Pink is my favourite colour. Today, I'm wearing a pink scarf in support of Anti-Bullying Day. Even though many of us are wearing pink today, this one act alone is sadly not going to stop children from being bullied.
Thankfully, there is so much more we are doing to stop bullying from taking place in schools, like the #NoMoreBullies campaign and awareness.
When I was in grade seven, I was bullied, and it was awful. However, after school, I was able to go home, and cry into my parents arms. I was comfortable telling them everything. I was so lucky I had their love, support, and guidance, to help me through the rough times. It's heartbreaking to me to know that some children who are bullied in school don't have anyone to turn to at home.
The other night, I watched one of my all-time favourite movies, again—Dead Poets Society. If you've seen this (surely you have?) you'll know that one of the main characters takes his own life because of his awful situation at home with his father. This movie breaks my heart so much more now that I am a mom of two boys, and it's a great reminder that our most important role as parents is not only to teach our children right from wrong, but to be there to listen to our children, and support them.
If we don't support our children, and encourage them to chase their dreams, then we are not doing our job very well. I can't imagine not supporting my kids, no matter what they choose to do with their lives, no matter where their hearts take them.
Here's what we need to be doing as parents:
Lead by example. Be a kind, good person. Do good for others, and expect nothing in return.
Do not bad-mouth anyone. Learn how to bite your tongue. Children hear everything and your actions can also speak louder than words.
Teach your children that it's never okay to make fun of another person, especially because of their appearance or inability to do things as well as them. (No matter what that is.) No one, especially a child, should be made to feel bad because of what they look like! The end.
Make sure your children know it's important to tell an adult—their teacher, their parents, an older sibling—if someone else is bothering them, calling them names, or making threats to them. They need to know there is always someone they can turn to for help if they're feeling bad. Let them know YOU will always be there to hear them, no matter what. Their secrets should always be safe with you.
I truly believe if a child is loved at home, they won't bully other people. I wish there was a clear and easy solution to this problem, but there is none. We can only do our best, and remind our children every day that we love them, and teach them the importance of being kind to other people.