This week’s Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenged us to repurpose old puzzle pieces. I think we can all admit as parents that there is no shortage of random, useless pieces in our homes once we let the kids crack into a new puzzle. I decided to do a little something different this week and instead of centering my project around activities for the twins, I decided to hold a mother daughter night and make a project that served as an extension of the Emily Speaks series. Over a scary movie, a pile of style magazines, some Mod Podge and an Exacto knife, we made puzzle piece affirmation magnets.
I’ve always been a big fan of Mod Podge. I pretty much used it to decorate my entire college bedroom, with collages and furniture statement pieces that all had a touch of the crazy that was my thought process in those formative years. I was excited to share it with Emily, and hope maybe she’ll find a similar manner of self-expression through art with this awesome little super wonder of sticky.
After digging through the magazines and finding words that would fit on the puzzle pieces, we got to work. I’ll admit, finding the right words and cutting them in a way that would work on the puzzle piece was a bit of a challenge and it took some getting used to and more than a few of hopeful phrases that ended up in the trash bin due to poor cutting on our parts. But once we figured it out, we had a pile of great phrases to work from.
We painted each puzzle piece and the word affirmation with Mod Podge and set them to dry. We planned on waiting overnight, but Emily brilliantly suggested we speed up the process with her blowdryer. This did the trick, although I admit they came out a bit more wrinkly than I would have liked and hopefully with time, as with normal drying periods with Mod Podge, the wrinkles will stretch and dry some more and disappear.
We used the Exacto knife to cut off the excess from the magazine clippings and stuck an adhesive magnet on the back and voila! Puzzle piece affirmation magnets. Now Emily and I can put them on the fridge, she can pop them in her locker at school or we can put them up in other places as constant reminders of our awesome.
Check out what the other ladies did with their extra puzzle pieces and if you happen to have repurposed some of your own in kid-friendly fun ways, be sure to link them up below!
11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks
If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles.
I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.
1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.
2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.
3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).
4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.
5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.
6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.
7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.
8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.
9. Listen to some music.
10. Read a book.
11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.
These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm.
Back to School Blues: Emily Speaks
I know that some of you may be scared of going back to school, maybe because you don’t want to be bullied again, or you’re scared that you won’t make any new friends. Or maybe you’re just nervous you might not do that well in school this year. Well let me tell you this…I’m nervous to go back to school myself !
All that you need to do is believe in yourself. Believe that you will be successful. Believe that you will make a ton of new friends. Believe that you will have the best year that you can have!
Some of you might get excited when summer comes along every year because it gives you a break from all your teachers, tests and most of all some distance from the people around you. Summer gives you a break from all of the teasing, the people laughing at you, and the people that try to bring you down the minute you step on that bus until the minute you step off every day. Summer also brings feelings of relief, because you know that you won’t have a test or a quiz the next day and you can relax and not stress so much.
I know all of this, because these are all of the things that I’m fearing of right now. I’m scared to go back to school every day, because I know there will be some tough moments for me. I’m not afraid to say that I don’t do very well in school. Part of it is because I’m not understanding what we are learning, or I get distracted really easily in class. Or sometimes I’m just not having the best day and it’s hard to focus. Even though I’m scared to be going back to school this year, I’m going to try and make the most of it, not only because it’s my last year in middle school, but because I want to know that I did my best, and did everything that I could to be the best that I can be.
Don’t let school make you someone that you’re not and don’t let bullies make you someone that you’re not. Be you and be happy with who you are and what you’ve got, because trust me it’s better that way. Be brave!
I hope everyone has a good year! Love and make it the best that you can! Love, Emily
Cyber Bullying and Self Harm: Emily Speaks
ANOTHER AWESOME UPDATE! A link up has been added to the bottom of this post. If you’ve written a blog post about bullying, self harm or other difficult journeys, please share your post! Let’s join together to build a community of supporters who are committed to the fight to stop bullying and want to actively work to encourage those who are hurting around us. LINK UP AND SHARE!
UPDATE! Due to the overwhelming show of support and response to Emily’s post, we are hoping to host an Anti-Bullying Walk in Virginia Beach, VA to bring the community together to #StopBullying. If you’d like to be involved or can offer help in any way, please let me know! THANK YOU!
I’ve been having issues with being bullied. In school I would get called ‘stupid,’ ‘a dumb blonde,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘fat,’ ‘retarded’ and then there’s the cyber bullying where I’ve been called ‘ratchet,’ ‘worthless,’ ‘not important,’ and pretty much all the same things I said before too.
It hurts, it really does, and it came to the point where I started cutting and self harming myself. It’s not only the bullying, I’ve had problems with family and all of that just made me sad and angry all the time.
My dad and stepmom always wonder why I’m always in my room or why I don’t interact with them and others, or why I have an attitude more than usual. It’s because I’ve been having hard times at school and with the people around me. I know that’s not a good excuse to treat my family poorly when they didn’t do anything to me. I just never understood that, and instead I was blaming everyone at that point.
Now I know that my family is here to help.
Bullies are just there to bring us down, and they make us believe that we aren’t worth anything. Believe me, I know how hard it is to not listen to what they are telling you. I’m still having trouble to this day with believing what the bullies are saying about me.
This is to all the kids who were bullied and who are being bullied now: You need to go up to whoever is doing it to you and you need to put the biggest smile on your face and say “I’m stronger than you think I am. I am better than you think I am and your words mean nothing to me. So you can keep trying to bring me down and call me names, but you’re just wasting your time.” And then you just walk away still having a smile on your face. No matter how hard it is and no matter how much their words put you down and hurt you, you need to let them know that you’re better than what they are putting you through and you believe in yourself! I promise you that it will get better! You may not think it will, but trust me it will get better.
And this is to all the bullies out there: What you put people through is not okay! You make people cut every single day, you make people want to kill themselves. So many people have killed themselves over bullying and it could have been because of you. You make people feel worthless, you make them feel like they have no reason for living another day. It’s not fair to do this to anyone. Maybe you are bullying people because you have been bullied and you are just blaming others for what someone did to you, or maybe it’s because your parents abuse you or you have trouble at home. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, you have no ok reason to treat people this way, especially if you know how it feels. So you need to put yourself in their shoes and remember how it felt when you were bullied. Ask for help if you’re in trouble or hurting, but don’t hurt others to make yourself feel better.
And this is to the parents of children being bullied: If you see your child acting differently than they usually would, ask them what’s wrong and talk to them. See what’s going on and if they need any help or just need someone to talk to.
You can’t try and force anything out of them, because if they’re like me, I don’t like to talk about my problems with anybody. But always try your hardest to let them know you’re there and that you care, and that you’re gonna listen to what they are telling you. When they’re ready to talk.
Please link up your posts about bullying or self-harm here. Let’s come together and build a resource to let others know they are not alone! Let’s join together in the cause to stop bullying and bring healing to those who are hurting around us. This link up is always open! Please share.