Trudy Ludwig will speak to parents Monday

by: SUBMITTED  - Children's advocate and author Trudy Ludwig will speak to students and parents at Stafford Primary School. The Portland children’s advocate and best-selling author Trudy Ludwig will speak at Stafford Primary School Monday. Ludwig will present, “Understanding Our Kids’ Social World: Friendships, Cliques & Power Plays,” from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The presentation is geared toward adults and will be her second visit to the school. Ludwig became invested in the field of bullying and social relationships 11 years ago when her then-kindergartener was being bullied by friends.

“The bullying was hidden within friendships,” she said. “It’s called relational aggression — using relationships to manipulate and hurt others through spreading rumors, gossip and using the silent treatment.

“It’s not just a mean girl thing ... it’s been around since people have been around.”

Ludwig then read Rachel Simmons 2004 novel, “Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullying, Cliques, Popularity and Jealousy,” and discovered what she calls the “ah ha” moment where she transitioned her career from an advertising copywriter to a researcher, children’s advocate and novelist.

“While researching information for my own child I realized there weren’t many resources for younger children to address bullying,” she said. “That’s when I decided to write my first book.

“Children need resources and adults want to help their kids but they don’t know how to help them,” she said. “I want to use my books as springboard to start conversations.”

The goal of her first book, “My Secret Bully,” addresses name-calling, humiliation, exclusion and manipulation. The goal of the book and subsequent publications is to shed light on relational aggression, bullying research and help children develop healthier friendships in a compelling genre she calls realistic fiction.

“Everyone has some experience in their lives that, for whatever reason, they will be intentionally excluded or gossiped about and it’s very hurtful,” she said. “What I try to do is tap into universal feelings that kids and adults have all experienced to help raise discussions in a safe social environment — at home or at school — to talk about what a good friend is.”

In addition to her novels, Ludwig hosts children’s assemblies, workshops for educators and parent discussions. In these presentations and workshops Ludwig provides tips and resources for parents and educators to help empower students, address issues like cyber bullying and student activities that illustrate of what relational aggression looks and feels like and how everyone can tangled up in a “bully web.”

“If we address bullying and friendship issues at a younger age then perhaps it won’t be as prevalent at middle school and later in life,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig said schools — particularly the West Linn-Wilsonville School District — are becoming more aware of and sensitive to bullying issues. Her workshops and presentations work to direct schools to research-based bullying prevention to help educators, students and communities collectively come together to create consistent information and an environment that accepts diversity and provides restorative justice.

“It’s been quite the journey,” Ludwig said, reflecting on her career. “I have this tagline — making a difference in kids lives one book at a time. Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders and we have a lot of poor role modeling going on in our world right now. We really need to change our game plan.”

Ludwig will return to Stafford Primary School in January to discuss “Addressing & Preventing Cyberbullying in Today’s Digital World.”

For more information, contact Rachel Stevenson at 503-673-7150 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

by: SUBMITTED - Trudy Ludwig's latest book is 'Better Than You.'

Ludwig’s books get national coverage

Trudy Ludwig’s books have received national coverage for their ability to help children cope and thrive in their social worlds.

Her books include: “My Secret Bully,” “Trouble Talk,” “Too Perfect,” “Just Kidding,” “Sorry!” “Confessions of a Former Bully” and “Better Than You.”

The author has been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” PBS’s “Keeping Kids Healthy,” the National Crime Prevention Council’s Circle of Respect program and a panel member on “Sesame Street Workshop’s” video series on bullying.

For more information about Ludwig, her books and other resources, visit

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