Can kids be cruel? Most definitely. However, it is important to remember that their cruelty is often based not on any inherent evil, but on the bully’s experience at home, a lack of proper parenting, or a lack of empathy towards others.

Definition of Bullying



Bullying is the exertion of power from one person or a group to another, often in the form of physical or psychological violence. Bullies take advantage of any power imbalance, whether that be by strength, popularity, social status, or other factors.

There is also a proclivity in some kids to be more violent than others. Here, we need to clarify that there is a difference between being violent versus being mean or rude. Violence is exerted to hurt another person, whether physically or mentally while being mean or rude is lacking manners with little to no power imbalance involved.

Bullies can use a multitude of resources to harass others, such as verbal and nonverbal messages, social rejection, stigmatization, and nowadays, even social media, aka cyberbullying.

Why Do Children Bully?

According to Trudy Ludwig, in her book Confessions of a Former Bully, a bully is a child who displays bad behavior. It is important to separate the bad behavior from the intrinsic identity of the child and to stop considering bullies as inherently bad people. Bullying often occurs because something is occurring at home or around the area of influence where the ‘bully’ lives.

However, the reasons why kids engage in bullying are usually to gain social status, to maintain power and control, or get attention from their peers. This often occurs when there is no supervision.

Years ago, bullying was considered an action performed by kids filled with insecurities. While this has truth to it, there is a lot of evidence in academic research that suggests that also bullying occurs due to a child’s desire to achieve popularity.

Furthermore, we need to ask ourselves why bullies have this desperate need for attention. Usually, it is because they have seen similar interactions within their social groups and feel the need to emulate such behavior.

The Victims


The victims of bullying vary, but these kids are usually the ones considered special or different from the rest of the class. In this group, we can include creative or intelligent students, isolated children, children with a different appearance, children with a disability, and children from a different religion.

Also, it is important to note that the bully and bullied can change according to the situation. For example, a child that is not as smart as the rest of the students can be bullied for being deficient in math or English, while popular kids could be victims of other bullies if they represent an attention threat.

How to Help



To reduce bullying in schools, adults need to be aware of the situation and intervene consistently; not only once, but every time it happens. Adults also must hone their senses to detect when a real case of bullying, not rudeness, happens and act immediately and accordingly.

Finally, teachers and parents must not consider bullying as something that ‘just happens’ during childhood and teenage years.

Adults need to identify the children involved in bullying incidents, identify needs, create a culture of comprehension and kindness, monitor the areas where bullying has occurred, and create dynamics where professionals can assess these situations to improve kids’ social behavior.


By Eduardo Guillen.

There is one simple and effective way to bring smiles to children while teaching them lessons about life and boosting their confidence levels, and it is by reading books.

Children love the interaction, communication, and roleplay. They play being an astronaut, a policeman, a doctor, a trashman, and dozens of different people thanks to their powerful imagination.

Reading helps them project their ego and gain confidence to interact with society.

Thanks to books, children learn about interactions with family and close friends, discover and develop social skills, learn new words, and identify new behavioral patterns. In that way, children can effectively convey confidence, doubt, fear, bravery, and several other emotions.

The effective management of these social skills will determine in a great measure their success in the future.


Moreover, books teach children new words and logic to communicate their needs while learning more complex subjects.

Stories with simple and complex characters show children that every person is physically and mentally different and can change their minds under different circumstances.

Books and their stories are the first steps into exploring and later comprehending daily life.

Moreover, books teach children new words and logic to communicate their needs while learning more complex matters.

Confidence and Learning in Children 

When children start reading, their confidence gets boosted because they control the time and rhythm of the story while discovering the characters and plot of the story.

In addition, the pictures allow children to associate colors and shapes with symbols, cultural references, social customs, and norms (like etiquette and transit signs). They also show them new places and past, present, and future possibilities.

Furthermore, some stories can teach life lessons to children, such as sharing with friends and siblings or obeying the parents, and not being lazy or offensive.

Children learn by reading and associate those lessons with their life occurrences.


Books Heal and Bring Smiles

Books are also great beacons to examine and heal traumas such as illness, death, violence, and its counterpart health, life, and peace. Children can explore these and more subjects through fiction in a playful way, thanks to the art of storytelling.

In this context, African American author Rick Daniels explores topics such as bullying and cancer, which brings children to wonder if there is a reason for all their pain and why they are going through it.

Likewise, it shows that children who suffer from these difficulties are still part of a society that needs them and wants them to be active in their development.

Through books, children can also learn about themselves, their defects, and virtues, and how to work upon their behavior. Because reading is a relaxing activity, children can use books to cope and find solace from everyday’ s struggles and challenges.

Also, a book can provide resources for children to talk and interact with others, but it can also give them new knowledge about infinite subjects, therefore, surprising them with discovery after flipping a page.

Reading is an essential part of child development; it encourages them to go forward, make friends, and discover themselves. In addition, books can reveal how your children react to particular situations allowing you to provide explanations and guidance.

Remember that when life hits and problems persist, a book will help your children grow, but it will also bring their favorite characters back to life to heal them with a smile.


By Eduardo Guillen


A book can provide resources for children to talk and interact with others, but it can also give them new knowledge about infinite subjects, therefore, surprising them with discovery after flipping a page.

Leianna is an almost-two-year-old baby who loves the world, daydreaming, and playing with her parents. Her family likes to call her “warrior princess” because she is a little girl with amazing strength, joy, and happiness who knows no limits.

Leianna spent many of her days in her native state Hawaii, enjoying the wonderful sun and the day-by-day occurrences of her siblings.

One day, her parents noticed that Leianna’s tummy was swollen. Thinking it was a simple affliction, they set up a telemedicine appointment. During the interview, Leianna’s doctor told them that her tummy needed to be analyzed and advised them to visit the Kapiolani ER that same day.

After some tests that included ultrasounds, MRI biopsies, and blood tests, one of their biggest fears came to pass. The specialists confirmed that Leianna was suffering from an aggressive stage IV Neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer. Her parents, Kalei, and Tony were devastated, and the family started to fight along with their baby, in perhaps the most important battle of her life.

Warrior Princess

From that moment on, part of Leianna’s treatment now includes exhausting chemotherapies (around 7 cycles of 5 days each), bone marrow harvesting, transplantation, and even radiation sessions. A taxing process that will take about 3 and ½ years.

Despite everything, Leianna has always kept the happiness and the innocence that radiates the purest forms of love. She continues this battle with the best attitude thanks to her family and the support of all who witness her daily challenges.

Books Bring Smiles

Friends of Rick Daniels spotted her case and sent her a package with the book ‘Noah and Saby’s Magical Storybook Adventure’, so she can give away dozens of smiles to her family and friends and to show her that despite all the difficult treatment sessions, diet, and time she must spend in bed there is still a way to find joy thanks to our imagination.

Recently, Prince – a super cute 8-weeks-old English bulldog – arrived at Leianna’s life. Leianna’s happiness went to the moon. Prince has been recently signed up for puppy training and later he will complete an advanced course with the Hawaii Dog Training Services.

Childhood, Imagination, and Books


A child’s development needs not only time and economic support but also love. Lots of love. What happens during the first years of someone’s life will determine their behavior and how the new adult will face life. A great way to do this is by teaching lessons about how the toughest times in life can be navigated through imagination and love.

A book, for example, can bring that kind of teaching in an effective, playful, and entertaining way. Fueled by their imagination, children interact with everything they come in contact with, and this is only another reason why it is important to bring them closer to educative and functional material. Books are a great resource of knowledge at all ages and can include a myriad of different content and therefore lessons to apply under the harshest conditions.

Remember to always have a book close to you. Something that can take you somewhere else, where you can navigate forever over a sea of words and pictures. Just as Warrior Princess Leianna who together with her family sails every day towards the next sunset.


By Eduardo Guillen


On October 10, 2020, the Cox family discovered that her beloved daughter Za’Miya was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, also known as DIPG, and their life changed forever. DIPG is a type of tumor that starts in the brain stem and progressively affects the nerves and muscles that allow us to see, hear, walk, talk, and even eat.

However, since day one, Za’Miya’s mother showed strength and love towards her daughter fighting against this terrible disease and supporting her every step. Due to the aggressiveness of the disease Za’Miya’s doctor told her family she only had from 6 months to 2 years to live. Her family and her strong faith helped them to survive these tough times.

In this, it is important to highlight that DIPG has a survival rate of less than 1%. This disease can also affect older teens and adults, but it is more common among children. The treatment includes palliative radiation, and the therapy remains almost the same since the 70s.

Unfortunately, on May 17th Za’Miya left us after a 10-month battle against cancer. As her mother mentioned in Za’Miya’s Instagram account, her daughter will be forever 10 years old. Her love and brightness will always be remembered and cherished by those who knew about her and her fight.

Faith and Love

Herein, Cancer is a complex disease that impacts every single member of a family group. However, it is important to have in mind that all the efforts and sacrifices must be aimed to ease the patient’s symptoms, so each treatment session also produces union and strength among relatives and not fear and anxiety.

Also, it is important to highlight that DIPG, like several other types of cancer, affects not only the body and mind of the patient but also their behavior, and as consequence, their interactions with the world. Therefore, parents need to deliver positive messages that stimulate their kids’ imagination and that safeguard their mental health.

Among the resources, we can mention books and music, as well as online programs, that aim to alleviate the children’s feelings and conflicted emotions by allowing them to interact with different scenarios where they become the main character of a story.

In summary, cancer is still a complex and emotionally taxing disease in which patients require all our love and constant dedication. Za’Miya’s mom taught us this incessantly, during those 10 months of treatment in which she lived what her little one did every day.

It is in these circumstances where we can see how love transcends life marking certain experiences as unique and perennial, a model in which to find inspiration to keep helping the most in need.

Finally, from Friends of Rick Daniels, we want to send a message to Za’Miya’s family from our platform. A thank you for teaching us strength and how the constant act of giving can restore our faith for the future; but also, a thank you to Za’Miya herself, for giving us that amazing joy for living and an irreplaceable smile.


By Eduardo Guillen