Unfortunately we live in a world where bullying still occurs around us, in schools, home, workplace, sporting arenas and in most areas of our lives.
In such an advanced world we live in, bullying still does occur. I have often pondered on what it would take to stamp out bullying once and for all, although I have not come up with that magic answer yet!
What I do know is that it starts in the home environment, either building our children up with resilience or teaching our children empathy for others around them.
I know this to be true as I was a bully victim at high school and as a result of this; I suffered long term low self-esteem and little confidence.
It was not until I became a Mother (to my four gorgeous monkeys) that I really realised how much I was still carrying around with me from my bullying experience throughout high school. It was like my children amplified all my insecurities, especially as I re-entered the kindergarten and school environment with them. It was like I was starting all over again and trying desperately to fit not only for myself this time but for my children to fit in as well!
Oh the pressure I put on myself back then, no wonder I was always felt nervous and anxious!
From this experience and been a few years into the schooling arena with my children (my eldest daughter is currently in year 8), I can look back and see that because I felt so insecure within myself, I was inadvertently putting these insecurities onto my children, which is what I desperately did not want to do. It was in the form of worrying constantly about them if they would fit in and make friends (and making this an issue with them by discussing it with them each day after school – “Who did you play with today?, What did you do?, Was anyone mean to you?”) It was also in the form of a not so obvious way, a way of how I was role modelling to my children how to behave, I would never involve myself in social scenes at the school, never stand tall and confidently and often showing my anxiety in obvious ways like getting upset and sweating the small stuff! These were all things that my children were living and learning each and every day!
To help your children become a confident and happy child, you first need to help yourself to become the person you desperately want your child to be.
Here are a couple of essential tips to start this process for you at home today:
- Deal with your personal issues: it is important to get Mum feeling confident and in control of her life first, which will then flow down to her children. The more we can look within and work on our own stuff the less we will feel the need to put others down to make ourselves feel better.
- Accept your child for who they are: love and accept your child as they are right now. If we can accept our children and show this to them though love and feeling proud of them.
- Create empathy: model and teach your children to be empathetic and how to recognize emotions that are being experienced by those around them. Be understanding and empathetic towards your children for what they are going through.
I am very passionate about this subject and I have written a book about it called, Beyond The Schoolyard. In honour of today’s ‘National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence’ I would like to offer you all the first chapter of my book for free.
Start a ripple, create a wave. It begins with you!
Just maybe this is that magic answer to stamping out bullying once and for all – starting with ourselves to create that ripple effect!