All About the Zorgos Project

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3,000 Free Books for Oakland Parents

Last fall, Oakland Parents Together (OPT) was the recipient of a generous donation of over 3,000 copies of The Bullying Antidote (Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation) by Oakland authors Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Caven.

Bully Prevention through Positive Parenting
Unlike other books on bullying, The Bullying Antidote identifies bullying as a cultural power dynamic that has deep roots, perpetrated by common and wide-spread parenting methods. The book is a guide for positive parenting principles which have been proven by neurological, psychological, and sociological research to be the best practices for success and happiness.

Start a Discussion Group Now or in Fall

We have just over 100 cases (24 books each) left to distribute to parent groups in schools, churches, work, family, and other community settings in Oakland. The authors have created a self-paced discussion guide to promote authentic parent-to-parent conversations about bullying, love, violence, nurturing, trauma, and creating positivity in family relationships.

Request Books Here!

The authors also provide support in the form of presentations for parents. Furthermore, OPT staff is available to help facilitate conversations through their signature program, the Parent Café.

If you would like to receive a case of books for your school, church, or other community group, please visit www.zorgosproject.org.

Please share this announcement!

(Here’s the Press Release.)

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P.S. Want to keep in touch? You can sign up for our mailing list and/or get blog posts from The Zorgos Reader.

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Discussion Questions: Wrap-Up

Got Zorgos?

We hope you gained great insight by reading and discussing The Bullying Antidote with other parents, and we hope you made some friends as well.

“Making and keeping friends is the number one predictor of adult success in every measure, in every realm. Bullying interrupts that process.”

—Nicholas Carlisle, founder of the No Bully intervention system

Q: Would you recommend this book, or this project to other parents? If so, we would so appreciate your review  of The Bullying Antidote on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere else parents will find it.

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Let us know how your discussion group went and we will send you some free stickers for your participants, while supplies last.

Here’s a Certificate of Completion to print out for your group.

<< Chapter 19 | Introduction >>

Discussion Questions: Chapter Nineteen

Superpowering Our Kids

We have reached the end of The Bullying Antidote! This chapter wraps up everything we have learned with some big-picture ideas: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, human rights, and how Sweden got to the top of the UNICEF child well-being list.

“As much as we like the idea of an antidote to bullying, what we really love is the idea of building immunity. We really love the idea of a superpower: Zorgos! Our secret word represents all the antidotes we’ve mentioned rolled into one. To be called forth, it must be nurtured from the inside and the outside.” (p. 347)

Q: Zorgos is a six-letter word that symbolizes all of the human qualities that are the opposite of, or the antidotes to bullying. After reading this book, how would you personally define Zorgos?

“…Bullying overlaps with civil rights issues; it can be seen as discriminatory harassment when it is based on race, national origin, sex, age, disability, or religion.” (p. 348)

Q: Parents don’t always realize that schools are required by law to protect children from discrimination and harassment issues. How do you see your child’s school teaching these concepts? What types of bullying are not legally-protected harassment issues?

every living soulrespect“When students are taught about human rights in schools, they tend to treat one another and themselves better.” (p. 348)

“Human rights are something we give one another.” (p. 350)

Q: Who is in charge of giving humans their rights? Other humans who have power. How can you give rights to those who you have power over? 

A song about giving human rights

A song about giving human rights

Extra Credit: Organize a community musical project with students on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. OR on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29, specifies that countries must take responsibility for…all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all form of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.”

Q: All members of the United Nations have ratified (agreed to) the Convention on the Rights of the Child, except three: the United States, South Sudan (the newest nation), and Somalia. Why do you suppose the United States has not done so?

Extra Credit: Sign this petition for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child, or write to your representatives in congress! 

The United States is at the bottom of the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) well-being list. Sweden landed at the top of the list. Let’s compare:

“The Swedish government supports the vital parent-child attachment process that promotes healthy development…. Meanwhile, the United States is the only country in the developed world without a mandatory paid maternity leave. Even in Afghanistan, the worst country in the world in terms of mothering support, mothers get ninety days of paid leave.” (p. 352)

Q: Which of the facts about Sweden listed in the bullets on page 352 do you find most impressive, or most desirable for our country?

“Adults, just like children, are influenced by their peers. The conversations we have, the news we watch and listen to, the interactions with other adults—all of these things influence us. It is essential that you find a buddy who shares in your vision of positive parenting. Or better yet, a community.” (p. 357)

Q: Through this discussion process, do you feel like you have found a buddy to support you in your work as a parent? A community?

What will you do next?

Looking for resource links? Click here.

<< Chapter 18 | Finale >>

Discussion Questions: Chapter Eighteen

Swept Away by Technology

In Chapter Two, “Enormous Changes in Society,” we looked at how technology has shaped our family systems over the past hundred years. This chapter focuses on how parents can navigate today’s tsunami of media in the best interest of their children.

“Technology enriches our lives, but it also impoverishes our lives. Humans crave connection, and technology connects people to the broader world—but it also allows them to isolate much more easily…. Technology also creates avenues for bullying that we could have never dreamed of even ten years ago.” (P. 322)

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.29.42 PMQ: How has bullying changed since you were a child? How is your social life different from that of your parents?

“Everything kids experience in the first six years of their lives is downloaded into the brain. TV programs and commercials can fill children’s ready-and-eager-to-learn brains with the wrong stuff, especially if they watch shows inappropriate for their age level. As a consequence, children are showing up in kindergarten with greater disrespect, incivility, and violence than before. Technological and commercial pressures are hampering healthy development, obstructing the learning of important life skills, and changing the architecture of the brain.” (p. 334)

Q: In your opinion, how are youngsters in general different from when you were young? 

“Years ago, kids came home from school, and then went outside to play until their parents called them in for dinner. These days, grandparents give iPads to their six-year-old grandkids and parents readily buy digital toys for children. These cool, captivating, engaging toys, given with the best of intentions, can hijack and derail a child’s healthy development.” (p. 332)

Q: What real-life experiences are today’s kids missing out on because of their fascination with and addiction to screens?

“Video game developers create what is called a ‘compulsion loop’. The player plays the game, achieves the goal, and is rewarded with new content, which makes the player want to continue playing and re-enter the loop to explore the new content. During this process, the pleasure center of the brain is activated, releasing dopamine. It feels good—it’s fun! (p. 333) “A study suggests that more than 5 million American kids ages eight to eighteen meet the definition of video game addiction. All children are susceptible, but especially those with poor self-restraint and poor impulse control.” (p. 333)

Q: Review the bullet list of those most susceptible. Which especially speak to you?

“Parents feel overwhelmed and helpless. They feel out of control of their lives and their families. The British study shows how popular culture is sabotaging harmony and unity, and creating division. The media has hypnotized children, molding their brains toward materialistic values and raising good ‘consumers’ instead of good citizens.” (p. 330)

Q: Amy Jussel, an expert on how advertising shapes kid’s brains, doesn’t mince words: “It’s nothing short of corporate pedophilia and voyeuristic sleaze fouling up kids’ socio-emotional health, and our cultural compass as a whole.” Do you agree? Are you worried? Or do you see it differently?

“While parents busily try to set limits at home, marketing executives work day and night to undermine their efforts with irresistible messages.” (Dr. Susan Linn, p. 327)

Q: How do you cope with the “Bullies Behind the Screen” as described on pages 328-330?

“Our kids are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out, because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: connection to the natural world.” (The National Wildlife Federation, p. 336) “Playing outdoors gives children a safe and captivating outlet for pent-up stress, agitation, and aggressive energy. Creative, unstructured free play is a remedy for overscheduled, over-programmed, stressful lives. Exercise and exploration in nature is an antidote to negative influences, and can have enormous benefits—including plain old-fashioned fun.” (p. 336)

Q: How are some ways you promote positive nurturing in our high tech/low touch culture?

“Kids who are not developmentally ready for what the mainstream media has to offer are the ones who are most at risk. It is therefore the parent’s job to decide how much a child can watch or play.” (p. 338)

Q: How old are your children? What strategies on pages 339-342 do you use to manage technology? What new strategies from this list will you try?

This question is always a good one:

Q: What sentence, paragraph, or idea popped out at you, or stuck with you after reading?

Reply in the Comments, below!

Looking for resource links? Click here.

<< Chapter 17 | Chapter 19 >>