Here in Vancouver BC, today is Pink day (Anti-bullying), please go and check out this site and support a great cause. Being an educator for the past 10 years, I've seen such a big difference of how children treat one another. Even growing up bullying wasn't talked about much and I can say it would of been so nice to have a support system especially teachers that were around to help children whom were being emotionally or physically harmed. Growing up I lived in a neighbourhood that had a lot of Caucasian or African decent, which I definitely did not fit into. Not only that my parents raised immersed in Vietnamese culture, celebrating every single special holiday, we wore our cultural clothing on those special days and ofcourse the food was amazing. But being in school it was torture because my lunches didn't look or smell like everyone elses, I dressed differently and not to mention I had an accent so that didn't help in communicating with other children. But I am so glad that bullying is out there now and that teachers, support staff, etc are getting educated and aware of how bullying can affect children.
This post is going to be a serious one so if your not into heavy posts about children and bullying this post is not going to be for you. I had a strong urge to write about this topic because I had a rather deep talk with a co-worker and what she is personally going through. I don't want to go into detail about what happened but I felt the need to talk about this whole bullying topic. Especially of how it affects not only the child, but the family and the other children involved that have witnessed the whole ordeal. As a community we should be aware and work together to make sure this never happens to any child.
My friend at work had vented about an incident that happened to her daughter at school and I was literally in tears and I felt so badly for her and what her daughter is going through. No child should ever feel scared about their safety especially at school where they're suppose to feel safe. Not only am I talking as a parent, but as a teacher, we should be there to make a child feel safe. I feel so outraged for what my friend is going through. Once a child is emotionally or physically harmed during school hours, the school, teachers and support staff should notify the parent right away and try to figure out a solution. But in this case the school not only did nothing, they made it seem like it was no big deal. Which is why this day is so important for everyone to be aware of and we shouldn't just ignore what happens to each child that bullying affects.
Through this "Pink Shirt Day" campaign their main focus is to encourage everyone to "make nice". The slogan is a friendly reminder that we all have the capacity to be kind and compassionate towards one another. I cannot stress enough of importance of teaching and showing our children of how to be kind and compassionate towards one another and it all starts in the home. As parents we have such a responsibility to educate our children of understanding how to be compassionate, showing empathy when someone else is hurt/sad and us ourselves making examples to our children about kindness. Throughout my day at school I always remind the children that being kind is the way to go and understanding another friends feelings. And my job doesn't end there it begins again when I am home with my children and remind to be kind towards one another. It's truly a constant everyday to be compassionate of one another.
A great way to start is to teach our kids not to let anyone bully them and visa versa. Instilling in them that they are smart, kind, funny and helpful. Setting an example of what being kind is all about, like helping another mom wrangle her kids at the park, saying something nice to someone and in general showing kindness to everyone around you and your children will surely do the same. I am here to encourage you not have just one "pink shirt day", but make it an everyday day thing. Daily encouragements of compassion and kindness towards other, and before you know it, it's just something that you don't even think about and you just do it.
We truly need to start with ourselves and the change starts there and affects everyone around you. Let's be the change together to stop bullying. It's literally everywhere, children can't escape even when they're not at school since the internet and social media is everywhere. I also wanted to share this great free printable story for the kiddos to look at and it's a great start or discussion about being kind.