Do you have kids?
Have you ever been a kid?
Did you ever get hurt?
Did your child ever get hurt?
Do you know anybody who never got hurt in any way?
Well, neither do I.
Raising kids is hard. Lots of work, patience and understanding is required.
We teach them how to ride their bikes, to swim to read...
We make sure they have the proper equipment and that they are as safe and well prepared as possible.
We feel that we have all the bases covered.
Until somebody calls your kid a name.
Or make fun of their clothes.
Or their bike.
Momma Bear hops out of her den and bares her teeth and growls!
Are we doing the right thing???
We might say
Lets talk to the teachers, principal, the "mean" kid, the "bad" parents of that "mean" kid!!
Do you honestly think that your kid has NEVER done anything bad to somebody else?
Why did he or she do that?
Was she having a bad day?
Did you argue in the morning?
Did you complain about your body, face, clothes...
It's funny how easy it is to jump to conclusions when it comes to someone elses kids and their behaviour.
When we really don't have any facts.
So where do we start and what do we do??
Maybe by making sure our kids have mental "helmets and kneepads"?
Teach them first to value what they have.
"yes your bike is not brand new and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but IF it did, THEN what?"
"how would it change your life?"
Would your kid be cooler, more accepted??
Well, someone has passed those values down to our kids!
How about trying to teach them to be content in their own skin?
Teach them to stand up for themselves without putting someone else down.
"Yeah, this bike is kind of old, but hey, It still gets me places!"
"You don't like my shirt? Well, I bet that's why there are so many different styles to chose from, because we are all so different!"
Teach them that each opinion is just as important.
Doesn't mean that an opinion is true!!
Sometimes kids say mean things to get attention or to make themselves feel better.
How does a child respond to that?
Well. Remember that offence is not GIVEN it's TAKEN!!
If your child is indeed on the heavier side and someone points that out....
Does that right away equal
"You are bad. You are not likable??"
Aren't there campains all over about "Big is beautiful" and "embrace all shapes and sizes"?
Well, if we as grownups really believed that ourselves, why do we take offence on our childrens behalf then?
If your kid comes and tells you
"She called me fatso!", don't make your child a victim and go over the top with praise or by putting the other kid down to make your own feel better!!
Just approach it matter of fact.
"Oh, and how did that make you feel? Is she right? Does that make you a bad person? Why do you think she said that? Maybe she's having a bad day?"
When we overreact and focus all the attention on our own child, we'll make anything and everything into a courtcase and we boost our kids ego, making them feel that whatever happens to them is what this world revolves around!
"Well, that wasn't very nice, was it?"
Then a big hug and a smile, is sometimes all they need.
Of course if there's an ongoing pattern of bullying it's different, and we need to take stronger actions.
But in the end of the day our kids will grow up.
We can't always be there for them.
So... Hug them lots, tell them why you love them, remind them of their good traits, but also remind them that we all have weak spots (or you give them a way too big image that they have to try to live up to)
And teach them to carry a forgiving heart.
Forgiveness frees yourself of all the bad feelings and it gives the offender another chance.
Don't we all deserve another chance...?
Over and over again.