Kindness is a choice. It can also be the cool choice for kids.

That’s the message of Barbara Gilmour, an Ocean City resident, author, speaker, and creative voice behind Cool Kind Kid, an anti-bullying strategy that aims to re-define what is cool for kids as they encounter social situations.

“The reactive measures don’t work,” said Gilmour. “Let’s provide our children with fun, engaging proactive techniques to prevent bullying.”

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Gilmour’s firm, CKK LLC, offers a wide range of services and products aimed at helping students understand that using kindness is a better option than bullying, or tolerating it. The Cool Kind Kid programs teach social skills as a way to be confident and cool in situations that have the potential to go south.

It’s working. The program has won 15 national awards, including Parents and Teachers’ Choice awards and earned the National Parenting Council’s Seal of Approval. More important than the accolades is the movement Cool Kind Kid has helped to start and foster.

The concept is really simple, Gilmour explained.

“We teach children to embrace the concept that being kind is a lot cooler than bullying,” she said. “We teach them to embrace the concept that the kind kid is also the cool kid.”