the movies you want your child to watch and arrange the order of play.
The music section includes lullabies, inspirational music, popular children’s songs, and classical music from composers like Mozart and Bach.
Night Lights offers a gentle combination of music and visuals that help your child fall asleep quickly. You can customize the order of play, create your own playlist, and loop it for up to 90 minutes.
How To Download The App
*This post was sponsored by Baby’s Brilliant.