The news is full of stories about bullying and what can be done about it. Here is a simple solution that will set in motion an end to bullying and it begins with parents! Try just 24 hours of kindness
Parents too often engage in dialogue with friends or family that is solely for the purpose of talking negatively about someone else. Unfortunately, this dialogue often takes place in front of the kids.
A complaint might be justified, but even the nicest, most well-meaning parent can develop the bad habit of “trash talking”. Someone at work didn’t do what they were supposed to, the soccer referee made a bad call, or service at a restaurant was not as expected. It is perfectly normal to have these feelings when things don’t go as planned, but repeating the negative to anyone who will listen is damaging to everyone, especially kids who overhear the conversation. The ego gets a boost at the expense of others and the negativity builds momentum. All of a sudden there is an imbalance of power, and that’s what bullying is, an imbalance of power.
Kindness has extraordinary power over bullying. It’s natural to get annoyed, however it is also possible in the midst of feeling annoyed to also be compassionate.
Call to Action: For the next 24 hours, try not to say a negative thing about anyone. If thinking negatively, stop for a moment and answer these questions:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
(Source: Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Indian Spiritual Leader)
If the answers to these questions are “no”, make the decision to be positive and don’t make the comment. Everyone has a choice of how they use power in their own thoughts and words. Through kindness and compassion children can be shown to own their power so they won’t constantly seek it in others. It’s a simple solution and it begins with parents.
Barb Flis, Founder of Parent Action for Healthy Kids, is an advocate for parents, and a published parenting and children’s health expert. Her focus lies in connecting families, schools and communities for the purpose of promoting the well-being of children’s social, emotional and physical health. Her “parent-to-parent” approach has garnered her much praise and national media attention. Please visit www.ParentActionForHealthyKids.org for more information.