We were only two weeks into school and one day, when picking Jane up from school, she asked me if I could teach her to snap her fingers. I agreed and showed her how, not giving any more thought to her question. Throughout the rest of the day I noticed her continually trying to perfect this new skill. She was being very hard on herself for not being able to make a loud enough snap sound. After observing her distress and seeing her self worth dimish, I sat her down to find out what was going on. Why was she being so hard on herself for such a silly thing?
Jane began to tell me how a little girl in her class had started a “club” and only those who were talented enough to snap their fingers could join. She wanted so badly to be accepted by these other kids and felt that she wasnt good enough because she couldnt make a loud snap with her fingers like they could. My heart broke. . how can these other kids be so mean and leave my baby out of their group for something that she cant do?
As the school days continued I noticed a change in Jane. She was no longer excited to go to school, instead she whined about feeling sick and not wanting to go. When she arrived home from school, she was a different kid. The bullying that she was recieving at school was being mirrored onto her little brother Dick at home. It was like a cycle had been formed and it needed to be broken.
I was never bullied as a kid and I guess I just didnt think it would happen to Jane either, especially not in kindergarten! Like many other parents, I didnt know what to do. My first instinct was to march into her school and tell those kids to be nice, but I realized that I cant do that (unless I want to be banned from the school premises forever). I decided that I would use this opporunity to teach my kids how to treat others and how to be a friend to those who are feeling left out since she now knows how bad it feels.
To get a better understanding of this issue and learn how to help Jane I turned to Matt Langdon from the Hero Construction Company. His company offers kids, parents and teachers the tools needed to build heros against bullying in all of us. Here is what Matt has to say about the problem.
Firstly, every time you use the word “bully” to describe a person, you are creating a negative label. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by doing this and plenty to lose. Be careful how you talk to your kids about this topic. For much more on the problems with using the word “bully”, please watch this TEDx talk I did last year: https://vimeo.com/49278023.
Thank you Matt for sharing with us! I hope that I can teach my kids to be the good in the world and allow others to be uplifted by my actions and never hurt. Very insightful thoughts today 😉
Believe there is Good in the world, Be the Good!