How to teach your child to be a good bystander

Michael Pritchard, Child and Bullying Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to not to be a bystander to bullying but stand up against it instead
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How to teach your child to be a good bystander

The most powerful thing you teach your kid is not be a bystander, to not stand by and watch things cruelly unload on somebody. Dr. King's line, the whole line is, it's not our enemies the most; it is our best friends that stand idly by in silent witness and say nothing to defend us that hurt us the most. The same thing applies to ourselves. We have to be strong enough to be a defender of self, to be a person who says, you know, I'm going to defend myself against these things, these cruelties, these very vicious things that are said, this gossip, this trash talk, this teasing, the tormenting, the pushing people around, or physically threatening them. I will not be part of that. And I think the great gift is to teach that kid that you're there with them, that we're there with them, and to let them know that they're in community, with unity. And there are so many cops, so many firefighters. When we have these shootings every time, everybody says, we never thought it would happen here. Why did this isolated, mentally unstable young person shoot people? Well folks they get isolated. They get mentally unstable by indifference, by apathy. Teaching our kids that it's not just us who gets that and our choice to become that. There's also another person out there that we can save, that we can be part of redeeming them back to the great side of light, community, laughter, joy, fun, play. Finding them included, Ohana is the Hawaiian term. No one left behind. No one forgotten. No one sits alone. The spirit of Ohana. The spirit that we're connected to each other and responsible to each other, and to be a defender of others, and not be a person who sits back and watches the cruelty.

Michael Pritchard, Child and Bullying Advocate, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to not to be a bystander to bullying but stand up against it instead


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Michael Pritchard

Humanist & Child Advocate

Michael Pritchard is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker praised by the Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time for his ability to use humor to inspire and educate his audiences on communication skills. Michael Pritchard is a big guy with a warm heart who as one student described him, “truly walks as he talks.”

He began his career on both the comedy stage and as a juvenile counselor in San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center. In 1980, Michael Pritchard won first place in the San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition as well as winning the prestigious California Probation Officer of the Year.

Michael’s offers from Hollywood rolled in including a guest appearance on an Emmy Award winning episode of “Taxi”. His sensational standup comedy billed him with Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey and Whoopi Goldberg playing venues as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, Universal Ampitheater and opening for such names as Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mc Donald and Boz Scaggs. But Michael rejected offers from Hollywood to focus on using his comic talents for inspiring youth and adults.

Drawing from his counseling background, Michael Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

His broad base of audience from corporate employees, healthcare workers, government and state officials have honored him with countless standing ovations and numerous awards including: President’s Volunteer Action Award, Commendation - Office of the Attorney General , Paul Harris Fellowship - Rotary International, Toastmaster’s International Speaker, Outstanding Performance - Federal Executive Board , Josephine Duveneck Humanitarian Award and the Key to the City of San Francisco.As a result of his work, Michael Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s “The Today Show”, “The Tonight Show”, CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, “Time” magazine and “People” magazine.

His seven educational series for PBS and distribution has been seen by millions and focuses on youth guidance in the areas of violence prevention. “The Power of Choice” “You can Choose”, “Big Changes, Big Choices”.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence”, featured in both Time magazine and on CNN, filmed after the tragic Columbine disaster. His new series: “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has already received the Parents Choice Award

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and winning, 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation and the 2002 Marin Community Foundations Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

As an extension of Heartland Media, he established Heartland Media Foundation building character and emotional intelligence, violence prevention, inciting motivation and leadership in both youth and adults to improve schools and communities. The foundation provides youth guidance programs, including video, print curriculum, and live presentations by Michael Pritchard to aid in schools and communities where the funding is limited.

In the fund raising capacity, Michael Pritchard has help raise millions of dollars by donating his time and talent to events and various charitable organizations including: Boys and Girls Club – Ronald McDonald House –Salvation Army - Jewish Family Services – SF Giants Community Fund – American Heart Association –Women’s Wellness Forum – Special Olympics - CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates - Bread & Roses – Recreation Center for the Handicapped –– DARE –– Texan’s War on Drugs –– Vietnam Vets of America - Guide Dogs for the Blind

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